Posted on: Tuesday 4 September 2018
This week, Torfaen Council in conjunction with Blaenau Gwent Council are rolling out the new Welsh Government Childcare Offer for three and four year olds in Torfaen.
The Childcare Offer for Wales will provide 30 hours a week of Government funded early education and childcare for working parents of three and four year olds in Wales, for 48 weeks of the year.
To be eligible, parents must be working more than the equivalent of 16 hours at national minimum wage and be resident in Torfaen, however, the childcare can be accessed through registered childcare providers both in Torfaen, and outside the borough.
The administration of the scheme will be hosted by Blaenau Gwent Council who will work with Torfaen to deliver the offer. Blaenau Gwent will deal with applications for parents living in Torfaen, determining eligibility and issuing childcare booking forms, signing up childcare providers in Torfaen and dealing with payments and providing information to Welsh Government.
The application process for parents whose children would start nursery this September went live in July. Since then, Torfaen Family Information Service have dealt with 677 enquiries relating to the Childcare Offer, with 274 parents taking up the offer so far.
Cllr Mandy Owen, Torfaen’s Executive member for Children and Young People, said: "I would encourage all working parents with three and four year old children to apply for the offer. With an upper limit cap of £100,000 per parent, this truly is a fantastic offer which will enable parents to potentially increase their hours of work and earn more without receiving any deductions within the childcare and early education offer.”
As well as parents benefiting from the Childcare Offer, local childcare providers have also been voicing their approval. Susan Driscoll from Busy Bee’s in Blaenavon said: “We are thrilled to be able to take part in the childcare offer. We believe that with careful management we can really improve our sustainability and maintain flexibility for working families where it is practicable.”
Manager Nikola Masters from Osbourne lodge Nursery in Pontypool said: “We have seen an increase in the number of days the children are attending our nursery as many parents have been able to increase the number of days they work or stop using extra ad-hoc care, due to the extra help with the childcare costs.”
For more information about the offer, and for information on childcare options, please contact Torfaen Family Information Service on 0800 0196 330 or visit www.torfaenfis.org.uk
Alternatively you can request an application by contacting Blaenau Gwent Family Information Service on 08000 32 33 39 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org