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Cardiff Council

The Childcare Offer for Wales

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chilcare offer_EN.png​ 

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 


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 ed​ucation and childcare during term-time
Education and childcare provision
Hours per week
​Foundation learning provision (early education)
12.5 hours​
Childcare offer
17.5 hours

​= 30 hours per week

9 weeks of ‘holiday’ provision outside of school ter​ms (3 weeks per term child is eligible)​
Holiday provision
Hours per week​
​Childcare offer
30 hours​​​

You do not need to take up an early education place at a school nursery to use the Childcare Offer, even if there are no spaces at your preferred school. Whether you choose to access the 12.5 hours of education that comes with the offer or not, your childcare funding will be capped at a maximum of:

  • 17.5 hours in term time, or
  • 30 hours during school holidays. 

​The Childcare Offer funding covers the childcare the professionals within the setting provide. It does not include food, transport to or from school nursery, or off-site activities that incur an extra charge, which you may have to pay. 

If you have any queries about what extra costs you may have to pay after funding has been applied, please speak to the providers. 

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. The course must be run by a publicly funded college or university to qualify.

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

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

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

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

You can find out if your chosen provider is currently signed up by contacting the Childcare Offer team on 03000 628 628 or checking Dewis Cymru​. ​​

​Making an application does not guarantee a childcare place.

Applications will open 75 days before the start of term on these dates.

When to apply​
Child's date of birth
Eligible from
Eligible to
Applications open
1 September 2019 to 31 August 2020
Application approval
31 August 2024
​1 September 2020 to 31 December 2020 
​Application approval
31 August 2025​​Open
​1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021
​Application approval​
31 August 2025​​Open
​1 April 2021 to 31 August 2021
​2 September 2024​
​31 August 2025
​19 June 2024
​1 September to 31 December 2021
​6 January 2025
​31 August 2026
​23 October 2024
​1 January 2022 to 31 March 2022
​28 April 2025
​31 August 2026
​12 February 2025

If you are eligible, your funding will start after your provider accepts the childcare agreement you have set up. 

There is no deadline to apply, but we cannot backdate any funding for applications that are approved after the start of term.

You can apply on the Childcare Offer for Wales website.

This application is for the Childcare Offer element only. You must visit nursery admissions to apply for early education​
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.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your application, please contact us.

Call: 03000 628 628


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