The Welsh Government’s Childcare Offer for Wales means that most working parents of 3 to 4 year olds can now claim funds towards the cost of childcare.
This means 30 hours of early education and childcare in Wales for eligible parents.
The 30 hours is made up of a minimum of 10 hours of early education a week and a maximum of 20 hours a week of childcare. The exact amount of childcare you get depends on how much early education your local authority offers – your local Family Information Service can let you know what the Offer means for you in your area.
It’s available for 48 weeks of the year, meaning that the Offer can help you with childcare cover for some of the school holidays.
What is Early Education?
All children are entitled to early education (Foundation Phase Nursery) from the term after their third birthday. All local authorities provide a minimum of 10 hours per week early education, either in the local school or in a setting like a playgroup, a day nursery or a Cylch Meithrin.
During term time, this early education will be part of the Offer’s 30 hours. During the school holidays, when there is no early education, the Offer will provide 30 hours a week of childcare for eligible parents, for up to nine weeks.
Will I have to pay for anything?
The Offer funds a maximum of 30 hours of early education and childcare in Wales per week for up to 48 weeks of the year. The funding from the government is for the education and care the professionals within the setting provide. It does not include food, transport or off-site activities that incur an extra charge and providers will be able to charge you for these.
Do I have to use all 30 hours per week?
No. You can choose how much of the 30 hours you use for up to 48 weeks of the year. However, if you do not use all of your 30 hours in one week, you cannot use them in another week. You cannot swap education hours for childcare hours, or childcare hours for education hours. You can pay for additional hours of childcare yourself based on a private contract between you and your childcare provider.
What if my Child has additional needs?
Government help with childcare is available to all eligible parents but you and/or your provider may wish to contact your local authority who should be able to provide advice and details of any additional support available.
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