Four Welsh youngsters are the stars of a new national campaign to tell eligible working parents across Wales that they can claim funded childcare for their three or four-year-old.
From today, the four children will be able to spot their faces on cinema and television screens and hear their voices on the radio, as they help the Welsh Government to launch a campaign to promote the Childcare Offer for Wales.
The Childcare Offer for Wales enables most parents of three to four-year-olds to claim funds towards up to 30 hours a week of childcare and early education, spread across 48 weeks of the year.
The four young screen stars are Hope Allsopp Green (4 from Cardiff), Johnny Jones (4 from Ynysybwl), Pippa Warrilow (4 from Church Village) and Henry Evans (3 from Cardiff). As part of the ad campaign, they say what they would buy if they were given a bit of extra money every month. The answers range from a blue dolphin – to buying Portugal.
Matt Warrilow, from Church Village, is the father of Pippa Warrilow, who stars in the ad. He was involved in the pilot scheme of the Childcare Offer for Wales. He said:
We thought Pippa would be a little bit apprehensive about being filmed for a TV ad, but we’d rehearsed a bit at home and she was fine. She was the one who said she’d like to buy Portugal if she had a bit of extra money each month as we’d just been there on holiday!
We received the Childcare Offer for Wales as part of the pilot scheme with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council. It was really straight-forward to apply, and it meant that my wife could go back to work an extra day a week, making life a bit easier for us as a family.
Pippa also benefited as she went to a childminder in our local area and it built her confidence by being with the other children.
The Childcare Offer for Wales is now available nationally and, according Welsh Government figures, almost 16,000 children are already registered in funded childcare as eligible working parents benefit from the Offer.
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
We know that the cost of childcare is a major concern for working parents. Our Childcare Offer reduces the financial burden on families and is helping to remove barriers to parents either taking up or returning to work if they wish.
Many children and their families have already benefitted from the Offer and I want to see many more take advantage of the support available.
The Childcare Offer for Wales is open to working parents of three or four-year-olds, who earn at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage (for 16 hours a week) and less than £100,000 each.
Hundreds of nurseries, child minders, Cylchoedd Meithrin, playgroups and crèches across the country are on board with the Offer, meaning parents can choose a childcare provider that best meets their and their child’s needs. The Offer is available for English, Welsh or bilingual childcare.