The childcare offer for wales logo

Welsh Government recognises that affordable, available, and accessible childcare enables parents to work or study, supporting its drive to increase economic growth, tackle poverty and reduce inequalities.

The Childcare Offer is open to any family living in Ceredigion as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Applications for the Childcare Offer are made through the Government website:

Childcare Offer for Wales | Help With Childcare Costs Wales | GOV.WALES

The Childcare Offer provides 30 hours a week of funded Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) early education and childcare for eligible working parents of three- and four-year-olds for up to 48 weeks of the year.

Ceredigion County Council currently funds 10 hours of FPN provision in a cylch meithrin/ playgroup or 12½ hours if in a nursery class within a school for every child from the term after a child’s 3rd birthday. This means that eligible parents will qualify for up to 20 hours or 17½ hours of additional childcare during term time.

The exact split of hours of each element funded will be determined by the setting in which you access your FPN provision, as shown in the following table:

How many hours of each element will I receive?

Element Cylch Meithrin/Playgroup Nursery class within a school
FPN 10 hours per week 12.5 hours per week
Childcare Offer 20 hours per week 17.5 hours per week
Total 30 hours per week 30 hours per week

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 Childcare Page.

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 Ceredigion can be found at the Nursery Education for 3-4 year olds (Foundation Phase) page.

Please check your local authorities School Admissions Policy to check when your child is eligible to start the FPN provision.

Ceredigion County Council website - School Admissions

Carmarthenshire County Council website - School Admissions

Powys County Council website - Applying for a School Place

Pembrokeshire County Council website - Admission to Schools-Information for Parents

The Childcare Offer is open to any family living in Ceredigion as long as they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Your child is 3- 4 years’ old
  • Lives in Ceredigion
  • Both parents /co-habiting couples must be working or in education or training in a two-parent family, or the sole parent in a lone parent family
  • Earn a weekly minimum equivalent of 16 hours at the national minimum wage or national living wage
  • OR be in receipt of specific caring benefits, provided the other parent meets the income requirement (see exceptions below)
  • Earn less than the maximum income of £100,000 per annum per parent

If you meet the eligibility above, you will be able to check your eligibility and apply online for the Childcare Offer for Wales by completing an online application.

Exceptions to eligibility

Families in the following situations will still be eligible to access the offer:

Parents who are temporarily away from the workplace or suspended their studies either because of sickness or because of parental leave. This includes maternity leave, statutory shared parental paid leave, and adoption leave.

Where one parent meets the eligibility criteria and the other parent is in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Incapacity benefit
  • Carers allowance
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Long term incapacity benefit
  • Employment and support allowance
  • National insurance credits on the grounds of incapacity for work or limited capability for work

Single parents who and families where both parents are in receipt of the above benefits will not be able to access the offer.

Please note that all parents, guardians, step-parents, and live-in partners within the child's household will need to meet the eligibility criteria in order for that child to be able to take up the offer.

Where parents have separated

Custody is not shared equally:

  • The parent with primary custody will be eligible to take up the offer if the eligibility criteria is met

Custody is shared equally:

  • One parent will need to be nominated as the lead parent for the offer
  • Only one parent will be eligible to apply for that child

You can apply the term your child turns three.  Current dates for applications and start dates for children are as follows:

Child's Date of Birth Applications Open Earliest Start Date
1 January 2019 - 31 March 2019 28 February 2022 The beginning of term on or after 1 April
1 April 2019 - 31 August 2019 4 July 2022 The beginning of term on or after 1 September
1 September 2019 - 31 December 2019 7 November 2022 The beginning of term on or after 1 January

Eligible children will be able to access the offer from the beginning of term following their third birthday until the term following their fourth birthday when they enter full-time education.

Eligible parents can:

  • Take up the offer at any point in the period their child is eligible
  • Access the offer from whichever point they wish during the term, provided their child was eligible from the beginning of the term or earlier

This includes parents who move into the county or gain employment.

If you choose to access childcare whilst you are waiting for your application to be processed this will be at your own cost. Offer funding will not be backdated to pay for any childcare used before your application was approved.

Parents are responsible for finding a provider to suit their needs.

Can I use more than one childcare provider?

Yes.  On any given day, you may use:

  • An FPN setting
  • Up to TWO additional registered childcare settings

Further details on how to apply for a nursery (FPN) education place in Ceredigion can be found at the Nursery Education for 3-4 year olds (Foundation Phase) page.

Can I accrue my hours?

No.  Parents are to:

  • Be provided with a total of 30 hours of combined FPN provision and childcare only each week
  • Choose how many of the 30 hours to take up in that week
  • Understand that any hours not used in a week will be lost


Children born in autumn or spring terms may be eligible to receive the offer for more than one year.

