A survey by the Family and Childcare Trust has revealed a significant shortage of childcare places in Wales – with just 20% of Welsh councils reporting enough availability in their area for every parent that worked full time.
In contrast, around half of all English councils report enough capacity, with a quarter of Scottish councils saying that they have enough spaces to meet demand.
The survey has given rise to concerns over the ability of the Welsh Labour Government to deliver on a key election promise to increase the provision of free childcare.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Secretary for Education and Children, Darren Millar – said:
“With four out of every five Welsh councils reporting a shortage of childcare it is clear that the Welsh Labour Government will struggle to deliver its promise to extend free childcare.
“It is very concerning that Wales is, once again, siting at the bottom of the UK table, and it is deeply concerning that no Welsh local authority feels able to provide enough childcare for working parents or for families with disabled children.
“While we welcome the Welsh Government’s proposals to increase childcare provision, their pre-election promise is now at risk.
"We need to see a clear strategy and timetable to increase capacity in the childcare sector in a bid to turn this situation around."
Notes to editors:
The report from the Family and Childcare Trust can be accessed here: https://www.familyandchildcaretrust.org/relief-welsh-parents-childcare-prices-drop-%E2%80%93-not-enough-childcare-available-working-parents