How childcare providers can provide care under the new coronavirus childcare assistance scheme.
We have announced that the Childcare Offer for Wales, which provides eligible families with up to 30 hours of government funded early education and childcare for 3 and 4 year olds, will be closed to children due to start after the Easter holidays . This is so that the funding can be used to support key workers with their childcare costs and support vulnerable children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will fund childcare costs for pre-school children (children aged from 0 to 5 years) of key workers, excluding childcare provider retention fees. We will also continue to fund childcare provision for vulnerable children.
This is initially for a 3 month period, at which time it will be reviewed.
Children already getting the offer
Where children were already eligible for and enrolled on the Offer before 18 March, we have committed to continue to pay for the hours of childcare booked under the Offer for a period of three months. This commitment was set out in a statement from the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services made on 18 March.
What this means
From 1 April local authorities have been told not to accept or process any new applications for the Childcare Offer for a period of three months.
Children who were due to start getting the Offer from the start of what would have been the summer school term will not do so until this suspension is lifted.
Childcare booked before this decision
Where children were already eligible for and enrolled on the Offer prior to 18 March, we have committed to continue to pay for the hours of childcare booked under the Offer for a period of three months. This commitment was set out in a statement from the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services made on 18 March.
Childcare providers can get the fund to look after pre-school children. You need to be registered with Care Inspectorate Wales.
You can still get the new fund even if you are not registered for the Childcare Offer.
What you can use the fund for
You can use the fund to pay for food and transport costs. For more information contact your local Family Information Service.
How to claim
You can claim payments from 1 April. You can also back date your payments from this date.
If you need to, you can claim every week. You need to check with your local Family Information Service.
Local authorities are currently setting up their payment process. More information is available from your local Family Information Service.
There is no set hourly rate. It is your local authority who set the method of provision and associated funding for their area for this fund.
Extra funding for vulnerable children who need extra support
You can apply for extra funding to look after vulnerable children who need extra support. You need to contact your local Family Information Service.
Support for childcare settings
We will fund childcare costs for pre-school children of key workers, apart from any retention fees charged by childcare providers.
To help ensure that the risk of virus spread for both staff and children is as low as possible, read our guidance on social distancing in childcare settings.
If I am to undertake a deep clean, will Welsh Government pay for this?
No. Childcare settings will be required to fund any deep cleans required.