A pilot scheme that will see Rhondda Cynon Taf Council delivering the most generous childcare offer in Wales will launch in September.
The authority has been chosen as one of seven to test the Welsh Government's new initiative to provide working parents of three and four year olds 30 hours' childcare and early education for 48 weeks of the year.
All eligible families living in the catchment areas of the following schools can take advantage of the offer, which is set to start on September 4 this year and can be applied for online:
- Ferndale Comprehensive School
- Mountain Ash Comprehensive
- YG Rhydywaun.
Cllr Christina Leyshon, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council's Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "The Council proactively expressed an interest in being one of the pilot areas for this exciting scheme as we recognise just how much of a difference affordable childcare can make to a parent's ability to work.
"By securing the Council's position in this exciting initiative, on behalf of working parents, we are able to support working parents, enabling us to help tackle issues such as childhood poverty and inequality, while also increasing economic growth as more people are supported into employment and demand for childcare increases, which supports that sector also.
"We know affordable, safe and effective childcare offers are important to our residents because they have told us so. Our Family Information Service hosts a huge amount of information on childcare, how to make the right choice for your family .
"The launch of the new pilot scheme in September will provide a huge boost for working parents, offering Welsh Government-funded childcare which is in addition to the 15 hours a week (term time only) provision currently offered via Early Years education.
"Those who are working in childcare or are interested in developing a childcare career will also benefit from the pilot as it offers opportunities for them to get involved."
The new offer is open to parents who live in the postcode catchment areas for the four pilot schools.
The provision will be offered from the school term following a child's third birthday until the September following their fourth birthday, when they begin full-term reception education.
Parents must be working the equivalent of 16 hours per week at National Minimum Wage levels. If you are a couple or married, this applies to both of you. If you are single, it relates just to you.
There is no upper working hours/earning threshold as part of the pilot scheme.
The 30 hours includes the 15 hours nursery provision already offered, plus an additional 15 hours offered via approved childcare providers only.
During school holidays, the provision will extend to 30 hours Government-funded childcare a week.
Find out more, view your eligibility and apply online now