Coronavirus COVID-19: the Childcare Offer is now suspended for new applications and a Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme has been introduced.
The Welsh Government has announced that the Childcare Offer will be suspended for new applications.
Critical workers and parents of vulnerable children will be able to access free childcare for pre-school-age children for three months from 1 April 2020.
Read the Welsh Government's written statement.
These changes mean that:
- the Childcare Offer is now closed to new applications
- the cohort of children due to start their Childcare Offer in the summer term, will not do so. Those who have already had applications approved, and those who have submitted applications that have not yet been processed, will be contacted to advise that their offer will not start
- Children already accessing the Childcare Offer as of 17 March 2020 will continue to be eligible for their booked term time hours, and providers can continue to claim these hours for a period of three months.
Read Welsh Government guidance for providers.
Read Welsh Government guidance for parents.
Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme
The Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme will be available for critical workers and vulnerable children.
- either parent* in a two parent family, or a lone parent, must be a critical worker according to the list published by Welsh Government
- the family must live in the Newport local authority area
- the child must be of pre-school age
*Please note: Government policy states that children should be cared for at home wherever possible.
Where one parent in a two parent family is a critical worker, every effort should be made for the child to be cared for at home. Likewise, critical workers who are able to perform their jobs effectively while working from home should do so.
The Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme should only be applied for where all options for the child to be cared for at home have been exhausted.
The application and payment processes for the scheme are being finalised and details will be shared as soon as possible.
Where critical workers who apply for the Scheme have accessed childcare since 1 April 2020, payments to providers will be backdated.