Carl Sargeant outlines progress of Childcare Offer for Wales
Communities and Children’s Secretary Carl Sargeant today announced that Caerphilly will be joining six other local authorities in testing the Childcare Offer for Wales from September 2017.
The Cabinet Secretary made the announcement while visiting the Markham Community Playgroup.
During the visit, Carl Sargeant also gave further detail 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 implementation.
Carl Sargeant said:
“I have been pleased with the enthusiasm and flexibility shown by these early implementer local authorities to date and impressed with their local knowledge and understanding of the childcare sector. Having considered the numbers of children to be included in the offer within the initial six local authorities, I have been able to invite Caerphilly as an additional early implementer from September.
“These local authorities have engaged with parents and providers, as have we through our #TalkChildcare campaign. The messages the early implementers are hearing are very similar to the ones I am hearing around cost, access, flexibility, choice, and the logistical challenge of trying to balance childcare and work.
“I have been clear from the start that our childcare offer must work for parents: they must have choice and flexibility. It must work for providers so they can maintain quality and help foster our children’s development in safe and successful environments. I have now agreed that the seven local authorities involved will test different things in different places.”
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