Following the announcement of the Childcare Offer in Wales and the previous PACEY update on this Welsh Government have confirmed details on the areas chosen to be pilot areas to support in development of the offer.
Six local authorities have been chosen to work with the Welsh Government to pilot the new childcare offer, Communities and Children Cabinet Secretary Carl Sargeant has announced.
Projects offering 30 hours of free early education and childcare per week to 3- and 4-year-olds will be piloted from September 2017 in specified locations within Gwynedd, Anglesey, Flintshire, Swansea, Blaenau Gwent and Rhondda Cynon Taf. Gwynedd and Anglesey will be working together on a joint project. Other early adopter areas will be added as the work to pilot the scheme continues.
In his statement in the Welsh Assembly Carl Sargeant said;
“Our plan is to work with the sector to ensure that the offer provides as much flexibility as possible. We want to make Welsh medium childcare a more attractive option for those who have not previously considered it; and to ensure sufficient provision for children requiring additional support to learn and develop. We will need to work all of this through with parents, providers and other stakeholders but I’m also keen to get on with work on the ground, so I am pleased to be able to announce today that we will begin testing the offer in parts of six local authorities from September 2017. Testing the offer will allow us to make sure we learn what works and what doesn’t, building on experience and evidence to deliver for all working parents in Wales.”
PACEY Cymru will continue to work on a national level with Welsh Government on the development of the offer and also on a local level, particularly with Local Authorities involved in the pilot. We continue to highlight the specific issues for the sector around childcare sustainability, affordability and quality and will provide further updates on the offer as this work develops.