News | Gareth Axenderrie | Published: 16:11, Monday April 6th, 2020.
Last updated: 16:34, Monday April 6th, 2020
Welsh Government has announced a new Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme to support workers deemed as critical in Wales.
It has been announced that councils will be able to use funding from the Welsh Government’s childcare offer to support registered childcare providers caring for pre-school-aged children of critical workers.
Children who are considered vulnerable will also be included in the scheme.
It will cover the next three months and provide childcare for children under the age of five.
Wales’ current childcare offer provides 30 hours of early education and childcare to the working parents of three and four-year-olds for 48 weeks of the year.
This existing offer will now be suspended for three months and replaced with the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme to support critical workers and vulnerable children.
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Care, Julie Morgan AM, said: “It is of paramount importance that parents who are critical workers 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.
Welcoming the news, Dawn Bowden, Assembly Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, told Caerphilly Observer: “I am sure it will come as welcome relief to those critical workers who have very young children.
“The cost and worry of how those children will be looked after while they are on the frontline fighting Coronavirus will be removed and they can concentrate in the vital role they are performing knowing that childcare is taken care of.”
Guidance about the new arrangements will be published by the Welsh Government shortly.
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