Relief for nurseries in Wales after years of campaigning

NDNA Cymru is delighted that the Welsh Government has listened to the sector and has today announced that it will be giving 100% business rates relief to all childcare businesses.

Following years of campaigning and a move earlier this year to offer some relief to childcare businesses, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford and Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care Huw Irranca-Davies announced the business rates relief at Plantos Day Nursery in Cardiff today (see photos right and below).

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA Cymru said: “This is fantastic news for all childcare businesses in Wales, especially the private sector nurseries who are struggling to remain sustainable.

“We have been working closely with the Welsh Government and put forward the reasons  why nurseries should be made a special case. Private and voluntary nurseries, who can give working parents the quality and flexibility they need and want, have been delivering funded early years places at a loss for years. 

“As the new Childcare Offer for Wales is rolled out across the country, this approach from the Welsh Government gives a clear message to the sector that they are valued and their involvement is crucial for this ambitious scheme to be successful.

“NDNA Cymru has been lobbying all UK governments for many years about the unfair burden of business rates which is a tax designed for shops, factories and warehouses. Nurseries provide space for children to grow, develop and learn and should not be penalised and taxed for this, it is great news that the Welsh Government has recognised this.”

Sandra Welsby, National Manager Wales, NDNA Cymru said: “This 100% business rates relief will be welcomed by all childcare providers in Wales and will help partners  to support the sector to be sustainable. We look forward to continuing our positive relationship with the Welsh Government and other Cwlwm partners to achieve the best outcomes for children and their families.”

The Ministers made the announcement at Plantos Day Nursery whose owner Lowri Mifsud is NDNA Cymru’s network chair for the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan network.

Lowri said: “I welcome the announcement that childcare settings will be exempt from business rates from April 2019.

“NDNA has been lobbying the Welsh Government on this issue with dedication for a while and I am pleased with the positive outcome.

“The childcare sector continues to face challenges and uncertainties. I await to see how the Childcare Offer will impact on childcare providers. It is crucial that childcare settings are able to provide affordable, high-quality childcare to parents.

“Many nurseries are struggling financially, hit hard by a mix of rising operating costs and staffing costs.”

The new Childcare Offer for Wales is currently being phased in across the country and gives 30 hours of funded early education and childcare for three and four-year-olds of working parents for up to 48 weeks of the year. Last December the Welsh Government announced some relief for childcare businesses by increasing the upper threshold for rates relief from £12,000 to £20,500 which benefited many but not all nurseries. This measure came in from April 2018. 

The rate relief will be introduced from April 2019 for a 3 year period.

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