Free Childcare Pilot Extended

Even more parents and children in RCT are set to benefit from Welsh Labour’s 30 hours free childcare and early education provision, as the Labour-led Rhondda Cynon Taf Council extends its pilot scheme to the Pontyclun and Ynyshir wards.

The Council is one of seven local authorities currently delivering the ground-breaking childcare offer on behalf of Welsh Government, and the provision of the scheme represents one of the core public commitments made by the RCT Labour Group last May.

The offer provides 30 hours of early education and childcare provision for working parents of children aged three and four years old, for 48 weeks of the year (including school holidays).

The existing scheme, which covered the catchment areas of Bryncelynnog, Ferndale, Mountain Ash and YG Rhydywaun has been extended to include the wards of Pontyclun and Ynyshir from this month.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council launched the scheme using school catchment areas as boundaries, but has now changed to the use of electoral wards, to bring it into line with other pilot schemes, at the request of the Welsh Government.

Councillor Christina Leyshon, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Rhondda Cynon Taf Council was pleased to secure its status as a pilot for the 30 hour childcare offer when it was launched by the Welsh Labour Government.

“The scheme provides vital support for working parents of three and four year olds, with hundreds already taking advantage of free childcare and early years education, including provision during school holidays.

“We have been working with childcare providers across the County Borough to ensure there is capacity for those who need it.

“We have also created dedicated information pages where parents can find out more about the offer and eligibility and search childcare providers offering the free provision.

“This Labour Council is committed to standing up for families across RCT by removing barriers to employment and helping people get back to work.”

The wards where the scheme is currently provided are:

  • Beddau
  • Church Village
  • Llantrisant Town
  • Llantwit Fardre
  • Tonteg
  • Tyn-Y-Nant
  • Pontyclun
  • Ferndale
  • Maerdy
  • Tylorstown
  • Ynyshir
  • Aberaman North
  • Aberaman South
  • Aberdare East
  • Aberdare West
  • Abercynon
  • Cwmbach
  • Hirwaun
  • Rhigos
  • Penrhiwceiber
  • Penywaun
  • Mountain Ash East
  • Mountain Ash West

The offer is open to parents who live in the pilot areas. If you are in a couple, both of you must be employed or self employed. If you are a single parent then you must be employed or self-employed. You must be earning a weekly minimum equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum wage or National Living Wage (around £111 to £115 a week). There is no maximum earning limit.

You can check if you are eligible for the childcare offer by completing the easy online eligibility checker at www.rctcbc.gov.uk/childcare