£60m awarded to grow 30-hour childcare in Wales

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The Welsh government has earmarked £60m to build or refurbish more than 100 Childcare settings as part of expanding 30-hour childcare.

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The Early Years Pupil Premium for three and four-year-olds will be introduced in 2015

The 30 hours is made up of the existing minimum of 10 hours of Foundation Phase and up to 20 hours of childcare with a registered provider.

The Welsh government said that up to 5,000 children were already benefiting from the offer.

The 115 projects awarded funding will focus primarily on supporting the co-location of existing Foundation Phase education provision with the new childcare offer on a single site, to make it as easy as possible for parents to access wraparound care, the government said.

Local authorities have also secured funding to operate a Small Grants Scheme in their area to enable private and voluntary childcare providers to access up to £10,000 of capital funding to carry out work on their premises.

Of the projects approved, which are spread geographically throughout Wales, £33m - around half of the grants awarded - will go to Welsh medium childcare settings, to expand their services and provide facilities for new settings.

This is designed to help deliver the Welsh government’s ‘Cymraeg 2050’ strategy and its aim of 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Deputy minister for health and social services, Julie Morgan, said, ‘The investment we’re making swill ensure the childcare offer is available parents across Wales by ensuring there is sufficient childcare in the right areas, with a specific focus on developing new provision in areas that currently lack childcare services, in particular rural and disadvantaged areas.’

She added that the investment would also support ‘the growth and sustainability of the childcare sector’ and help to create ‘high-quality jobs’.

Projects include:

North Wales
£2.5m for Anglesey to develop seven projects, including a childcare setting in Ysgol Santes Dwynwen
Mid and West Wales
£1.8m, including £800,000 to set up a childcare setting in a new Welsh medium school in Aberaeron
South West Wales
£3.3m for Neath Port Talbot to develop seven projects, including a new childcare setting at a Welsh medium primary school in Neath
South East Wales
£5m for Caerphilly to develop 10 projects, including four Welsh medium childcare settings

Comments
Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) Cymru, said, ‘We welcome the Welsh Government’s commitment to its Childcare Offer for Wales with this investment of £60m to expand the infrastructure needed to deliver it. We are pleased that the Welsh Government has listened to NDNA Cymru’s recommendation for grants to support private and voluntary sector childcare providers like day nurseries, enabling them to continue to provide flexibility and parental choice.

‘NDNA Cymru has worked hard to secure support for nurseries in Wales through 100 per cent Business Rate relief which comes in from April and the need to align the funding of Foundation Phase with the Childcare Offer. We continue to work with the Welsh Government to support the delivery of the Childcare Offer and ensure that private and voluntary nurseries remain an integral part of the future of childcare in Wales.’

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