The lasted version of the operational guidance now states parents may be expected to pay for meals
According to the updated version of the Operational Guidance parents who are claiming the 30hrs of childcare may be expected to pay for meals, consumables and activities.
The original document that was published in April stated that providers can charge parents for meals as long as this isn’t a condition of taking up the free hours. The newly updated operational guidance provides more clarification for providers about charging parents for meals and consumables, it has been updated following feedback from providers taking part in the 30hrs pilot scheme.
It now states in the updated guidance under the heading ‘meals, consumables and additional activities’, that the free government funded hours are to cover the high-quality childcare, it is not intended to cover extras such as meals, other consumables, additional activities such as trips etc. Therefore this means parent may be expected to pay for meals that are provided by the provider, they can also be expected to pay for consumables and other activities. The updated guidance does state that parents must be given alternative options eg bringing in packed lunch, for many providers the option of bringing in a packed lunch goes against the settings policy of bringing in food from home due to children having allergies.