When a child is offered a full-time education place before the September after their fourth birthday, such as:

  • The term after their fourth birthday
  • The term they turn four

They will:

  • No longer be entitled to the Childcare Offer during term time
  • Remain eligible to receive 30 hours per week of holiday provision up until the September after their fourth birthday

The Childcare Offer covers up to 48 weeks per year, of which 39 are counted as 'term time' and 9 as 'holiday provision'.

  • Foundation Phase provision is not available outside of the 39 weeks of term time
  • The entire 30 hours will be for childcare only during the remaining 9 weeks
  • 3 weeks of holiday provision will be allocated to each child at the start of each term
  • A link to the holiday booking form is emailed to you once you are approved for the Childcare Offer

When and how can I access my holiday entitlement?

  • Parents can choose any holiday weeks to suit their needs
  • Any unused holiday weeks in a term will be carried over to the next so long as the child remains eligible
  • Holiday provision must be accessed in week-long blocks (30 hours)
  • Unused hours cannot be transferred across weeks
  • Parents are responsible for finding a provider
  • Parents must complete a holiday booking form and submit it to the Childcare Unit before the holiday start date
  • Parents are responsible for paying the childcare provider for the four holiday weeks not covered by the Childcare Offer

Childcare Offer holiday weeks entitlement during school holidays

Three weeks’ holiday is given to each child per school term.

The number of holiday weeks you are awarded in that academic year is dependent on the number of school terms that you receive the Childcare Offer:

What is my holiday provision?

  • A child who joins the Offer in September will receive 9 weeks holiday provision
  • A child who joins the Offer in January will receive 6 weeks holiday provision
  • A child who joins the Offer in April will receive 3 weeks holiday provision

There will be 4 holiday weeks NOT funded by the Offer during each academic year.

If you are still eligible for the offer in the new academic year, a new allocation of holiday entitlement will begin. 

A child is eligible for funding during the school holidays until the September after their 4th birthday.

Applications for the holiday entitlement:

  • Must be made before the date the holiday entitlement is required
  • Will be checked within the month leading up to the holiday by the Childcare Unit
  • If successful, notifications will be sent via e-mail to the parent and the provider

Do I have to access the early education entitlement to access the childcare element of the offer?

No.  There are no access requirements for the offer.  Parents can choose which elements to make use of and how much of each they will access.

Parents are entitled to a maximum of:

  • 20 hours childcare per week
  • 10 hours FPN per week

Please be aware that:

  • Your entitlement will include both elements whether you choose to access them or not
  • Hours cannot be transferred across entitlements
    • If you choose to only use childcare, you will still only receive 20 hours, not 30
    • If you choose to only use FPN, you will still only receive 10 hours (or 12.5 if in a school setting)
  • Any unused hours will be forfeit

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

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

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

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.

Further information:

Welsh Government website - Childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

To apply for the Childcare Offer you will need to complete an online application form.  Please note that the form:

  • Will time out
  • Must be completed in one go
  • Cannot be saved and returned to later
    • To apply for the Foundation Phase Nursery (early education) hours see 'Nursery Admissions' on the School Admissions page

You are required to provide the following evidence in order to prove your eligibility for the offer:

  • Child's birth certificate (long version), or
  • Child's birth certificate (short version), with proof of parental responsibility
    • eg Child Benefit letter, Tax Credits letter, letter from Nursery Admissions
  • Proof of address - acceptable forms of evidence include:
    • Latest council tax bill
    • Utility bill dated within the last three months
  • Last three months' payslips (12 payslips if paid weekly) for all applicants


  • If in education/training, enrolment letter or formal offer letter on a relevant Higher Education (HE) or Further Education (FE) course

If you have recently started a new job and cannot provide 3 months’ worth of wage slips, please provide a copy of your new employment contract. The Childcare Unit may contact you for wage slips to support your contract at a later date.

Your application will be processed much faster if you are able to attach your evidence.

Self-employed parents

Please provide:

  • A copy of your most recent self-assessment tax return form

If you are relatively newly self-employed, you are required to provide:

  • Proof of your Unique Tax Reference number from the HMRC
  • The Childcare Unit may contact you for more information regarding your new business

If you are uncertain as to what evidence is required or are having trouble with the application form, please contact us and we will assist with your enquiry.

By telephone: 01545 570881

By email:

Note: If a parent makes use of childcare before their application has been approved, the parent is liable to pay the costs of the childcare. Childcare Offer funding cannot be backdated to account for the period before an application is approved.


Where can I find out more about the Childcare Offer?

More information about the childcare offer is available on the: Welsh Government website - Childcare Offer for Wales campaign


Are you a Childcare Provider?

Please view our Provider Information page.



You can contact us in the following ways:

Our Online Contact Form

Online Form

By Post:

Childcare Unit
Canolfan Rheidol
Rhodfa Padarn
Llanbadarn Fawr
SY23 3UE

By Telephone:

01545 570881