Childcare Offer for Wales

Provides working parents with a mixture of childcare and early education

Childcare Offer for Wales

Under the Childcare Offer for Wales, you could claim up to 30 hours of early education and childcare in Wales per week, for up to 48 weeks of the year.

The scheme aims to make life a bit easier for parents/carers by providing support with childcare costs.

Who is eligible?

The Childcare Offer is open to any family living in the Caerphilly county borough if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Your child is 3- 4 years’ old
  • You live in Wales
  • Both parents /co-habiting couples in a two-parent family, or the sole parent in a lone parent family, must be either working or in education or training

A parent includes guardians, step-parents, and live-in partners within the child’s household – all of whom will need to meet the eligibility criteria in order for that child to be able to take up the Offer.

A working parent can be a parent who is either employed or self-employed. This includes those who are on Apprenticeships, zero hours contracts and those who are newly self-employed. By minimum earnings criteria we mean that they must earn, on average, the equivalent of at least 16 hours per week at the relevant minimum wage applicable to them.  Earnings must not exceed £100,000 per annum per parent.

A parent in education or training can be a parent who is either:

  • enrolled on a Higher Education (HE) undergraduate or postgraduate course that is at least 10 weeks in length. This includes courses delivered via distance learning. OR,
  • enrolled on a course that is at least 10 weeks in length and which is delivered at a Further Education (FE) Institution. This includes courses delivered via distance learning

From September 2022, parents/guardians who are in education or training and meet the eligibility criteria will be able to access the Childcare Offer.

Exceptions to eligibility

Families in the following situations will still be eligible to access the Offer where:

  • Parents (or sole parent in a single parent family) are temporarily away from the workplace or have suspended their studies either because of sickness or because of parental leave. This includes maternity leave, statutory shared parental paid leave, and adoption leave.
  • One parent meets the eligibility criteria, and the other parent is in receipt of one of the following benefits:
    • Incapacity benefit;
    • Carers allowance;
    • Severe disablement allowance;
    • Long term incapacity benefit;
    • Employment and support allowance;
    • National insurance credits on the grounds of incapacity for work or limited capability for work; or
    • Universal Credit where the individual has been assessed as having limited capability for work.

Single parents and families where both parents are in receipt of the above benefits will not be able to access the Offer.

Where parents have separated

If custody is not shared equally:

  • The parent with primary custody will be eligible to take up the Offer if the eligibility criteria is met

If custody is shared equally:

  • One parent will need to be nominated as the lead parent for the Offer
  • Only one parent will be eligible to apply for that child.

If you think you are eligible, you must complete an application form. The Early Years Hub Team will check whether you are eligible and send you an email confirming the outcome of your application.

When to apply?

From the term following their 3rd birthday, children could be entitled to up to 20 hours of government funded childcare. This is in addition to the 10 hours already provided by their part-time Foundation Phase place and up to 30 hours of childcare during the school holidays.

Applicants are able to apply up to 90 days before the start of their eligible term. 

Child’s date of birth When can my child access the Childcare Offer?*
1 September 2018 to 31 December 2018 From the Spring Term 2022 to the Summer Term 2023

(4 January 2022 to end August 2023)

1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019 From the Summer Term 2022 to the Summer Term 2023

(25 April 2022 to end August 2023)

1 April 2019 to 31 August 2019 From the Autumn Term 2022 to the Summer Term 2023

(beginning September 2022 to end August 2023)

1 September 2019 to 31 December 2019 From the Spring Term 2023 to the Summer Term 2024

(9 January 2023 to end August 2024)

1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020 From the Summer Term 2023 to the Summer Term 2024

(17 April 2023 to end August 2024)

1 April 2020 to 31 August 2020 From the Autumn Term 2023 to the Summer Term 2024

(4 September 2023 to end August 2024)

Please note: Funding only starts after confirmed completion of both the Application and Individual Child Placement processes. Payment is not back dated to start of term.

How to apply

The Childcare Offer New National Digital Service is now live.

Changes to the number of childcare hours that can be claimed

In the Caerphilly county borough, under the previous Childcare Offer process, parents could claim up to 20 hours of childcare in addition to a standard 10 hours of Early Years Education provision.

However, an evaluation of Early Years Education provision in the county borough showed that many providers offer more than 10 hours of Early Years Education. In fact, our providers offer on average 13.5 hours of Early Years Education. This means that some parents were receiving more than the 30 hours in total. For example, 15 hours of Early Years Education plus 20 hours of Childcare = 35 hours.

The new Childcare Offer National Digital System does not allow for this, and parents can only claim the maximum of 30 hours.

This is calculated as follows:

  • If your child is not taking up an Early Years Education place, the average of 13.5 hours of Early Years Education offered across the county borough will be applied and your child can claim up to 16.5 hours of childcare.
  • If your child is taking up an Early Years Education place, funding will be available for the number of Early Years Education hours offered by that provider plus Childcare Offer hours that make it up to 30 hours. For example, 15 hours of Early Years Education and 15 hours of Childcare. When you apply and select the provider/school your child will be attending, the system will automatically calculate the number of Childcare hours you can claim based on the number of Early Years Education hours they provide.

Please note:

  • If you have not yet received confirmation from School Admissions of a school placement and not able to select the school when you apply for Childcare Offer, you will initially only be allocated 16.5 hours of childcare. When that school place has been confirmed, you must log back into your account and update the school details. The Childcare hours will then be adjusted accordingly. You will also need to make your childcare provider aware of this so that they can adjust their claim details.
  • If your child is already accessing the Offer through the previous system, you will continue to receive up to 20 hours of childcare, regardless of whether your child is taking up their Early Years Education place or the number of hours being provided at that setting.

If you have any further question, please contact us.

Change of circumstances

You must report any changes to your circumstances which may affect your eligibility. Simply login to your Government Gateway account and select the link ‘a change to your details’. Make your change(s) via the summary screen and click on the ‘Submit’ button when done.

You will need report if you and/or the second adult living in the household:

  • have become unemployed
  • have become self-employed
  • have changed employer
  • have changed the hours of employment
  • have stopped receiving a qualifying benefit
  • have moved house
  • have moved out of the household leaving only one parent or legal guardian living in the household
  • another adult has moved into the household
  • any other change you feel may impact on your entitlement

You do not need to report that you are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave but are still employed as this does not affect your eligibility.


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