Childcare Offer for Wales supports families with childcare costs
Written by the Welsh Government
The Welsh Government tells us how working parents in Wales can get extra financial support towards childcare and early education.
Working parents across Wales – do you know about the Childcare Offer for Wales?
The Welsh Government’s Childcare Offer for Wales scheme has already helped many parents and carers of children aged three and four from all over Wales to:
- return to work
- increase their working hours
- work more flexibly.
It has helped others to take up apprenticeship opportunities, develop their skills, change their job, or even start their own business.
What is the Childcare Offer for Wales?
The Childcare Offer for Wales provides government funding for up to 30 hours early education and childcare for working parents in Wales, for up to 48 weeks of the year.
During school term time, the 30 hours is split into two parts:
- a minimum of 10 hours of early education provision
- a maximum of 20 hours of childcare from a provider registered with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).
As well as 39 weeks of term-time funding, the Offer is also available for up to nine weeks of school holidays each year, with parents able to claim three weeks for every school term they access the Offer. The exact number of holiday weeks you can access depends on factors such as your child’s birthday and the date you begin taking up the Offer.
Funded childcare can be accessed through any private nursery, Cylch Meithrin (Welsh language playgroup), sessional care setting, playgroup or childminder that has agreed to deliver the Offer in your area and is registered with CIW. Early education can be accessed either in a school nursery or in a childcare setting approved to deliver early education by your local authority.
Contact your Family Information Service for local information, including which settings in your area deliver each element of the Offer.
How can it help me?
The Childcare Offer for Wales is available to help working parents in Wales. A little extra money each week could go a long way towards important provisions for your family, while a little extra time might offer you the opportunity to return to work or increase your hours.
Matt, a father based in Rhondda Cynon Taf, said:
‘The funding meant that my wife could go back to work for four days a week instead of three, which was a huge help and took the pressure off in more ways than just financially. I then recommended it to my family and friends, and they took up the Offer as well.’
As well as the many advantages for parents, let’s not forget about the benefits of attending childcare and early education for your child, such as developing and thriving among their peers, making friends and finding their way in the world.
How do I know if I’m eligible?
The good news is that most working parents living in Wales are eligible to take up the Offer. Check out the main criteria below, which should give you an idea of whether you should apply:
- Your child must be aged three or four
- You must be working and earning at least the equivalent of the national minimum wage at 16 hours a week, on average – this applies to single parents and to both parents in two-parent families
- You must earn less than £100,000 a year.
Check if you’re ticking all of the eligibility boxes.
Remember – the Childcare Offer for Wales is here to help families across the country. What would you do with a bit of extra financial support towards childcare? Perhaps it’s time to find out.
More information about the Childcare Offer for Wales