Free Childcare In Wales: Pilot Areas Confirmed

Childcare | by | 12th Apr 2017

Free Childcare Kid with Bubbles

Talk Childcare is Welsh Government’s free childcare offer to working parents.

The plan is to offer working parents of 3 and 4 year olds 30 hours of free childcare and early education for 48 weeks a year. Before rolling out nationally however, the scheme will be piloted and tested in 7 counties around the country.


Anglesey will test the childcare offer in the areas of:

  • Menai Bridge
  • Llandegfan
  • Llanfairpwll
  • Beaumaris
  • Llangoed

And in the villages and towns of:

  • Brynsiencyn
  • Dwyran
  • Llangaffo
  • Llanddaniel
  • Llanedwen
  • Llangefni
  • Niwbwrch
  • Talwrn


Gwynedd will test the offer in the well-being areas of:

  • Bangor which includes Bethesda.
  • Porthmadog which also includes Criccieth, Penrhyndeudraeth, Harlech and Garndolbenmaen.
  • Ffestiniog which includes areas down to Trawsfynydd
  • Dolgellau which includes the area around Barmouth, Corris, Dinas Mawddwy, Dyffryn Ardudwy and Llanbedr.

From January 2018, the well-being area of Caernarfon which includes Bethel, Cwm y Glo, Bontnewydd, Deiniolen, Llanberis, Groeslon, Llanllyfni, Clynnog, Llanrug, Llanwnda, Penisarwaen, Penygroes, Talysarn and Waunfawr will also be testing the offer.

Blaenau Gwent

Blaenau Gwent will implement the offer across the whole local authority from September 2017.


Caerphilly will test the offer in the Mid-Valleys East region. This areas incorporates urban areas such as Blackwood, Newbridge and Crumlin, as well as a number of smaller communities.


Flintshire will test the offer in specified areas of Buckley, Bagillt and Broughton.

Rhondda Cynon Taf

Rhondda Cynon Taf will test four school catchment areas spread across the three valleys and one Welsh-medium catchment area. These are Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun, Bryncelynnog, Ferndale and Mountain Ash school catchments.


Swansea will test the offer in wards spread across the city including Dunvant, Penclawdd, Llangyfelach, West Cross, Morriston, Pontarddulais and Gorseinon.

The pilot schemes are due to start in September 2017.

cartoon children for free childcare article

Welsh Government are currently asking parents for their experiences of childcare in Wales to fine tune this new offer. So if you’d like to have your say then click any of the below that applies to you…

Alternatively you can email them:

What’s available now?

There is already a free childcare scheme in Wales called Flying Start. But not everyone can access it, as it depends on where you live to qualify for Flying Start. It appears that this new childcare offer, when it is fully operational, will not have post code restrictions.

What happens next?

It isn’t clear at the moment how long the pilots will last before a decision is taken on a national roll out. Indeed, the National Day Nurseries Association has raised concerns about whether there will be enough places when it fully launches.  Nevertheless this is great news for working parents living in the pilot areas. FamilyPoint Cymru will be following this story closely, yet in the meantime, have a look at our childcare news and articles.

FamilyPoint Helpline

If you feel you need to talk to someone about this issue or any other problems your family is having then call our advisors on the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline. The helpline is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. They can help you to find organisations that can help.

If you liked this article there are lots more in our Magazine section:

Free Childcare In Wales? What You Need To Know

Meet Flying Start: Early Years Support For Families In Wales

Stress: 15 Ways To Try And Beat It

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