1. ITV Report

£60 million funding for new and refurbished childcare settings

A £60 million funding boost by the Welsh government is to be invested in new and refurbished childcare settings.

Ministers confirmed the money will go towards 115 childcare establishments across Wales. They say it will help ensure parents can access the government's childcare offer of 30 hours a week government-funded childcare for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds.

The scheme offers up to 48 weeks of childcare each year.

The government's Childcare Offer will be available across the country by 2020.

Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan, described the programme as "highly ambitious".

The investment we're making will ensure the Childcare Offer is available to parents across Wales by ensuring there is sufficient childcare in the right areas, with a specific focus on developing new provision in areas that currently lack childcare services, in particular rural and disadvantaged areas.

The investment will also support the growth and sustainability of the childcare sector across Wales, helping to create high-quality jobs in the sector.

– Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services

According to Welsh government figures, more than 5,000 eligible children are already benefiting from the offer.

£33 million is being allocated to Welsh medium childcare settings.

Nearly 47% of grants being awarded are being allocated to Welsh childcare settings in the hope of delivering the government's aim of 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Eluned Morgan, Minister for Welsh Language, described the funding boost as an "access point" for Welsh language learning.

Expanding Welsh-medium provision in the early years as an access point for Welsh-medium education is a vital part of the vision set out in Cymraeg 2050. I'm delighted that the Welsh Government are making a significant investment in the sector. This will allow existing Welsh-medium settings to expand the range services they can offer as well as provide facilities for new settings, enabling greater numbers of children to start their Welsh language journey.

– Eluned Morgan, Minister for Welsh Language

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