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The Childcare Offer Wales

10 hours of Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) in a non-maintained setting

Online applications are now open for Autumn Term. Please submit your application by 16th September.  

Parent Information Booklet  

Part-time education for 3 year olds

All children in Wales are entitled to a free, part time Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) education place in an approved early years setting from the term following their third birthday and prior to gaining full time entry into school. 

Pembrokeshire County Council agrees to provide the funding received from Welsh Government to offer all eligible children a minimum of 10 hours funded part-time education in an approved setting during the school term. Parents can choose to take up the child’s entitlement either in a maintained or a non-maintained setting: 

A maintained setting – a nursery class in a school offering 10 hours or more a week of funded Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN).


A non-maintained setting – which could be a private day nursery, a playgroup or a Cylch Meithrin that has approved status offering 10 hours a week of funded Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) over a minimum of 3 days. This can be accessed over 2 settings.

All non-maintained approved settings who receive the funding:

  • Are registered with the local education authority to deliver the part time Foundation Phase Nursery
  • Are Inspected by CIW and ESTYN on a regular basis
  • Supported by a qualified teacher on a regular basis
  • Have appropriately trained staff
  • Deliver Foundation Phase Curriculum (statutory curriculum for all three to seven year olds in Wales)

Where can my child access Foundation Phase Nursery in Pembrokeshire?

Below is a list of all approved non-maintained settings that deliver Foundation Phase Nursery in Pembrokeshire:

· Bright Start Nursery - Pembrokeshire College, Haverfordwest, SA61 1SZ

· Broad Haven Playgroup - Village Hall, Marine Road, Broad Haven, SA62 3JS

· Camrose and Roch Playgroup – Pelcomb Community Centre, Haverfordwest, SA62 6AA

· Cylch Meithrin Abergwaun - Fishguard Leisure Centre, Fishguard, SA65 9DT

· Cylch Meithrin Arberth - Bloomfield Community Centre, Redstone Road, Narberth, SA67 7EP

· Cylch Meithrin Bwlchygroes - Yr Hen Ysgol, Neuadd Bwlchygroes, SA35 0DP

· Cylch Meithrin Casmael - Puncheston School, Haverfordwest, SA62 5RL

· Cylch Meithrin Crymych – Caban, Ysgol y Frenni, SA41 3QH

· Cylch Meithrin Eglwyswrw – Yr Hen Ysgol, Eglwyswrw, SA41 3SN

· Cylch Meithrin Hermon – Canolfan Hermon, Hermon, SA36 0DT

· Cylch Meithrin Maenclochog - Neuadd Gymunedol, Maenclochog, SA66 7LB

· Noah’s Ark Childcare - Tabernacle Lane, Narberth, SA67 7DE

· Playdays Fishguard - Crowne Building, Brodog Lane, Fishguard, SA65 9NT

· Redhill Montessori - The Garth, St Davids Road, Haverfordwest SA61 2UR

· Spittal Playgroup- Church Hall, The Green, Spittal, SA62 5QT

· Stepping Stones - 18A Bush Row, Haverfordwest SA61 1RJ

· Tabernacle Kindergarten - Tabernacle Church School Room, 93 Main Street, Pembroke, SA71 4DE

· Tavernspite playgroup - Tavernspite Village Hall, Tavernspite, SA34 0NL

· Templetots Playgroup - Templeton School, Templeton, SA67 8RS

Note:  Please speak to your chosen Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) setting and have your child’s place agreed before you submit an application. 

What will my child gain from attending Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) in a non-maintained setting?

Although it is not statutory for your child to attend Foundation Phase Nursery prior to gaining full time place in school, this is a very important phase in your child’s life as it lays the building blocks for their future learning and is part of the current and future curriculum. Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) is a general term used to describe the time your child spends in the Foundation Phase during the ages of three and four.

