- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Mid and West Wales councils are to receive £420,434 to help provide quality, affordable child care out of school hours, the Welsh Labour Government has announced.
Regional AM Joyce Watson greeted the funding on the same day that the Family and Childcare Trust reported that many parents are paying more for childcare than the average mortgage bill.
Mrs Watson said:
“Inaccessible and cripplingly expensive childcare is a huge barrier to parents going back to work once they have started a family. It traps families in poverty, means children miss out on vital early years education and deprives the economy of tax payers. This money will help more families organise childcare around their personal circumstances, enabling them to work or study the hours that suit them.
The Out of School Childcare grant helps local authorities to assist families who wish to access childcare before and after the school day. It provides all local authorities with additional funds to coordinate and run wrap around care for children, helping parents and carers to work, train or study for future employment.
As well as childcare, the funding can be used to support holiday clubs and play schemes during the school holidays, supporting working parents. The money – for the financial year 2014 /15 – can be used for a wide range of activities that support childcare, including:
• Childcare provision for disadvantaged families.
• Specialised one-to-one childcare for disabled children.
• High quality training for childcare providers.
• Start-up grants for childcare providers, especially in rural areas of Wales.
• Support for childcare provision in the medium of Welsh.
Part-time childcare costs for a family of two children have overtaken the average UK mortgage bill by 4.7 per cent, according to new research from the Family and Childcare Trust.
Childcare costs are outstripping other household bills. Twenty five hours of childcare in a nursery for a child under two costs an average of £109.89 a week in Britain – twice the price of a weekly household food shop.
The trust says childcare in England, Wales and Scotland has risen by 27 per cent since 2009, while wages have stayed the same.