Flagship free childcare scheme to reopen in Wales

Parents of three and four year olds in Wrexham will once again be able to benefit from free childcare.

The Welsh Labour Government’s Childcare Offer was temporarily suspended in April to allow resources to be redirected to pay for the childcare needs of key workers.

With lockdown restrictions easing and schools set to reopen fully from September, Wrexham’s Member of the Senedd, Lesley Griffiths, has welcomed this latest move that will enable families to start accessing the funded childcare once again.

She said: “Suspending the Childcare Offer at the peak of the pandemic to support our key workers was always intended to be a temporary solution.  Many childcare providers did a fantastic job under incredibly difficult circumstances, staying open throughout the pandemic to enable critical workers to contribute to the national effort.”

“Pre-Covid, I visited a number of nurseries in Wrexham and I know many local families benefited from the Welsh Labour Government’s Childcare Offer.  After a particularly stressful and challenging period, we are slowly returning to a ‘new normal’ and I hope this announcement will provide reassurance to both parents and childcare providers in Wrexham.”

The Childcare Offer provides 30 hours a week of government-funded early education and childcare to working parents of 3 and 4 year olds for up to 48 weeks of the year.

Parents who would have been eligible for the Offer in the summer term will be able to submit their applications from mid-August.

Applications from parents whose child becomes eligible for the Offer in the autumn term will be considered from the start of September onwards.

Details on the timing and how to apply will be available on individual local authority websites and through Family Information Services.

Later this week updated guidance will be published for childcare settings on how they can operate safely, taking into account the First Minister’s announcement on Friday [31 July] that children under 11 do not need to socially distance.