NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales has welcomed news of free childcare for parents who are key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Hamilton, a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee, was commenting after the Welsh Government launched a new scheme to support Wales’ critical workers.
Mr Hamilton said:
“Parents who work in jobs which are vital in our response to the coronavirus outbreak deserve to be fully supported.
“They are undertaking tasks and work which are often above and beyond the call of duty and it is only right and proper they should not have to worry about the cost of childcare.
“This is just one more concern these critical workers can do without.
“I am delighted the Welsh Government has launched the scheme which will cover the next three months and provide free care for children under five.”
Under the new plans, councils will be able to use funding from the Welsh Government’s Childcare Offer to support registered childcare providers to care for pre-school-aged children of critical workers. Children who are considered vulnerable will also be included in the scheme.
Wales’ existing childcare offer provides 30 hours of early education and childcare to the working parents of three and four-year olds across for 48 weeks of the year.
The existing offer will be suspended for three months and replaced with the coronavirus childcare assistance scheme to support critical workers and vulnerable children.
The Welsh Government will honour its commitment to continue to pay childcare providers for the hours of childcare already booked under the childcare offer for three months.
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Care Julie Morgan, said the coronavirus childcare assistance scheme will ensure parents, who are critical workers, will get the childcare they need, and childcare providers will have security about how their businesses will operate.