Education Ministry says budget for breakfast clubs 'more than adequate' despite cuts

Education Ministry confirms funding for breakfast clubs has been cut but clarifies that Klabb 3-16 afterschool service budget remains untouched

Breakfast clubs in all State schools were introduced in 2014 as a measure to help working parents (File photo)
Breakfast clubs in all State schools were introduced in 2014 as a measure to help working parents (File photo)

Updated with Education Ministry's comments on Monday at 10:30am

The Education Ministry is insisting that funds for the Breakfast Club service in State schools "are more than adequate" despite a reduced budget allocated for next year.

The budget estimates show that €1 million have been allotted for the Breakfast Club in 2024, a reduction of €200,000 over the approved estimate for this year.

"The Breakfast Club budget allocated for next year is more than adequate and is closer to the amount we actually spent this year on the service," a ministry spokesperson told MaltaToday.

As for the afterschool Klabb 3-16 service, the spokesperson clarified that the budget has not been slashed but was split up between the afterschool service and the Skola Sajf summer school service.

"Last year these two services offered by the Foundation for Educational Services were grouped under a single line item in the budget for a total of €9 million. Budget 2024 contains two separate line items: the Klabb 3-16 with a budget of €4.8 million and Skola Sajf with a €5 million budget," the spokesperson said, adding that the combined budget for these two services is actually €840,000 more next year.

MaltaToday had reported that the budget for Klabb 3-16 afterschool service was slashed based on the line item in the budget estimates, which gave no indication that the reduction was a result of the services being split.


According to information submitted in parliament last May by Education Minister Clifton Grima in reply to a question by Labour MP Carmelo Abela, there are 37 centres offering the Klabb 3-16 service, catering for a total of 5,528 students. 

The afterschool service, which is available until 6pm, helps students with their homework and also offers art, drama, physical education, games, and other fun activities. 

The service is offered at a nominal price of 80c per hour but students on Scheme 9 and those referred by the Foundation for Social Welfare Services do not pay. 

Breakfast clubs are organised by the individual schools and are supervised by teachers and LSEs against extra remuneration.

The breakfast club is offered in all State schools, enabling working parents to take their children to school as early as 7am where they will also benefit from a breakfast meal. 

Both services had been championed by the incoming Labour government in 2013 as tools to help working parents better manage their work-life balance. 

But next year will also see the ‘head of school fund’, introduced in the last couple of years to give heads €10,000 to assist students coming from needy families, has also been cut to €750,000 from €1 million. A separate vote, the social fund for students in difficulty, meanwhile, will remain static at €800,000.

This article has been updated to reflect replies received from the Education Ministry indicating that the Klabb 3-16 afterschool service budget was not slashed but the split up.