Childcare Offer for Wales Explained

The childcare offer for Wales provides working parents of 3 & 4 year olds with 30 hours of free childcare per week for 48 weeks of the year. This is made up of combined childcare during term time (12.5 hrs early years education, 17.5 hrs childcare) and 30 hrs of childcare per week during the holidays.

Who is eligible

To be eligible for the offer both parents must earn a weekly minimum equivalent of 16 hours at the national minimum wage (NMW) or national living wage (NLW) but less than £100,000 (per parent) per tax year. There are some exemptions to this, for example if one parent has substantial caring responsibilities or is employed but on maternity leave.

Self-employed parents and parents on zero hours contracts are eligible if they can meet the minimum earnings criteria over a 3 month period. A 12 month grace period is given to newly self employed parents and they will not need to prove their earnings until after this time.

When to Apply

Month of birthFirst term for childcareWhen to apply
April-August 2018Autumn 2021 (September)July 2021
September – December 2018Spring 2022 (January)November 2021
January – March 2019Summer 2022 (April)Feb 2022

Registered Providers

Visit to find out if your chosen provider is currently signed up to the childcare offer. Make sure you check they have ‘childcare offer’ spaces before applying.

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