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Childcare Funding (Wales) Act 2019

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The Childcare Funding (Wales) Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 30 January 2019.

Purpose of the Act

The Welsh Government is committed to providing 30 hours a week of government-funded early education and childcare for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds, for up to 48 weeks of the year. Removing barriers to employment by creating a generous childcare offer was a key commitment in Taking Wales Forward – the strategic plan for this Government term (2016-2021).

This piece of legislation facilitates the Childcare Offer by placing Welsh Ministers under a duty to provide funding for the purpose of securing the provision of childcare for the qualifying children of working parents and to specify in regulations the amount of childcare to be provided in accordance with this duty. 

The legislation makes it possible for the Welsh Ministers to gain access to information held by UK Government departments as far as that information is relevant to the determination of a person’s eligibility for the Offer.  This means that arrangements can be made for a single, national application and eligibility checking system for the Offer. 

A national system for managing applications and eligibility checking will mean that parents across Wales will have access to a single system and that they will be able to establish very quickly whether or not they are eligible for funding under the scheme.

This will remove some of the administrative burden on local authorities and avoid the need for parents to search high and low for evidence to support their application. 

The Act also enables penalties to be imposed in certain circumstances, for example if people knowingly provide false information to support their claim and will provide a route of appeal in relation to penalties and determinations of eligibility.

Next Steps

Work is now underway to implement the Act. Subordinate legislation will set out in detail the eligibility criteria for the Childcare Offer and specify the terms under which information will be shared between UK Government departments and the Welsh Ministers for the purpose of administering the Offer.

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Equality Impact Assessment (File size: 551KB)