The Foundation Phase takes place both indoors and outdoors and allows children to learn through play. The curriculum gives every child the opportunity to be at the centre of their learning. Your child’s interests will be taken into account and they will be encouraged to make choices about their learning. Qualified staff will be observing children, working with individuals, small groups, or at times the whole group to extend and develop the learning. This results in a learning experience which is practical, fun and full of hands-on activities which are known to develop the following:

  1. Develops confidence
  2. Develops positive attitude to learning
  3. Develops numeracy skills
  4. Develops self-motivation and independence
  5. Develops thinking and problem-solving skills
  6. Allows expression through dance, art and music
  7. Develops language and communication skills
  8. Ability to make mistakes without fear of failure

For further information on the Foundation Phase:  Foundation Phase Guide for Parents and Carers

When will my child benefit from funded Foundation Phase Nursery?

All children in Wales can have access to funded Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) from the beginning of the term following their 3rd birthday and prior to gaining full time entry into full time school.  Please refer to the link here for further information on how to apply for a full time place in school.  (School Admissions online


Child's Date of Birth

When can my child access Foundation Phase Nursery?

1st April 2017 – 31st August 2017

Autumn 2020: 2nd of September 2020


1st September 2017– 31st December 2017

Spring 2021: 4th of January 2021







How do I apply for Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) funding in a non-maintained setting?

 You will need to talk to the childcare provider that you are currently using (or intend to use) for your child’s funded Foundation Phase Nursery.

The childcare provider will check when your child will become eligible. If your child is eligible, you will be asked to complete an on-line parent application here

How does it work? Step-by-step

1. Contact your chosen Foundation Phase Nursery setting and have your child’s place agreed

2. Complete On-line application hereWhilst applicants will be signing a disclaimer to confirm that they meet the criteria for eligibility, it is expected that each application is also supported by documentary evidence of the child’s date of birth (either a birth certificate/passport/medical health records) and proof of a Pembrokeshire address.

3. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming that your application has been received.

4. It can take up to 14 working days for your application to be processed.  Once your application has been processed, you will receive another email approving/declining your application.

5. If your application has been approved, an email will be sent to your chosen non-maintained setting with confirmation of a funded place.  Funding will then be released directly to your chosen setting once the application has been approved.

If you experience any issues with completing the on-line application form or would like further information, please contact:

Tel: 01437 770014


The Childcare Offer for Wales

On top of the entitlement of 10 hours a week of free early years education (which is available to all children), you may also be able to benefit from an additional 20 hours of funded childcare. To find out more about the Childcare Offer please visit Child Care Offer Wales 



ID: 5798, revised 16/09/2020

The Childcare Offer Wales

Childcare Offer for Wales to reopen

The Childcare Offer which provided eligible parents with up to 30 hours of Government funded early education and childcare for their 3 & 4 year olds was suspended in April.  This was to allow resources to be refocused, to support the childcare needs of critical workers and vulnerable children through the Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme (C-CAS).

As lockdown restrictions start to ease and with schools set to return from September, the Offer will reopen for applications enabling eligible families to start accessing the funded childcare.

The application process for parents/carers during August and September

Parents who would have been eligible for the Offer in the summer term (children who turned 3 between January 1st and March 31st, 2020), but who missed out on a full term because they had not started taking up the Offer before the pandemic, will be able to take up the Offer from the start of the autumn term in Pembrokeshire, if still eligible. Applications for these children will be open on Monday August 10th.

  • If families had already been accepted for the offer previously, the Ceredigion Childcare Team are in the process of contacting parents for their updated information.  Parents do not need to complete the whole application again.
  • Parents who had not applied previously will need to complete a full application.

Parents whose child becomes eligible for the Offer in Pembrokeshire from the autumn term (children who turn/turned 3 between April 1st and August 31st, 2020), will be able to apply from Wednesday 9th September and can take up a funded place once Ceredigion Childcare team has processed their application following eligibilty checks. Parents of autumn term children will not be able to apply before the 9th September.

Summer term children (Children who turned 3 between January 1st  2020 and March 31st 2020) - Applications open August 10th

Autumn term children (Children who turned 3 between April 1st  2020 and August 31st 2020) -  Applications open September 9th  

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 and any childcare funding cannot be backdated to account for the period before an application is approved.

