Childcare Offer for Wales

Provides working parents with a mixture of childcare and early education

The Childcare Offer for Wales

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Childcare Offer for Wales: Help with childcare costs for eligible parents of all 3 to 4 year olds.

You can claim up to 30 hours of early education and childcare a week. The scheme covers up to 48 weeks of the year.

The Childcare Offer helps eligible parents:

  • return to work
  • increase their hours
  • work more flexibly
  • go back into education or training

Find out more about the Childcare Offer for Wales​.

About the Childcare Offer

The Childcare Offer provides all eligible parents with a combined 30 hours of government-funded childcare and Foundation Learning Provision (early education) for up to 48 weeks per year.

The 48 weeks includes 39 weeks of combined education and childcare during school term-time and 9 weeks of childcare outside of school terms.

You will be liable for any childcare used during the 4 unpaid weeks. These will always be school holiday weeks.​

39 weeks of the year combined early ed​ucation and childcare during term-time
Education and childcare provision Hours per week
​Foundation learning provision (early education) 13.5 hours​*
Childcare Offer 16.5 hours
​= 30 hours per week

*The number of hours offered for Early Years Education varies from one school to another. Consequently, the Childcare Offer will cover the additional hours required to ensure that each child receives a total of 30 hours per week

You do not need to apply for early education to use the childcare element of the Offer but this will mean you can only access the Childcare Offer Hours which is 16.5 hours. Your entitlement will include these hours whether you access them or not.  Find out how to apply for an early education place​.

The Childcare Offer funding is for the childcare the professionals within the setting provide. It does not include food, transport or off-site activities that incur an extra charge and providers will be able to charge you for these.

If you would like to access the Tax-Free Childcare scheme to help with these additional costs you will need to submit a separate application on the GOV.UK website. Find out more about the Tax-Free Childcare scheme​.​


You are eligible for the Childcare Offer if you live in Wales, have a 3 or 4 year old child and you are either:

  • Employed or self-employed earning at least the equivalent of 16 hours a week at the National Minimum Wage, up to £100,000 gross per year.
  • Enrolled on a further education course or a higher education undergraduate or postgraduate course that is at least 10 weeks in length.

If you have a partner who lives with you, they must also meet the criteria.

You will need to upload the following supporting documents to your application:

  • Your child’s birth certificate;
  • Evidence of your address, e.g. your most recent Council tax letter;
  • Your most recent 3 months of payslips if you are employed;
  • Your most recent self-assessment tax return if you are self-employed;
  • An enrolment letter/confirmation of a place in Further or Higher education.

You will need to upload eligibility evidence for both parents if you are a two-parent family.

Please note:

  • The term ‘parent’ refers to parents, legal guardians, step-parents, adoptive parents, foster carers, guardians, kinship carers, carers with a Special Guardianship Order and long-term live-in partners who live within the same household as the child.
  • Parents currently on maternity/paternity/parental/adoption leave can apply for the Childcare Offer if they meet the above eligibility criteria.
  • In a single-parent family, the above eligibility criteria apply to the sole parent.
  • In a two-parent family the above eligibility criteria apply to both parents.
  • Eligibility cannot be confirmed until a fully completed application form has been received and processed by the Childcare Offer team and you have received a confirmation email.​

Exceptions to the Eligibility Criteria: 

  • In a two-parent family where one parent meets the eligibility criteria and the other parent receives specific benefits, you could be eligible for the Childcare Offer in some circumstances.

This is based on the parent being in receipt of, or having an underlying entitlement to, one of the following qualifying benefits:

    • Incapacity benefit;
    • Carers allowance;
    • Carers element of Universal Credit;
    • Severe disablement allowance;
    • Long term incapacity benefit;
    • Employment and support allowance (ESA);
    • National insurance credits on the grounds of incapacity for work or limited capability for work;
    • Universal Credit where the individual has been assessed as having limited capability for work.
  • Families where both parents are in receipt of the above benefits (or has an underlying entitlement to the above benefits), or the sole parent in a single parent family, will not be able to access the Childcare Offer.
  • Where parents have separated but do not share equal custody of the child, the parent with primary custody will be eligible to take up the Offer (if they meet the eligibility criteria).
  • Where parents share equal custody one parent will need to be nominated as the lead parent for the Offer.
  • Parents who are in education or training and have formally suspended their studies due to long term sickness could still be eligible for the Childcare Offer.
  • Parents who are employed/self-employed but who are temporarily away from the workplace on statutory sick leave could still be eligible for the Childcare Offer.

If your child has additional needs, there is extra funding available. Please contact us if your child may need additional support.

Some eligibility exceptions apply. Please check if you’re eligible for the Childcare Offer for Wales before you submit your application​.

We cannot confirm if you are eligible until we have received and processed your completed application.

Choosing a childcare provider

You can choose any childcare provider that has signed up to the Childcare Offer and are registered with the Care Inspectorate Wales.​

Click here for a list of Childcare Offer providers in the Caerphilly county borough (Dewis)

​Making an application does not guarantee a childcare place.

When to apply

When to apply​ 

Child’s date of birth Eligible from Eligible to Applications open
1 September 2019 to 31 August 2020 31 August 2024 Open
​1 September 2020 to 31 December 2020 ​8 January 2024 31 August 2025​ ​Open
​1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021 ​8 April 2024 31 August 2025​ ​Open
​1 April 2021 to 31 August 2021 ​2 September 2024 ​31 August 2025 ​4 June 2024

Applications received before the opening date will be rejected.

If you are eligible your funding will start once you have set-up a childcare agreement​with your provider and this agreement has been accepted.​​

How to apply

What to do if your circumstances change

We will carry out eligibility checks every term. It is your responsibility to let us, and the childcare setting know if your circumstances change.

If your family’s circumstances change and you are no longer eligible for the scheme, you will still be able to access the offer for 8 weeks, giving you the opportunity to become eligible again

Parents already registered for the Childcare Offer for Wales

Parents already registered for the Childcare Offer for Wales can sign in here. Parents sign in to your Childcare Offer for Wales account | GOV.WALES

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your application, please call the Childcare Offer for Wales helpline on 03000 628 628 or email

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