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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

County presses for free childcare funding

Denbighshire County Council has welcomed the “positive soundings” from Welsh Government Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care, Huw Irranca Davies to work with the county council to aim to introduce the free childcare scheme county-wide from April 2019.

The Council had written to the Minister, expressing disappointment that the county had not been included in the next tranche of areas which will receive the funding

Following positive and constructive discussions, the Minister has pledged, in principle and subjects to a number of factors,  to provide funding to all areas of Denbighshire at the same time, rather than a phased community by community approach.

Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Cabinet Lead Member for Children, Young People, Education and the Welsh Language, said: “This subject has been making headlines over recent weeks and we want to ensure that we do all we can in Denbighshire to bring funding to the county, to allow the free childcare scheme to progress.

“We want to make sure that the families who need this kind of support can actually receive it sooner, rather than later and at the same time.

“We wrote to the Minister following concerns raised locally about the roll-out of the scheme and the response from the Minister has been positive.  He’s engaged  with us and there have been very positive discussions between the Minister and the Council to work to try and make this happen.

“We will continue to press for the funding until it has been approved and, subject to approval, look forward to letting communities know how they can access the free childcare scheme in April of next year”.

The scheme would be delivered in partnership with Flintshire County Council and the capital funding available for the scheme would be administered through Denbighshire County Council, not individual nurseries.

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