Deputy Health and Social Services Minister Julie Morgan has announced an additional capital funding package of £7.7 million to help ensure parents throughout Wales can access the Childcare Offer.
Welsh Government’s Offer provides 30 hours a week of funded early education and childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds for up to 48 weeks of the year. It is now fully rolled-out and available to parents across the whole of Wales, a year earlier than scheduled.
The new funding includes £6.5 million for 12 individual projects across Wales, helping them to establish new childcare settings or refurbish existing facilities to meet the required standard that would be expected of a setting delivering the Offer.
The package also includes an additional £1.2 million for the Small Grant Schemes administered by local authorities due to increased demand from childcare providers. These schemes enable providers to access up to £10,000 of capital funding for building adaptations to better enable them to deliver the Childcare Offer.
This capital funding package takes the total Childcare Offer funding allocated since April 2019 to £81.1 million. Also from April 2019, childcare providers across Wales will be benefiting from 100% business rate relief, making them exempt from paying rates. This should help providers in terms of their sustainability and growth.
Julie Morgan, Deputy Health and Social Services Minister, said:
Enhancing childcare provision across Wales is a major priority for Welsh Government. Today’s announcement supports our commitment to reducing the financial burden on families and removing barriers to parents either taking up or returning to work if they wish.
This additional funding will ensure improved facilities as well as the creation of new childcare settings, directly benefitting parents and their children. We know that the cost of childcare is a major concern for working parents so I am very pleased that so many children and their families have already benefitted from the Offer.
Some of the projects receiving funding include:
- Ceredigion – Cenarth Primary School awarded an additional £370,500 to create a wraparound childcare facility, including Cylch Meithrin provision, a wraparound service for 3-4 year olds, and a new After School Club. This follows an allocation of £369,500 awarded in February 2019.
- Gwynedd – The Local Authority awarded £60,000 to enable it to appoint a project manager to oversee the capital investment programme.
- Gwynedd – Ysgol Beuno Sant, Bala awarded an additional £254,000 to enable the relocation of its Cylch Meithrin to a new site. This follows an allocation of £46,000 in February 2019.
- Newport – Gaer Community Centre awarded an additional £80,000 for remodelling work, following an allocation of £100,000 in February 2019.
- Wrexham – Homestead Nursery private nursery awarded an additional £30,000 to enable it to extend and increase capacity, following an award of £170,000 in February 2019.
- Wrexham – St Mary’s School, Overton awarded an additional £200,000 to extend the school premises and provide a permanent setting for the Overton Playgroup, in addition to an award of £200,000 in February 2019.