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Free nursery milk will stay

19th June 2012

The Department of Health has confirmed it will not be scrapping free nursery milk but it will be reviewing the cost of providing it for children.

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The DH said the cost of offering free milk for nursery school children had doubled over a five year period and now cost £93 million.

Every child under five who is looked after for at least two hours is eligible to a third of a pint of free milk.

The Nursery Milk Scheme, which was started in the 1940s, funds free milk for 1.5 million children in Britain in around 55,000 childcare establishments.

The consultation will address issues such as a cap for the price which is able to be claimed back by childcare establishments and contracts to establish a set price for milk providers.

"Over recent years the prices claimed for milk supplied under the scheme have risen significantly, with some claims as high as 92p a pint. This has driven the total cost of the scheme up from £27m in 2007/08 to £53m 2010/11, and this trend looks likely to continue with costs potentially rising to £76m by 2016."

"The purpose of this consultation is to explore options for modernising and simplifying the operation of the Nursery Milk Scheme while ensuring that no parent, child or childcare provider is disadvantaged, and to look for ways to further improve its value for money." 

 

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