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£2.5m Funding to Support Implementation of Childcare Offer in RCT

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RCT Council has received £2.5m Welsh Government funding for projects at Tonyrefail Community School, Gwauncelyn Primary, Dolau Primary and Cwmlai Primary – to support implementation of the free childcare offer.

Parents across Rhondda Cynon Taf can now take advantage of Welsh Government’s Childcare Offer, after it was extended to include the whole of the County Borough from September 2018. The extension to all wards in the County Borough represented excellent progress in delivering the scheme, after the initial pilot commenced in September 2017. It offers working parents 48 weeks of combined education and funded childcare for three and four-year-olds – from the term following their third birthday to the September following their fourth birthday.

This is provided that both parents (or one, if a single parent) are working or self-employed, and earn a minimum weekly equivalent of 16 hours paid at the National Minimum Wage, and no more than £100,000 per parent each year.

At the Cabinet Meeting on May 8, Members were informed of a successful bid to Welsh Government for grant funding to help implement the childcare offer – with £2.598m received for specific projects. If followed an invitation from Welsh Government in August 2018 to submit a bid and business case.

The Council submitted a shortlist of projects, and those successful were:

  • The creation of a new childcare facility at Tonyrefail Community School (£125,000).
  • The relocation of an existing childcare facility at Gwauncelyn Primary School to a new location on the school site (£745,000).
  • The relocation of two existing childcare facilities at Cwmlai Primary School to a new location on the school site (£745,000).
  • The creation of a new childcare facility at Dolau Primary School (£730,000).

Councillor Christina Leyshon, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said:

“I’m delighted the Council was successful in its bid for £2.5m funding from Welsh Government, to help implement the childcare offer in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Existing childcare facilities at Gwauncelyn and Cwmlai Primary Schools will be improved, with new facilities created at Tonyrefail Community School and Dolau Primary.

“I continue to urge working parents across the County Borough, who don’t already benefit from the programme, to find out more about it. The programme is designed to overcome one of the biggest barriers preventing parents returning to employment – supporting them back into work. More information is available from the Council, and applications can be made on its website.

“On Wednesday, Cabinet agreed that the grant-funded capital works will be included in the Council’s capital programme. It is anticipated that the majority of building works will be completed by the end of September 2020.”

The Council was also successful in its bid for a ‘Small Capital Works’ grant, which would enable childcare providers to apply to the Council to fund small works – ranging from the installation of ramps to new equipment.

The Council has also received funding for a Project Officer to manage all projects listed above. Total funding for these two separate elements is £253,000.