Childcare Offer for Wales – New National Digital Service

What is the Childcare Offer?

The Welsh Government recognises that affordable, available, and accessible childcare enables parents to work, supporting its drive to increase economic growth, tackle poverty and reduce inequalities.
The Childcare Offer provides up to 30 hours a week of funded Learning Foundation Early Education and childcare for eligible parents of three and four-year-olds for up to 48 weeks of the year.
As the Childcare Offer for Wales is a combined Offer, made up of Early Years part time education and childcare provision, children must be of an age to be eligible to access both these elements at the same time.
The Offer is a maximum of 30 hours of combined education and childcare. If parental eligibility has been established, children will usually receive the childcare element of the Offer from the term after their third birthday, until they are offered a full time education place.
*Learning Foundation Nursery part time Early education hours cannot be exchanged for childcare hours*
Foundation Learning Funding.
All children are entitled to part time Early Education (formerly known as Foundation Phase Nursery) from the term after their third birthday. All local authorities provide a minimum of 10 hours per week of early education, this could be in a:
• Local school
• Playgroup
• Day nursery
• Cylch Meithrin

The Childcare Offer funds CHILDCARE HOURS only. You cannot apply for FPN provision (education hours) through this application.
Further information about the different types of settings are available on our
Parents do not have to access their Early Education entitlement (FPN) in order to access the Childcare Offer. However their entitlement will include these hours whether they access them or not.
Further details on how to apply for a nursery (FPN) education place in Carmarthenshire can be found at the
Please check your local authorities School Admissions Policy to check when your child is eligible to start the FPN provision.
For queries about Early Learning Education Funding, please contact the Early Years Team by email:

Approved-PreSchool-Settings-in-Carmarthenshire-Jan 2023


The benefits of the new National Digital Service

The benefits of the new National Digital Service include:
• One simple national digital service that will be used by all local authorities in Wales, leading to a consistent experience for parents and childcare providers
• Accessible through mobile phones, laptops and tablets
• Fully bilingual
• Security of data
• Fast and regular payments made direct to childcare providers from Welsh Government

For more information on Childcare Offer for Wales please visit:
or call Childcare Offer for Wales helpline: 03000 628628

Eligibility Criteria

To access the childcare element of the Offer parents and guardians must:
• Have a child aged 3 or 4 years and is able to access part time Learning Foundation Nursery Education
• Live in Wales
• Be employed or self-employed and permanently reside in Wales. Both parents/co-habiting couples must be working in a two parent family, or the sole parent in a lone parent family;
• Both parents are employed but one or both parents are temporarily away from the workplace on parental, maternity, paternity or adoption leave;
• The parent/carers will need to earn the equivalent of at least 16 hours at national living wage or national minimum wage per week; or are in receipt of specific caring benefits. Parent will not to be eligible if they earn more than £100,000 per annum – this is a per parent limit.
• A parent in education or training can be a parent who is either: – enrolled on a Higher Education (HE) undergraduate or postgraduate course that is at least 10 weeks in length. This includes courses delivered via distance learning. – enrolled on a course that is at least 10 weeks in length and which is delivered at a Further Education (FE) Institution. This includes courses delivered via distance learning.

Where parents have separated but do not share equal custody of the child, the parent with primary custody will be eligible to take up the Offer (if they meet the eligibility criteria). Where parents share equal custody one parent will need to be nominated as the lead parent for the Offer.
Parents, guardians, step-parents and live-in partners will all need to meet the eligibility criteria in order for a child living within that household to be able to take up the Offer.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if I or my partner loses our job?

Should a parent fall out of eligibility:

A temporary exemption period of 8 weeks will be granted from the date they fall out of eligibility
The offer will remain accessible as usual for this duration
Eligibility can be re-established at any point in this period

Exceptions to eligibility:
Parents who are temporarily away from the workplace either because of sickness or because of parental leave (including maternity leave, statutory shared parental paid leave or adoption leave) will remain eligible to receive the Offer as they are considered to be employed.

Where one parent meets the eligibility criteria and the other parent is in receipt of one of the following benefits, that child will still be able to access the Offer:

Incapacity benefit.
Carers allowance.
Severe disablement allowance.
Long term incapacity benefit.
Employment and support allowance (ESA); or
National insurance credits on the grounds of incapacity for work or limited capability for work.
Universal Credit where the individual has been assessed as having limited capability for work.
Families where both parents are in receipt of the above benefits will not be able to access the Offer.

