Applications set to open soon for flagship free childcare scheme

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Also up for discussions at Bridgend Council’s cabinet meeting tomorrow is the council’s implementation plan for the Welsh Government’s flagship free childcare scheme – a Labour manifesto commitment from the 2016 Senedd election (pdf).

Following the (narrow) passing of the Childcare Funding Act at the end of 2018 – which you can read about in glorious boring detail at Senedd Home – the scheme is set to be fully rolled-out across Wales by 2020.

The scheme will provide 30 hours of free childcare for 3 and 4-year olds of working parents who earn under £100,000 a year. This free childcare will be available for 48 weeks a year and, to be eligible, parents must earn the equivalent of 16 hours a week at minimum or living wage.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council will administer the scheme on Bridgend’s behalf and deal with applications, payment and eligibility enquiries from parents and childcare providers alike – I’m sure there’ll be more details on this on the Bridgend Council website and in the local press soon.

There are no direct costs to Bridgend Council as the entire scheme is being funded by the Welsh Government.

If the Cabinet agrees, applications will open soon and the scheme will start to be funded from the beginning of summer term 2019 (29th April).

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