Phased expansion will be “lifeline” for families amidst cost-of-living crisis – Heledd Fychan MS

A significant investment of nearly £100m is being made by Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government through the Co-Operation Agreement to improve childcare availability, boost Welsh language provision and fund free part-time places.

The funding includes £26m for the next phase of the expansion of part-time Flying Start childcare; £70m for improvements and essential maintenance available to all childcare settings and £3.8m to support more childcare providers to improve their Welsh language provision.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for children and young people, Heledd Fychan MS, said the investment – which is part of a phased plan to expand early years provision to all two-year-olds in Wales – will be a “lifeline” for families as the cost-of-living crisis escalates.

Responding to the announcement of £100m investment in childcare, including a phased plan to expand early years provision to all two-year-olds in Wales, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for childcare, Heledd Fychan MS said,

“Free, good quality, educational childcare is an essential part of giving our children the best start in life. In the face of a cost-of-living crisis, this will provide a lifeline for many families, by removing costs, and also by removing a barrier for parents who may wish to return to work.

“This wouldn’t have happened without the tireless campaigning of Plaid Cymru, and our Co-operation Agreement with the Welsh Government. Free childcare was a key pledge in our election campaign, and I’m proud of my party’s role in showing what Wales can do when it takes control over the powers it has. For Plaid Cymru, free childcare for two-year olds is an important first step in our vision for universal free childcare.

“The proven longer-term benefits of free childcare in tackling poverty means we’re not only giving our children the best start, we’re going to make a difference in so many people’s lives in the longer-term, and it’s thanks to Plaid Cymru’s progressive policy.”