Starter packs for parents of newborns to be scaled back in Wales in budget cuts

  • ITV Wales Journalist Megan Boot Reports

A Welsh Government decision to scale back a scheme to help new parents with essentials for their newborns has been criticised.

Baby Bundles had been trialled in Swansea as a universal scheme, giving all new parents basics and valuable items for taking care of their new babies.

The bundles contained items like neutral baby clothes, toys, household items and products to support women after birth.

But in the recently announced Welsh Government draft budget, the plans have been scaled back to move to a targeted programme.

Natalie Wilson was the first person in Wales to receive the baby bundle. She says it was a massive help.

"I was a first-time mum in and amongst Covid, I couldn't work. So having that to support me and start me off was a massive weight off my shoulders.

"I think it's a real shame, a lot of people are going to miss out."

The Welsh Government say that moving to a more targeted model will "ensure that more families in Wales have the essentials to provide their child with the best start in life.

“We’ve re-shaped our spending plans so we can invest more in the NHS and protect core local government funding for schools, social care and other services we all rely on every day."

Children's charity Barnardo's say that while they appreciate that difficult decisions have had to be made, they are are "deeply disappointed".

"Whilst we appreciate that targeted interventions are important, the baby bundle scheme sought to support all families with a new baby," a spokesperson said.

"Due to the cost-of-living crisis and high inflation, we know families are struggling to afford the essentials.

"This decision will impact every baby born in Wales. We urge the Welsh Government to reconsider."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…