Economy Secretary, Ken Skates has announced more than £100,000 to strengthen the childcare sector in Wales.
The additional money will be used to increase the number of childcare places available across Wales, including in Blaenau Gwent, Flintshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea, Caerphilly and Gwynedd and Anglesey – the seven local authorities chosen to work with the Welsh Government to pilot the new childcare offer from September 2017.
The funding will also help childcare businesses to manage their finances and will ensure they are able to access more targeted support and advice from the Welsh Government’s business support service, Business Wales.
Speaking about the funding, the Economy Secretary said:
“Developing a flexible childcare offer is a top priority for the Welsh Government, and one vital element of the challenge is ensuring the necessary childcare places are available to families right across the country.
“The additional funding I am announcing today will help to secure up to an additional 450 child care places across Wales over the next two years. It will also be used to improve the business support available to the sector including child minders and to help businesses improve how they manage their finances and grow sustainably.
“Ultimately it will be used to strengthen and develop the resilience of Wales’ childcare sector so it is well placed to deliver the flexible childcare offer that we know families right across Wales want and need.”
The Communities and Children Secretary, Carl Sargeant, said:
“Access to affordable, high quality childcare enables parents to work, thereby increasing economic growth and helping to tackle poverty and reduce inequalities. It also provides opportunities and long term benefits for our children and improves their life chances.
“I welcome this additional funding for childcare in Wales, and am looking forward to working with the Economy Secretary and the sector to increase the number of child care places available.”
Business Wales will begin offering proactive support to childcare sector businesses later this Autumn.