Childcare offer lets down struggling parents says Plaid.
Plaid Cymru has confirmed that they will vote against the final stage of the Welsh Government’s Childcare Bill on the basis that it does not provide universal provision.
Plaid Cymru’s shadow cabinet secretary for education and the Welsh language Sian Gwenllian said the Plaid Cymru group will vote on the grounds that they believe in the principle of universal childcare.
On Wednesday, Assembly Members will vote on the final stage of the Childcare Bill presented by Labour Minister Huw Irranca-Davies.
Plaid Cymru’s shadow cabinet secretary for education and the Welsh language Sian Gwenllian AM said,
“The Welsh Government’s current Childcare Bill unfairly discriminates against unemployed parents or parents who are looking to return to work. The Bill facilitates a legislative framework that risks increasing inequalities between the children of working parents and those of non-working parents. This is particularly true in relation to the school readiness and educational attainment of children from the poorest households.
“Along with my Plaid Cymru colleagues and the Children’s Commissioner we cannot possibly support a policy that denies investment in early years provision for the children of non-working parents, when those children, on average, start school behind their peers on key developmental indicators.
“Plaid Cymru believes that all children aged 3 to 4 should be offered 30 hours a week of free early education, giving children from all backgrounds the best start in life. It could also provide an excellent starting point for the further roll-out of free childcare for younger children aged 1-3, further enabling parents to return to the workforce and help raise families out of poverty.