P-04-346 Free Childcare for 3-4 Year Olds in Wales

Petition wording:

We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to ensure that free childcare for 3-4 year olds is delivered more flexibly across Wales allowing parents, and in particular working parents, to choose when and where they access the free childcare.

Supporting Information:
All three and four year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free nursery until they reach compulsory school age however many parents living in certain local authority areas in Wales are unable to utilise this free childcare due to the restrictions in place.
For example, parents living in the Vale of Glamorgan are only able to redeem free childcare at nurseries attached to schools and this childcare is split into 2.5 hours a day from Monday to Friday.In Newport Council however parents are offered a wrap around service’ whereby 12.5 hours are available for parents to use against childcare provided in either a nursery school or private nursery setting of their choice.This essentially means that working parents in certain local authority areas who are unable to drop and collect their children for 2.5 hours of childcare a day are being discriminated against and losing out on free childcare whilst parents in other areas are receiving a disproportionate amount of money towards their childcare costs.I would urge the Welsh Government to standardise this system so that parents in all local authority areas can use a wrap around service’ thus making the free childcare accessible to all – including working parents.

Petition raised by: Zelda Smith

Date petition first considered by Committee: 29 November 2011

Number of signatures:67