New research published today shows that families from across Wales who receive the Welsh Governments Childcare Offer are seeing many benefits.
- 84% have more disposable income
- 57% feel work related decisions are more flexible
- 56% have more opportunities to increase earning
- 45% more opportunities for more training, learning and development
The independent evaluation also showed that the Offer is particularly benefiting families on a low income. 66% of parents accessing the Offer during the summer term of 2019 earned equivalent or below the national average annual salary level. Alongside financial benefits many parents interviewed reported that they had reduced stress and anxiety as they were able to secure childcare for their children.
The survey also showed that 39% of parents using the Offer were accessing Welsh-medium childcare for their children.
The Childcare Offer for Wales provides 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.
In August this year the Offer was available in all 22 local authorities in Wales, delivered over a year earlier than originally planned. The evaluation is the first time people from across Wales have given their feedback, with the previous report only covering the seven authorities initially trialling the Offer.
Alongside seeking parent’s views, the research also spoke to childcare settings who provide the Offer. Almost two thirds (65%) of providers surveyed during the second year, believe that it had a positive impact on their business profitability.
Nearly two thirds (62%) also noted that the Offer had a positive effect on the sustainability of their setting. 36% had seen an increase in the number of children who attended their setting from the previous year.
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan, said:
The Childcare Offer for Wales is delivering many positive benefits for families. Alongside the financial assistance it’s particularly heartening to hear that parents believe the Offer is benefiting their overall well-being.
The Welsh economy is also receiving a boost thanks to the Offer - not just childcare settings who have seen increased profitability but also other businesses who benefiting from families having more disposable income.
I want to thank everyone in the childcare sector, local authorities and other relevant parties who help deliver the Childcare Offer and have played a huge role in supporting families.