Who is classed as a family and friends/kinship carer?

Family and friends carers (also known as Kinship carers) are those who have taken responsibility for a child or step-child who is not their own because:
• The child has no parents or has parents who are unable to care for the child;
• It is likely that the child would otherwise be looked after by a local authority because of concerns in relation to the child’s welfare
Kinship carers can access the Offer as long as they meet the earnings criteria to be classed as ‘working’, live in Wales and are caring for a child who is the correct age to receive the Offer.

How would you define a parent in education or training?

To be eligible for the Offer, parents in education or training must be enrolled on a Higher Education (HE) or a Further Education (FE) course that is at least 10 weeks in length. This includes courses delivered via distance learning. To evidence this, you will need to either provide a copy of a formal offer of a course place or a formal enrolment letter.

Important information for parents prior to applying

Parents/Carers must have the following information available in the format of a photo or electronically ready to upload as part of their application.
• birth certificate (long version) or birth certificate (short version) with proof of parental responsibility
• Proof of address (Council Tax Bill or Utility bill dated within the last 3 months)
• Payslips – 3 most recent monthly payslips for each parent or if paid weekly each week for the last 3 months.
• If self-employed your most recent Self-Assessment Tax Return.
• If parents are in new employment and do not have a payslip. They must have a copy of their contract or a letter from the employer confirming the income and hours worked.
• If parents are in education or training, you will need to provide evidence of the following: that you are enrolled on either an undergraduate or a postgraduate course, including those delivered via distance learning, that is at least 10 weeks in length/ If you are in further education (FE), that you are enrolled on a course which is delivered via an FE Institution, that is at least 10 weeks in length.

Please note: If parents choose to use childcare before their application is approved, they are responsible for paying the costs of the childcare. No childcare funding can be back-dated to account for the period before an application is approved.

The application process for parents/carers

Applications will take up to 14 days to process due to the expected volume of applications. Funding will begin the first Monday after the application is approved. Parents are encouraged to submit an application with ALL the correct evidence. This will speed up the process.

Parent application.

The online application form is available using the link below.
(Please note the application form does time out.)

Childcare Offer application poster. link and QR code and National helpline number

Childcare Offer holiday weeks entitlement during school holidays

The Childcare Offer will provide working parents of 3 and 4 year olds with 30 hours of funded early education and childcare per week, up to 48 weeks of the year. The term time element is made up of 39 weeks, with the remaining 9 weeks of the Offer treated as non-term time or ‘holiday provision’. During these 9 weeks holiday provision, eligible children will receive 30 hours of childcare only each week.
The Welsh Government will not be specifying which of the 13 weeks non-term time are designated as the 9 weeks of holiday provision in order to allow flexibility for parents who are in different occupations, such as those who have to work over the Summer or Christmas holidays.

However, parents will not be able to ‘stretch’ their entitlements across weeks or transfer unused hours across weeks.Holiday provision will be allocated at the beginning of each term the child is eligible for the Offer. Children will be allocated 3 weeks of holiday provision per term. Any unused allocation can be carried over and used in the next term, provided they are still eligible to receive the Offer. Children who are eligible for the Offer for one or two terms only will receive 3 weeks holiday provision at the beginning of each term, just as any other child would.

Please see the following 9 weeks pro-rata holiday entitlement:
• A child who is eligible to receive the Offer for three terms will be entitled to receive 9 weeks of holiday childcare during school holidays.
• A child who is eligible to receive the Offer for two terms will be entitled to receive 6 weeks of holiday childcare during school holidays.
• A child who is eligible to receive the Offer for one term will be entitled to receive 3 weeks of holiday childcare during school holidays.

Where a child is offered a full-time education place before the September after their fourth birthday (e.g. term after their fourth birthday or the term they turn four), that child is still eligible to receive 30 hours per week of holiday provision up until the September after their fourth birthday.
Children born in autumn or spring terms may be eligible to receive the Offer for more than one year. In such cases, at the beginning of the second year a new allocation of holiday provision will be given for the remainder of the time they are eligible to receive the Offer.
Please note, once a child is eligible for full-time education they are no longer entitled to the Childcare Offer during term-time.

thumbnail of TFC flyer

Thanks for this information. Brilliant service from FIS Carmarthenshire! Da iawn’
Posted by Parent , from Llanelli
Call Now Button