Wales politics

Job hunters childcare scheme extended until 2020

Child playing with toys Image copyright PA

A scheme which offers help with childcare costs while unemployed parents find work has been extended.

The Parents, Childcare and Employment (Pace) programme was launched in 2015 and offers up to 25 hours of childcare for eight weeks, with the option to apply for longer-term help.

It targets parents who are over 25 and those who are younger but not in education, employment or training.

It will now run until 2020, having been originally due to end in March 2018.

Jade Kennedy, from Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan, has taken up a teaching assistant course where she will get help with childcare once she starts her placement.

She said: "It will benefit me and my child's life in the future and I look forward to qualifying."

Communities Secretary Carl Sargeant said 1,600 people had been helped since the Welsh Government launched the £13.5m scheme, which is jointly funded with the European Union.

"We're touching the hard to reach people now and that's why communities for work, pace programme, lift programme are all very specific about getting individuals who are furthest away from the job market into employment, giving them confidence and an opportunity to do that," he said.

"Where people aren't ready for that market we need to give them the skills to do that and with our advisors we can and we're seeing great success through that."

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