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Childcare re-start must end “discriminative approach” says Plaid Cymru

PLAID Cymru Shadow Education Minister Sian Gwenllian MS has called on the Welsh Government to extend childcare offer to parents who aren’t working and those in education.

The reinstating of the Welsh childcare offer later this year should be used as an opportunity to end its “discriminative approach” and adopt a children’s rights approach, says Plaid Cymru Shadow Education Minister Sian Gwenllian MS.

Ms Gwenllian responded to the announcement from the Welsh Government that their child care offer will reopen for applications in August, noting that the offer should be extended in order to follow a “children’s rights led approach.”

Sian Gwenllian MS said,

“Whilst I welcome the announcement that the Welsh Government is restarting its childcare offer and providing important early years’ experiences for some children in Wales, it is deeply unfair that this policy discriminates against some children.

“By excluding 3-4 year olds whose parents don’t work or are in education, the offer is discriminating against the poorest in our communities, and is having negative implications on children based on their parents’ status – how is this fair?

“Attending nursery brings many benefits to children, including providing an opportunity to play and develop their social skills.

“If the Welsh Government took a children’s rights led approach, all children of eligible age would be included. Considering the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was enshrined in the law over 15 years ago, it is not progressive to neglect children’s rights in this instance.

“The current offer is incredibly restrictive, and that is why I’m calling on the Welsh Government not only to extend eligibility to children of parents who aren’t in work or are in education but also to extend the offer beyond only 3-4 year olds.

“Plaid Cymru believes in a more inclusive approach, and if elected would phase in free universal childcare for children aged 12 months until they are eligible for full-time education. We believe that no child should be left behind.”

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