Jane Hutt outlined the extra funding to an international audience of policy makers and elected representatives plus experts from all over Wales at the CWLWM conference in Cardiff.
CWLWM (Childcare Wales Learning & Working Mutually) is a partnership between the Welsh Assembly Government and key national organisations within childcare and play.
A breakdown of the extra funding includes:
- An additional £3m over the next three years to meet the requirements of the Childcare Act 2006, which comes into force in April 2008. This funding will enable local authorities to research and map the availability of childcare available to decide what interventions are necessary.
- Funds for Flying Start will increase by £8m over three years. This will allow a 10% increase in the number of children benefiting, including free childcare for up to 17,600 2-year-olds from low income families and in disadvantaged areas.
- £4.2m extra will be ring-fenced for community focussed schools over three years for out-of-hours childcare.
Jane Hutt said:
Our coalition government programme ‘One Wales’ gave a commitment to progress the provision of universal and affordable childcare, including extending free high-quality childcare for 2-year-olds in areas of greatest need.
This extra funding demonstrates that we are delivering that commitment, and will also help us reach our goal of eradicating child poverty by 2020.
The Minister added:
This conference is a unique opportunity to bring those involved in childcare in Wales together under one roof to discuss how we can deliver the best possible care for our children. We will also be able to learn from the experiences of our transnational partner organisations from Italy, France and Estonia.
Liina Partel, from the office of the Estonian Minister for Population and Ethnic Affairs, commented;
The opportunity to meet and exchange good practice with colleagues in Wales has been an exciting and worthwhile experience and has built contacts we hope will continue long after the present project has finished.
Tuesday 20th November 2007