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Free Healthy Nursery Meals

SELA child eating breakfast

The Council’s Free Healthy School Meals programme was extended to all school nursery classes and maintained nursery schools in the academic year 2019-20 as part of the Council's commitment to the best start in life.

It is the responsibility of each school to decide how this funding is used for lunches, breakfasts or to provide healthy snacks throughout the day. This is to best suit the needs of children, attendance patterns and on-site facilities.
Ideally, the funding should be used for healthy lunches or healthy breakfasts. Should a child not be able to attend either, the funding can be used for a healthy mid-morning or mid afternoon snack-meal.

The funding is £1.40 per meal. The number of meals per child is calculated based on their funded hours:

  • If a child is eligible for 30 hours of funding, the school will be allocated £7.00 a week (equivalent of 5 meals per week)
  • If a child is eligible for 15 hours of funding, the school will be allocated £4.20 a week (equivalent of 3 meals per week)

Two payments will be made per financial year; one in the summer term and one in the autumn term, and will be based on the most recent January census.

As with the Free Healthy School Meals programme a 91% attendance rule is applied to the funding. This is based on average sickness, absences and those who choose to opt out.

The school food team have put together some helpful guidance and resources for delivering good quality, nutritious Free Healthy Nursery Meals (pdf, 885kb).

If you have any questions about the programme please contact the team at schoolfood@southwark.gov.uk