An independent evaluation of the second year implementation of the Childcare Offer for Wales.
The findings of the second year evaluation are overall positive. A majority of parents have reported either being financially better off, able to afford more formal childcare and/or improved their employment prospects. Whereas providers have reported positive effects for sustainability and profitability.
The evaluators have recommended the Welsh Government give further consideration to:
- encouraging further consistency in early years education policies across Wales to ensure the sustainability and viability of the wider Childcare Offer
- simplifying the delivery of the Offer in considering future policies around its provision and the development of the vision for an integrated Early Childhood Education and Care system
- making further information, guidance and example scenarios available to parents and providers relating to the availability of Offer funded childcare during school holidays
- the way in which funded childcare during school holidays is included within the Offer
- reviewing the current funding rate paid to providers delivering Offer funded childcare
- making further information and guidance available to local authorities and providers to enable better understanding of how the additional support grant can or should be used
- providing further information and guidance relating to additional charges for local authorities as well as providers, potentially alongside examples of sample contracts and invoices
- continuing a focus on more and clearer information for parents on the range of funding options available to help with childcare costs
- implementing a national central administration system as soon as possible.
- continued information guidance and support for local authorities in relation to identifying and checking the employment eligibility of some self-employed parents.
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