Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty
A twelve week consultation seeking views about changes to the registration of childcare provision in Wales closed on 5th June 2015. It covered a number of issues surrounding childcare registration and over 130 responses were received.
A summary of these and the Welsh Government’s response to all the issues raised will be published later this autumn. However, there is one which I can publish today.
The Consultation responses demonstrated wide scale support from the childcare sector for extending registration to children aged 8 years and over. From 1 April 2016, therefore, the upper age limit for the registration of childcare provision will be extended from 8 to12 years. This is the upper age limit at which most parents use formal childcare.
This would also bring the system of registration in Wales in line with other parts of the UK, align it with the new Tax Free Childcare scheme in 2017 and help reduce the risks of bringing other youth support activities into the scope of childcare registration.
A number of more wide ranging comments and representations were made about the National Minimum Standards (NMS) for Regulated Child Care. I will be considering these in more detail and will make a further announcement later this year when the full response to the consultation is published.
The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) will be contacting providers on the childcare register to advise them of these changes and of the introduction of their new inspection framework. CSSIW will run national consultation events later this autumn to discuss their plans to implement these new arrangements from April 2016. As a part of this work, CSSIW will make changes to the NMS to reflect the revision to the upper age limit.
I will continue to keep Members informed of this and other matters resulting from the Consultation.