Posted: Thu 23rd Mar 2017

Swansea Families To Benefit From Free Childcare

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 23rd, 2017

Families in seven Swansea communities are set to benefit from 30 hours a week of free early years education and childcare under a pilot programme that could be extended city-wide. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Welsh Government plans to offer the provision for three and four-year-olds for 48 weeks of the year, including school holidays, with testing of the offer from September 2017. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Swansea Council is one of seven local authorities in Wales to have been asked to run a limited trial of the scheme to iron out any issues before it is rolled out nationally. The council is working at both national and local levels to develop the systems and processes for the scheme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Some of the wards suggested have schools that already provide after-school and holiday childcare on site, while others have lower in-school provision but higher levels of external providers. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Provision for both English and Welsh speakers and children with disabilities is being taken into account. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The pilot areas that will be tested from September 2017 this year will be Dunvant, Penclawdd, Llangyfelach, West Cross, Morriston, Pontarddulais and Gorseinon. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The choice of childcare for eligible children will be made by their parents or carers. Parents will be able to choose any CSSIW registered childcare provider across Swansea that formally signs up to the pilot scheme, regardless of location. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The council’s Family Information Service team is holding a few engagement sessions with registered childcare providers on March 29 and April 3 as part of the process of developing the local systems to manage the pilot. Invites have been issued to all registered Swansea childcare providers. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In the meantime, any further queries can be directed to the Family Information Service on 01792 517222. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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