Flintshire County Council looks set to extend the Welsh Government’s childcare free offer to other areas of the County when members of the Social and Health Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee meet o Thursday.
Flintshire was one of six Councils whose bid to become an early adopter was successful and the offer is currently being piloted in Flintshire, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Swansea, Blaenau Gwent and Rhondda Cynon Taf.
The aim of the 30 hour childcare offer is to mitigate against the effects of poverty and reduce inequalities.
The focus of the pilot in Flintshire is to test the offer in areas of low and high employment, across travel to work routes, including travel outside Wales, and through a mixture of maintained and non-maintained settings, area’s chosen include Buckley, Bagillt and Broughton.
The first children took up the offer on 4 September 2017, with 215 applications having been received.
Flintshire have been successful in automating the application process enabling parents to register on line and self-select registered childcare providers from the registered 134 providers.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said:
“If this rollout is approved, it will mean that the original target figure of 441 children will be increased to 748 children.
The work done to date by the Childcare Pilot Team has been outstanding and this will continue to ensure that the scheme is a success.
Further rollout of this offer means we can maximise the take-up ensuring we help as many working families as possible.
We will continue to publicise and promote the offer in a variety of ways including presentations to schools, town and community councils and childcare providers.”
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, said:
“Flintshire works hard to support local families. Helping hard working parents to balance raising children with work needs childcare to be more flexible as well as more affordable.
Our partnership with the Welsh Government in supporting more families to access childcare than ever before is a key step in delivering that commitment.Enc. 1 for Free Childcare Offer