Huw Irranca-Davies , the Minister for Children and Social Care for the Welsh Government has issued a Written Statement giving an update on the Childcare Offer for Wales.
As you are aware from previous news stories early implementation of the offer is underway in a number of Early Implementor Local Authorities in Wales. These are Anglesey, Gwynedd, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Flintshire, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Swansea. Up until now, Blaenau Gwent has been the only local authority piloting the offer across the whole authority. In the others, the offer has been available in agreed areas, enabling Welsh Government to test a range of aspects and issues impacting delivery and take-up and learn from this to inform further policy and system development.. There is also an independent evaluation of the early implementation offer underway to inform the future implementation of the childcare offer.
The Minister has confirmed the expansion in the existing Local Authorities as follows:
- Anglesey: to be available across the whole local authority from April 2018.
- Gwynedd: to be available across the whole local authority from April 2018.
- Caerphilly: to be available across the whole local authority from April 2018.
- Rhondda Cynon Taf: to include the wards of Brynna, Llanharan, Llanharry, Talbot Green, Graig, Rhydyfelin Central, Taff’s Well, Treforest and Hawthorn with immediate effect. To include all remaining areas within the authority by September 2018
- Flintshire: Since this statement was published it has also been confirmed that the offer will be available across the whole authority from May 2018.
- Swansea: discussions are ongoing with a view to rolling out the offer fully across the authority as soon as possible.
The Minister stated 'I am very grateful to the early implementer local authorities for their efforts in delivering the childcare offer to date. I would also like to thank the childcare sector for their support including the positive way they have worked with us to ensure there is a good awareness of the childcare offer.'
The #TalkChildcare campaign continues and will include further engagement with childcare providers, through online questionnaires, focus groups and direct consultation. Welsh Government have committed to full roll-out of the Childcare Offer in all local authorities in Wales by September 2020 with expansion and testing of the delivery of the offer in new local authorities from September 2018 onwards. PACEY Cymru will provide further updates as they are published.
Read the full statement here English Cymraeg