Denbighshire County Council has confirmed that the roll-out of the Welsh Government’s 30 hours a week funded education and childcare in Wales will be introduced in the county in January 2019, with the whole county benefitting from the roll-out at the same time.
In 2017 the Welsh Government (WG) pledged to offer 30 hours a week of government-funded early education and childcare to eligible working parents of three and four year olds, for 48 weeks of the year by September 2020.
Children will be eligible to access the offer from the beginning of the term following their third birthday until the September following their fourth birthday.
Eligible children will be entitled to up to 20 free hours of childcare during term time, on top of the 10 hours already provided by the Foundation Phase. During the school holidays, when there is no early education, the offer will provide 30 hours a week of childcare for up to nine weeks. Parents are able to choose any registered childcare setting that suits their personal and family circumstance, whether inside or outside of county, in agreement with the provider and the local authority.
Those not currently accessing the 10 hours a week free childcare provided by the Foundation Phase will be able to apply for 20 hours free childcare, as part of the scheme.
To be eligible for free childcare, parents/ guardians must meet a set of criteria: their child must be aged 3 or 4; parents/ guardians work and earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours at national living wage or national minimum wage, or are in receipt of specific caring benefits and they must live in Denbighshire.
Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Cabinet Lead Member for Education, Children, Young People and the Welsh Language, said: “We are delighted to be able to share this positive news.
“The aim of the Childcare Offer is to allow eligible parents to have more employment choices, increase their disposable income to help counteract poverty for those in low paid jobs and ensure that quality early education and childcare is provided to promote child development and prepare them for early education.
“Denbighshire County Council have worked hard with Welsh Government to lobby for the families in the county to benefit from the offer.”
Denbighshire will have the role of ‘Engagement Authority’ and will be sharing information and promoting the offer to parents/ guardians and to childcare providers within the county.
Information about the registration process will be publicised in due course but in the meantime, general information on childcare can be found on our website www.denbighshire.gov.uk/childcare