Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services,
Rebecca Evans MS, Minister for Finance and Local Government
The childcare sector plays a vital role in our economy, offering positive and caring environments for our children and helping parents to access employment, education or training.
In April 2019, our small business rates relief scheme was enhanced to provide 100% relief to all registered childcare providers in Wales for a three-year period. This was designed to help the sector to deliver our childcare offer of 30 hours of early education and childcare and so help working parents of three to four-year-olds access employment opportunities.
To help providers recover from the pandemic, we are extending this enhanced rates relief for registered child care providers for an additional three years, to 31 March 2025. The scheme will provide an estimated £9.7m of additional support to this vitally important sector over the period.
This three-year extension will support those settings who are facing significant financial challenges as a result of the pandemic and will help secure the level of provision that children and parents need and rely on.
This announcement supports our commitment to continue to prioritise investment in the childcare sector, as set out in our 10-year Childcare, Play and Early Years workforce plan. It also recognises the essential service childcare settings continue to provide as an integral part of the economic and employment infrastructure, vital to Wales’ economic recovery from the pandemic.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish us to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns, we would be happy to do so.