Plaid Cymru published plan for universal free childcare service – “one of the most generous offers in the UK”

Proposals for a universal free childcare service for all children from aged 12 months have been published by Plaid Cymru today.


Dubbed one of the “most generous offers in the UK”, Plaid Cymru’s proposals outline how a national free early years education and care service, providing high quality provision for all children aged 12 months until they are eligible for full time education, could be implemented before the end of the sixth Senedd term.


Free childcare for all two-year-olds is a commitment in the Co-operation Agreement between Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government.


Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for children and young people Heledd Fychan has today outlined how Welsh Government can go further than this and reiterated Plaid Cymru’s longer term vision for universal free childcare.


The plans outline immediate action to help children and families in Wales’s poorest communities by introducing places for children from aged 12 months of age during the first phase of the policy.


Heledd Fychan MS said: “Giving the best start in life for our children is part of Plaid Cymru’s vision for a better Wales. This means free, high quality, bilingual and educational childcare for all, helping families with childcare costs and removing barriers for parents who wish to return to work.


“Plaid Cymru is proud to have secured free childcare for two years old as part of our agreement with the Welsh Government. But we have always said we want to go further.


“The proposals outlined today show how universal free childcare could be achieved by the end of this Senedd term – with additional investment in childcare settings, training and the creation of thousands jobs implemented immediately. This would make it one of the most generous offers in the UK, and both fairer than the Tories and more ambitious than Labour.


“Plaid Cymru’s policy would put children’s rights first – we believe that children should be able to access the benefits of early education and care regardless of where they live and their families’ work status. Our offer would also be more reflective of families’ needs, available for 48 weeks of the year not just 39 weeks.


“The proven longer-term benefits of free childcare in tackling poverty means we’re not only giving our children the best start in life, but also making a difference to their futures.”

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