Foundation Phase will be the same as Childcare Offer

After years of lobbying, the Welsh Government has announced this week it will give funding to local authorities to align the Foundation Phase rate to the Childcare Offer of £4.50.Julie Morgan

This follows campaigning and research by NDNA Cymru for many years and a pilot in 2019.

The announcement made on 1 February by ministers Kirsty Williams MS and Julie Morgan MS read:

Following an independent evaluation of the pilot, we are pleased to announce from January 2021 we will be making additional funds available to local authorities to enable them to increase funding to the non-maintained sector to align with the current Welsh Government funding rate for childcare (£4.50) within the Childcare Offer.

 To ensure equity across Wales we will apply a standard formula to the funding.

This funding will help give the sector greater sustainability. We believe this is especially important after a difficult 2020 where the role of the sector has been absolutely critical in our fight against the pandemic and in supporting our children and critical workers. This decision also reflects our commitment to maintain high quality care and education provision by continuing to give children the very best start in life and supporting parents.

Taking steps to align Foundation Phase Nursery and childcare funding rates under the Childcare Offer clearly demonstrates the equal value the Welsh Government places on early education and good quality childcare. 

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) Cymru said: “Following years of campaigning, we are delighted for our members in Wales that they will now be paid the same rate for Foundation Phase as for the Childcare Offer for Wales.

“We thank the Welsh Government for listening to the concerns of the sector for whom this has been a massive issue over the last few years but we will continue to raise the need for the rate to take consideration of inflation.

It is heartening that they are happy to work with us in order to improve outcomes for children and maintain the diverse range of providers that families need and want.
“We look forward to this being implemented and we will be happy to work with Local Authorities to ensure this change is delivered with consistency across Wales.”

Read the full announcement here.