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Exciting news on the Childcare Offer for Wales

Following lobbying on the issue of childminders being unable to access Childcare Offer funding for Wales for related children, and a call for change from PACEY Cymru, Welsh Government have today confirmed revised guidance.

Our previous news stories and a survey we ran have highlighted the issue faced by childminders in Wales caring for related children and looking to access Childcare Offer funding in Wales. 

PACEY Cymru are delighted to share that Welsh Government have today confirmed that from September 2018 a change in policy will be made for the Childcare Offer to allow registered childminders to receive funding for the care of a child who is also a relative but who does not live with them.

A statement released by Welsh Government on the expansion of the Childcare Offer for Wales and on this issue states 'Childminders are vital to ensuring there is capacity in the childcare sector to deliver the offer and in providing the wrap-around care often needed to allow parents to access both their child’s early education entitlement and additional childcare.'  They also stated they have changed the policy to 'allow registered childminders to receive funding for the care of a child who is also a relative.  These changes will be made from September 2018 to coincide with the expansion of our offer.  The guidance will set out that childminders must be registered with CIW to be able to access the Offer and that the care cannot be provided in the child’s home.'

Claire Protheroe, National Manager for Wales from PACEY Cymru said 'We are extremely pleased and welcome the news that a change of guidance has been announced.  The lobbying work we have undertaken, supported by members in Wales and other partners, alongside the support from some key Assembly Members has ensured a great outcome for childminders in Wales and will support improved emotional outcomes for children, parental choice of provision and childcare sustainability.  We are pleased that Welsh Government have listened to the strong views shared on this issue.  They have recognised the vital role that childminders have in supporting the success of the childcare offer.'

PACEY Cymru will share the official revised guidance document once it is produced.  Welsh Government stated that in the longer term they will need to amend the Child Minding and Day Care Exceptions (Wales) Order 2010 alongside other points that have arisen related to the Offer and PACEY Cymru will continue to work closely with Welsh Government and other key partners.

The issue around funding in England for related children under the 30 hours Childcare Offer continues to impact on childminders.  PACEY Chief Executive Liz Bayram stated 'We are delighted the Welsh Government has listened to the arguments for change that PACEY Cymru and our members have presented and have revised their guidance. Childminders will now be able to draw down funding for related children in their care in the same way that they can for other government childcare subsidies, just like their nursery and pre-school colleagues. This change has given a strong message to childminders in Wales that they are valued and trusted professionals. We will now focus our efforts on ensuring the DfE makes the same change for childminders in England too and the Welsh Government’s announcement is timely as we are launching a new stage of our campaign in England. This issue has dragged on for far too long; if Wales can do this, so can England.'

The Minister also announced that the offer is being extended to cover the following local authority areas from September 2018.

Cardiff – phased introduction
Newport – phased introduction
Torfaen – the entire county
Neath Port Talbot – phased introduction
Ceredigion – the entire county
Conwy – phased introduction
Wrexham – phased introduction

The offer is currently available in Anglesey, Gwynedd, Caerphilly, Flintshire, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea and Blaenau Gwent.  The announcement means the number of authorities delivering the offer will double by this September. The offer is expected to be delivered in at least some parts of most local authorities in Wales by September 2019.  PACEY Cymru have published Frequently Asked Questions on the Offer and update these on an ongoing basis. 

The full Ministerial Statement gives further information on the areas of exansion and other key points.

For further information or queries please contact the Wales office on 08458801299 or email paceycymru@pacey.org.uk

Coverage

BBC Wales - Childcare fees stopped for some relatives in pilot scheme‚Äč
Nursery World - Childminders in Wales win funding for related children