Councillors have agreed for a free early education and childcare scheme to be rolled out across the whole of Neath Port Talbot by the end of January 2019.
Known as the ‘Childcare Offer Wales’, the scheme provides 30 hours a week of funded early education and childcare for eligible working parents of 3 to 4 year olds, for up to 48 weeks of the year.
Councillors have agreed for the scheme to be rolled out to the remaining areas of Neath Port Talbot in a phased approach over three stages. Applications for parents eligible for the new phase will open on Monday December 3rd 2018, with the next phase opening on Wednesday 2nd January 2019, and the final phase on Thursday 31st January 2019.
The Welsh Government funded scheme was initially launched in September to 14 pilot ward areas, which has resulted in 150 children receiving 3,872 hours of funded childcare and over 75 providers registering to deliver the scheme.
Councillor Peter Rees, cabinet member for education, skills and culture, said:
“I am delighted that we are able to expand the Childcare Offer to all areas of Neath Port Talbot.
“This scheme makes a real difference to parents through reducing the strain on family income and helping to ensure childcare is not a barrier to taking up employment.”
The Childcare Offer is eligible to parents who live within one of the selected areas, have a child who is 3 or 4 years old, and earn on average a weekly minimum equivalent of 16 hours at national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW) or more.
If you are in a lone parent family you need to be working, and if you are in a two parent family you both need to be working. If you are self-employed or on a zero hours contract you need to be able to prove this by providing the relevant documents.
For further information and to apply for the Childcare Offer, visit Neath Port Talbot Council’s Family Information Service website, www.nptfamily.com/childcareoffer .
Phase 1 (September 2018): Aberavon, Baglan, Blaengwrach, Bryncoch North, Bryncoch South, Cymmer, Glyncorrwg, Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen, Gwynfi, Lower Brynamman, Onllwyn, Pontardawe, Resolven and Taibach.
Phase 2 (3rd December 2018): Allt-wen, Cadoxten, Cimla, Crynant, Neath East, Sandfields East, Sandfields West, Tonna, Trebanos, Ystalyfera
Phase 3 (2nd January 2019): Cwmllynfell, Godre’r Graig, Rhos, Coedfranc North, Coedfranc West, Briton Ferry West, Briton Ferry East, Port Talbot, Margam, Seven Sisters
Phase 4 (31st January 2019): Glynneath, Aberdulais, Neath North, Dyffryn, Neath Central, Bryn and Cwmavon, Pelenna, Coedffranc Central