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Cabinet Secretary outlines progress of Childcare Offer for Wales

Following previous updates by PACEY Cymru on the Childcare Offer, Communities and Children’s Secretary Carl Sargeant has outlined progress on the Childcare Offer for Wales including the confirmation that Caerphilly will be joining six other local authorities in testing the Childcare Offer for Wales from September 2017.  He also provided further details on the precise areas within those local authorities where the offer will be available.

In addition to Caerphilly, the local authorities that will test the offer are Anglesey and Gwynedd (working jointly), Blaenau Gwent, Flintshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Swansea.

The Welsh Government will spend £10 million in 2017-18 to take forward the development of the offer. The vast majority of the funding will be allocated to the local authorities to pay for government-funded childcare during early.

Projects offering 30 hours of free early education and childcare per week to 3 and 4 year olds will be taken forward from September 2017, in the following local authorities:

Anglesey and Gwynedd will work together to test the offer: Anglesey will test the Offer in the areas of: Menai Bridge, Llandegfan, Llanfairpwll, Beaumaris and Llangoed; the villages of Niwbwrch, Dwyran, Brynsiencyn, Llangaffo, Llanddaniel and Llanedwen; and the town of Llangefni and Talwrn.  Gwynedd will test the offer in: the well-being area of Bangor which includes Bethesda; the well-being area of Porthmadog which also includes Criccieth, Penrhyndeudraeth, Harlech and Garndolbenmaen; the well-being area of Ffestiniog which includes areas down to Trawsfynydd; and the well-being area of Dolgellau which includes the area around Barmouth, Corris, Dinas Mawddwy, Dyffryn Ardudwy and Llanbedr. From January 2018, the well-being  area of Caernarfon which includes Bethel, Cwm y Glo, Bontnewydd, Deiniolen, Llanberis, Groeslon, Llanllyfni, Clynnog, Llanrug, Llanwnda, Penisarwaen, Penygroes, Talysarn and Waunfawr will also be testing the offer.

Blaenau Gwent: Blaenau Gwent will implement the offer across the whole local authority from September 2017.

Caerphilly: Caerphilly will test the offer in the Mid-Valleys East region which incorporates urban areas such as Blackwood, Newbridge and Crumlin as well as a number of smaller communities.

Flintshire: Flintshire will test the offer in specified areas of Buckley, Bagillt and Broughton.

Rhondda Cynon Taf: Rhondda Cynon Taf will test four school catchment areas spread across the three valleys and one Welsh-medium catchment area to ensure an even spread across the authority.  These are Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun, Bryncelynnog, Ferndale and Mountain Ash school catchments.

Swansea: Swansea will test the offer in wards spread across the city including Dunvant, Penclawdd, Llangyfelach, West Cross, Morriston, Pontarddulais and Gorseinon.

PACEY Cymru has also recently published answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions raised by childcare providers around the Childcare Offer in Wales which provide information on the position and direction so far.