Councils In Wales To Receive £3m To Study Childcare Needs

Local authorities in Wales are being given £3m to assess future childcare needs, it was announced yesterday.

Outlining how the £15m being made available for childcare will be divided, Education Minister Jane Hutt said £3m will go to councils in the next three years to meet the requirements of the Childcare Act 2006.

The Act comes into force in April and the funding will enable officials to research and map the availability of childcare and decide what more is needed, she said.

Funds for Flying Start, providing childcare for some of the most vulnerable children in Wales, will increase by £8m over three years. This will allow a 10% increase in the number of children benefiting, including free childcare for up to 17,600 two-year-olds from low income families and in disadvantaged areas, Ms Hutt said.

More than £4m will also be ring-fenced for community-focused schools to provide out-of-hours childcare for adults on courses.