The Welsh Government’s childcare offer for Wales helps working parents, supports your employment choices and reduces childcare costs.
What is the Childcare Offer for Wales?
The offer provides 30 hours of government funded early education and childcare to working parents of 3 and 4 year olds for 48 weeks per year. It builds on the existing universal entitlement to early education, which provides all 3 and 4 year olds with at least 10 hours of early education. The children of eligible working parents will receive up to 20 additional hours of funded childcare.
Am I eligible for the Childcare Offer for Wales?
An eligible working parent is one who is:
- Residing in Wales
- In work
- Earning at least the equivalent of 16 hours per week at the National Minimum Wage / National Living wage
- Earning no more than £100,000 per annum
In a single parent family that one parent has to meet these criteria. In a two parent household, both parents must meet the criteria. Step-parents or partners of parents who reside in the household with the child / children in respect of whom an application is being made must also meet the criteria. The reference to parents also encompasses guardians with parental responsibility, such as kinship carers, and foster carers.
The offer is open to all working parents, whether employed or self-employed, and it is also open to those with non-standard working patterns including zero-hour contracts. Apprentices are also eligible for the offer. Parents absent from work on statutory leave, such as maternity, paternity, parental, adoptive or sickness leave, remain entitled to the offer. In addition to this, two parent households are eligible where one parent meets the working requirements and one is in receipt of certain qualifying benefits.
How does the Childcare Offer for Wales work?
The offer consists of two elements: the early education, and the childcare.
No changes have been made to the arrangements for early education. You should still apply for this through your local authority, who will be able to advise you on early education providers in your area that you can use.
Local authorities are also handling applications for the childcare available to eligible working parents under the offer. If you are entitled to this childcare, once your application is approved you can use any childcare provider registered with and inspected by the Care Inspectorate for Wales for those hours.
I’m interested in the Childcare Offer for Wales, what do I need to do?
Applications for the offer are currently being managed by local authorities across Wales and you should contact your local Family Information Service to apply.