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Childcare Offer for Wales

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Information on eligibility and how to apply for the Childcare offer for Wales.

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Applications for children born between 1 September 2019 and 31 March 2021 are open now. Please apply via the National Digital system.

Applications for children born between 1 April 2021 and 31 August 2021 will open on 19 June 2024.

Please note that this is for the Childcare Offer for Wales only. Applications for the 10 hours Early Years Education grant must be made directly to Conwy County Council. View more information on the Early Years Education Grant or contact Family Information Services on 01492 577850.

What is the Childcare offer?

  • Eligible children could be entitled to up to 20 free hours of government funded childcare during term time in addition to the 10 hours of Early Years Education funding.
  • During up to 9 weeks of school holidays, parents will be able to access up to 30 hours of funded childcare. 
  • Parents are able to choose any registered childcare setting that suits their personal and family circumstance, whether inside or outside of county, in agreement with the provider and the local authority. The childcare does not have to be delivered by the same provider as the Foundation Phase provision.  
  • The Offer starts from the term following the child’s third birthday and continues until the September following their fourth birthday when they begin full time education.

Your child turns 3 between? Your child can start on the offer at the
 1 September and 31 December  Beginning of the term on or after 1 January
 1 January and 31 March  Beginning of the term on or after 1 April
 1 April and 31 August  Beginning of the term on or after 1 September


Who is eligible?

To be eligible for free child care you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Your child is aged 3 or 4 years and is able to access Early Years Education
  • All parents, or co-habiting couples, in the household work the equivalent of at least 16 hours at national living wage or national minimum wage.(Parents will not to be eligible if they earn more than £100,000 per annum- this is a per parent limit)
  • One parent is employed / in education or training and one parent has substantial caring responsibilities based on specific benefits received for caring;
  • Both parents are employed / in education or training but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave;
  • Both parents are employed / in education or training but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick pay;
  • One parent is employed / in education or training and one parent is disabled or incapacitated based on receipt of specific benefits (please see  below);
  • Parents in education and training who are enrolled on a Higher Education (HE) undergraduate or postgraduate courses or those enrolled on a course at a Further Educations (FE) institution.  In both cases the course has to be at least 10 weeks in length and can also be a course delivered by distance learning;
  • Foster parents and parents on adoption leave as long as they meet the parental eligibility criteria and providing the childcare is in line with their foster child’s Care Plan / Adoption Support Plan.

Eligible benefits second parent may be in receipt of (parent 1 will need to be working equivalent of 16 hours per week):

  • Incapacity benefit;
  • Carers allowance;
  • Severe disablement allowance;
  • Long term incapacity benefit;
  • Employment and support allowance; or National insurance credits on the grounds of incapacity for work or limited capability for work.

Please note: Making an application does not guarantee a childcare place. Funding does not commence until after your application is approved and begins on the start date agreed with your childcare provider.

How to apply?

If you meet the eligibility criteria you can apply now.

*Please note, depending on your circumstances, claiming the 30 hours may affect some benefits you currently receive, such as:

  • Childcare element of Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Tax Free childcare and Childcare Vouchers
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction

Information: Effect on Benefits (Welsh Government)

More Information

Information for Parents and Carers 

Information for Childcare Providers


Do you need help?

If you would like some more information, need to check on your eligibility criteria or want information on Childcare please contact us.

Conwy Family Information Service
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