Isle of Anglesey County Council will be one of seven local authorities piloting a new childcare scheme.
Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant, today (Thursday, March 23) announced more details about the £10million pilot project, which will include £1.87m to create a Gwynedd and Anglesey Childcare Unit.
Anglesey will be working in partnership with Gwynedd Council after a joint bid was approved by the Welsh Government last year. The scheme will see both counties offering 30 hours of free childcare a week for children aged between three and four years from September 2017.
Anglesey and Gwynedd will work together to test the capacity of childcare providers in rural areas where many people travel a fair distance to work, as well as Welsh Language provision and how the offer works across local authority boundaries.
The pilot will assist families with affordable and flexible child care of a high standard, support economic regeneration, reduce pressure on family income and risk of poverty, and help parents to work. It will also improve children’s welfare by giving them positive and valuable childhood experiences.
Using criteria provided by the Welsh Government, the following areas on Anglesey have been selected as part of the pilot scheme:
- Menai Bridge
- Beaumaris and immediate area
Anglesey Head of Lifelong Learning, Delyth Molyneux, said, “We’re extremely pleased to have been chosen as one of the seven local authorities in Wales to pilot this important new scheme. Finding affordable childcare can often be a barrier for parents looking for employment. However, by working with colleagues in Gwynedd and Welsh Government we aim to provide greater support for parents.”
“This joint bid also represents another positive example of joint working between Anglesey and Gwynedd Councils.”
Flintshire, Swansea, Blaenau Gwent, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Caerphilly will also be included in the pilot scheme.
Anglesey Supporting Families Unit Manager, Bethan Hywel Jones, added, “This is a fantasitc opportunity to work with the Welsh Government, parents and childcare providers, including schools, to trial this offer and ensure the best services for Anglesey children and families.”
Further information about how to register for the offer in time for September 2017 will be published on the Council’s website and social media accounts in due course.
Childcare provider meetings will be held within the designated areas and parents can also contact the Welsh Government via email: TalkChildCare@wales.gsi.gov.uk