- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Press Releases
30 hours a week free child care pilot areas announced
Local AM Mike Hedges, AM for Swansea East has welcomed the Welsh Governments announcement of the six Local Authorities that have been chosen to work with the Government to pilot their new childcare offer.
The offer is the most generous childcare offer for working parents in the UK. The AM believes that it will reduce the strain on family income across Swansea East and help ensure childcare is not a barrier to parents getting a job or continuing to work.
The projects offering 30 hours of free early education and childcare per week to 3 and 4 year olds will be piloted from September 2017 in specified locations within Gwynedd, Anglesey, Flintshire, Swansea, Blaenau Gwent and Rhondda Cynon Taf. Gwynedd and Anglesey will be working together on a joint project.
Testing the offer will allow The Welsh Labour Government to make sure they:
- · align the hours of childcare with the hours of Early Years Foundation Phase in a way that works for parents and children;
- · have the right number of childcare places in the right parts of Wales;
- · develop and expand the workforce, with improved training;
- · support the sector to grow, providing the flexibility parents need;
- · learn what works and what doesn’t, building on experience and evidence to deliver for all working parents in Wales.
The Assembly Member is also pleased that Welsh Government have recognised that there are parts of Wales where there is a shortage of childcare they have committed to working with the sector to help it grow and thrive.
Mike said: “Parents in Swansea East regularly tell me that the cost of childcare is a real worry for them. Helping them meet the cost of childcare and reducing the strain it places on family incomes will benefit not just them but our entire community.”
“Today’s announcement is a huge step towards delivering this pledge in a way that will work for parents and work for those that will deliver this care”
“There are still challenges to be overcome but I know that our Welsh Labour Government are listening and working hard to ensure that working parents in Wales receive the best childcare package available anywhere in the UK”