Communities and Children’s Secretary Carl Sargeant today visited The Family Centre in Barry to see the benefits of the Welsh Government’s Flying Start programme.
In Flying Start areas quality part-time childcare is available for 2-3 year olds as well an enhanced Health Visiting service and parenting support. The £367m programme, which started in 2012, supported over 37,000 children and their families last year.
While at The Family Centre, which provides childcare through both the Welsh and English languages to 96 children a day, the Minister chatted to both parents and childcare providers about the Welsh Government’s plans to offer working parents of 3 and 4 year olds 30 hours a week of free early education and childcare, for 48 weeks of the year.
Mr Sargeant was keen to listen to their views on how the new scheme could best meet parents’ needs.
“Parents, particularly women, tell us access to affordable childcare is one of the reasons they don’t seek paid employment. This is why providing 30 hours of free childcare to working parents of 3 and 4 year olds for 48 weeks a year, the most generous offer in the UK, 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. That’s why we are so keen to talk to parents and those in the childcare sector to understand what is needed and how best to make it work for all involved.”