The 30 Hour Education and Childcare Offer Explained
Since September 2019, the Welsh government has been piloting 30 hours of free education and childcare for three and four year olds living in Wrexham County Borough. Parents have been delighted to access free education and childcare.
Since the introduction of the free childcare element, some school nursery classes in Wrexham have experienced a drop in attendance as parents are beginning to choose childcare above education.
Here are some facts you may want to consider if you are an eligible parent:
Will my child and I meet the criteria?
You will need to be a resident in the borough of Wrexham to access this offer. Your child can access both education and childcare, from the start of the term following their third birthday until the September after they turn four. Term dates are published on Wrexham Council’s website. The education element is a universal offer, open to all eligible children.
How do I apply?
For the Early Education or Nursery Education offer you need to make an application to Wrexham Council. wrexham.gov.uk and follow the links for school admissions. To access the childcare offer, Wrexham parents can check their eligibility and apply online at: www.flintshire.gov.uk/wrexhamchildcareoffer
Can you explain the two different parts of the combined offer?
Statutory Education is either 10 hours a week of Early Education or 12.5 hours of Nursery Education.
Parents can then claim the remaining hours in childcare. So, that’s 20 hours of childcare if you use 10 hours of education, or 17.5 hours of child-care if you use12.5 hours of education. Y
ou can’t claim over 20 hours of childcare in term time, but if eligible, you can claim up to 30 hours of childcare for up to nine weeks in the school holidays.
What are the benefits of the education offer?
Children accessing the educational element of the offer will follow the Foundation Phase curriculum in line with schools. Many teachers report that children who have previously taken up their early education or nursery entitlement are much quicker to settle into school, and they have already started to learn skills, giving them a head start in confidence and independence.
Members of staff are regularly trained in line with local and national updates. Settings that deliver Early Education must be approved, and are inspected by Estyn in line with schools.
Will this pilot continue in the future?
As the government has spent a large amount of time and resources on piloting the scheme it is very likely that the 30 hour offer is here to stay. However, it is currently in pilot form and may look slightly different when it is rolled out fully in 2020.
There is no guarantee that an early education place or nursery place will guarantee a school place.