Testing of the Welsh Government’s Childcare Offer has begun in seven pilot areas across Wales.
Five pilot projects are underway in parts of Swansea, Flintshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly, while a sixth will be joint project in Gwynedd and Anglesey. They will test all aspects of the new Childcare Offer for Wales to ensure it will be accessible to parents and sustainable in the long-term once rolled out.
The offer will provide 30 hours a week of government funded early education and childcare for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds in Wales, for up to 48 weeks of the year. The current free early education provided by Foundation Phase will form part of this offer.
Communities and Children Secretary, Carl Sargeant said:
“Parents, particularly women tell us problems in securing affordable childcare is one of the biggest obstacles to seeking paid employment. This is why providing 30 hours of government funded childcare to working parents of 3 and 4 year olds for 48 weeks a year, is one of the key priorities for this government.
“Affordable, available and accessible childcare will enable parents to work, supporting our drive to increase economic growth, tackle poverty and reduce inequalities. It will also provide opportunities and long-term benefits for our children and improve their life chances.
“This is a very important commitment so we are determined to get it right. This is why we are testing the offer very carefully and why these pilot schemes will be so valuable in helping us understand how best to make it work for parents, providers and children."