Wales politics

£60m free childcare funding approved by Welsh Government

Child playing with wooden train set Image copyright PA
Image caption Three and four-year-olds will be entitled to 20 hours free childcare a week on top of the existing 10 hours early education provision

£60m will be invested in more than a hundred new childcare projects across Wales, the Welsh Government has confirmed.

The money will be spent on 115 childcare settings, as part of the pledge to fund 30 hours of early education every week.

Ministers have promised to make the new childcare provision available to all working parents.

They said 5,000 children are already benefiting from the scheme.

Parents are being offered 20 hours free childcare on top of the existing 10 hours of early education provision.

The policy was initially criticised as some areas have had it since September 2017 while others were due to wait until 2020.

The Welsh Government said in December there would be childcare provision in all Welsh council areas by April.

Julie Morgan, deputy minister for health and social services, said: "The investment we're making will ensure the childcare offer is available to parents across Wales by ensuring there is sufficient childcare in the right areas, with a specific focus on developing new provision in areas that currently lack childcare services, in particular rural and disadvantaged areas.

"The investment will also support the growth and sustainability of the childcare sector across Wales, helping to create high-quality jobs in the sector."

Just under half of the funding is being invested in Welsh-medium childcare provision.

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