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What is the Childcare Offer?


What is the Childcare Offer for Wales?
The Childcare Offer for Wales provides eligible parents of three to four year olds with up to 30 hours per week of combined nursery education and additional funded childcare for up to 48 weeks per year. The Offer will build on children’s existing nursery education entitlement during term time and provide up to 30 hours of funded childcare for nine weeks of the school holidays (school holiday weeks are pro-rata, 3 weeks per term, depending on which term your eligibility is confirmed).

How many hours of childcare am I eligible for?
The offer is a maximum of 30 hours of combined nursery education and additional funded childcare.  RCTCBC offers children, from the term following their third birthday, 15 hours of nursery  education.  This means that during term time, eligible parents can access up to an additional 15 hours of funded childcare.

Parents are not required to access their nursery education entitlement in order to access the childcare element of the Offer.  However their entitlement will include these hours whether they access them or not.

If your child’s school offers full time nursery education, then your term time entitlement through the Childcare Offer will be taken up by the nursery education provision and you will not receive any additional funded childcare.  You will still be eligible for up to 30 hours of funded childcare for up to nine weeks of the school holidays.

Please note – RCT resident children are eligible for a full time education place from the term following their fourth birthday.  This means that, from that point, RCT children cannot access the Childcare Offer funded childcare during term time.  They can still access holiday funded childcare until the end of the summer holidays following their fourth birthday.  This policy applies even if parents do not wish to access nursery education or if the child attends a school in a different Local Authority and will continue to receive a part time education place during the term following their fourth birthday.

The education element of this offer is subject to normal RCT School Admissions rules.  Parents must apply for a  nursery education place by the dates detailed on the RCT School Admissions webpage.  This is a separate application to the one made for the funded childcare element of the Childcare Offer. 

As well as school settings, children may be able to access their education place through a Registered Education Provider (REP).  These are CIW registered childcare settings who are also inspected by Estyn to deliver nursery education.  Please note – we only fund education places in REP’s for children who are three years old between September and March each year.  Children who are three between April and August each year will start at a school setting in the following September. 

If a school offers a staggered start to the term when your child first starts, it is not possible to claim Childcare Offer funded childcare hours for when your child is not in school.

Further details on how to apply for a nursery education place can be found at


When will my child become eligible?

 The chart below explains when you can apply for the Childcare Offer:

If your child is born between

Eligible from

Eligible to

Applications open

1 September 2019 - 31 December 2019

9 January 2023 (start of Spring Term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2024


1 January 2020 – 31 March 2020

17 April 2023 (start of Summer term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2024


1 April 2020 – 31 August 2020

4 September 2023 (start of Autumn term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2024


1 September 2020 – 31 December 2020

8 January 2024 (start of Spring term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2025



1 January 2021 – 31 March 2021

8 April 2024 (start of Summer term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2025


1 April 2021 - 31 August 2021

2 September 2024 (start of Autumn term)

31 August following their 4th birthday 2025

19th June 2024

Please note: In RCT, these admission dates remain the same each year and do not change according to when Easter falls.  

If you apply before these dates, your application will be automatically rejected and you will need to reapply after the application open date.