Parents doing jobs critical to Wales’ response to coronavirus will get free childcare during the pandemic.
The Welsh Labour Government is launching a coronavirus childcare assistance scheme to support Wales’ critical workers.
Under the new plans, councils will be able to use funding from the Welsh Labour Government’s Childcare Offer to support registered childcare providers to care for pre-school-aged children of critical workers. Children who are considered vulnerable will also be included in the scheme.
The changes will cover the next three months and provide care for children under five.
Wales’ existing childcare offer provides 30 hours of early education and childcare to the working parents of three and four-year-olds across for 48 weeks of the year.
The existing offer will be suspended for three months and replaced with the coronavirus childcare assistance scheme to support critical workers and vulnerable children.
The Welsh Government will honour its commitment to continue to pay childcare providers for the hours of childcare already booked under the childcare offer for three months.
Welsh Labour Deputy Minister for Health and Social Care, Julie Morgan, said:
“It’s of paramount importance that parents who are critical workers – those on our frontline – do not face barriers in the fight against Coronavirus.
We’re at a point where most families are caring for their children at home, so now it makes sense to look at what more we can do with our childcare funding, especially in support of those working on our frontline.
The coronavirus childcare assistance scheme will ensure parents, who are critical workers, will get the childcare they need, and childcare providers will have security about how their businesses will operate.
I also want to pay tribute to our childcare providers, including our Flying Start settings, who have stayed open to care for these children. This has helped support our response to coronavirus and to provide safe care for those who need it at a particularly challenging time.”
Guidance about the new arrangements will be published shortly.