If you have any queries, please contact 




Early years


1. What is the Childcare Offer?

The Welsh Government recognises that childcare is one of the biggest challenges facing working families in Wales. Supporting families with quality, flexible and affordable childcare supports economic regeneration, can reduce pressures on family income and help parents to participate in work, thus reducing a family’s risk of poverty. It also supports the wellbeing of children through positive and rich childcare experiences.

The Childcare Offer for Wales provides 30 hours a week of government-funded early education (FPN) and childcare for eligible working parents of 3 to 4 year olds, for up to 48 weeks of the year.

2. Who can apply? Am I eligible?

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

  • Your child is 3- 4 years old
  • Lives in Pembrokeshire
  • Both parents /co-habiting couples must be working 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

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 (please see link further down this page)

Families where both parents are in receipt of the benefits below will not be able to access the offer:

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

How will taking up the Childcare Offer effect my benefit?

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 during which they will be able to continue to access the offer.

Exceptions to eligibility:

Where one parent meets the eligibility criteria and the other parent is in receipt of one of the benefits above, the child will still be able to access the offer.

There are some exceptions to parents eligibility. To check regarding these phone 01545 570881 to speak to the Childcare Offer Team in Ceredigion.


  • Parent on maternity/paternity /adoption leave
  • Parent on long term sick leave
  • One parent on some benefits e.g. carers allowance, incapacity benefit etc. (this does not apply to single parents)

3. How many hours am I eligible for under the Childcare Offer?

The number of hours of funded childcare will depend on the number of hours of Early education the child is receiving. No combined total should exceed 30 hours. Early education is also known as ‘Foundation Phase nursery’.

What is early education?

All children are entitled to early education (Foundation Phase Nursery) from the term after their 3rd birthday. All local authorities provide a minimum of 10 hours per week early education, either in the local school or in a setting like a playgroup, a day nursery or a Cylch Meithrin. During term time, this early education will be part of the childcare offer’s 30 hours.  Schools are offering a variety of different hours and sessions for part time Foundation Phase early years’ education for 3 year olds.  This varies from 10 hours per week up to 17 hours per week.


Early education (FPN) hours’ child is receiving per week = 10 hours

Child is eligible for 20 hours of funded childcare.

Early education (FPN) hours’ child is receiving per week = 12 hours

Child is eligible for 18 hours of funded childcare through The Childcare Offer.


4. When is my child eligible for the Childcare Offer?

The offer will begin from the term after a child’s third birthday until they are offered a full time education place.  Please note, that the offer will start from the first day of the school term set by the Local Authority. 

Dates for 2020-21


5. Where can I access The Childcare Offer?

To find details of the Care Inspectorate for Wales registered childcare providers in your area who are registered to deliver the Childcare Offer: List of Providers

During the School Term Time: You can choose up to 2 registered childcare settings + Foundation Phase setting in any one day.

During the Holidays: You can choose up to 2 registered childcare settings in any one day.

FAQs for parents in pilot areas

6. Holiday entitlement

Holiday Entitlement Calendar 2020  

The Childcare Offer will provide working parents of 3 – 4 year olds with 30 hours of funded early education and childcare per week, up to 48 weeks of the year. The term time element is made up of 39 weeks, with the remaining 9 weeks of the offer treated as non-term time or ‘holiday provision’. During these 9 weeks holiday provision, eligible children will receive 30 hours of childcare only each week.

The Welsh Government will not be specifying which of the 13 weeks non-term time are designated as the 9 weeks of holiday provision in order to allow flexibility for parents who are in different occupations, such as those who have to work over the summer or Christmas holidays. However, parents will not be able to ‘stretch’ their entitlements across weeks or transfer unused hours across weeks.

Holiday provision will be allocated at the beginning of each term the child is eligible for the offer. Children will be allocated 3 weeks of holiday provision per term. Any unused allocation can be carried over and used in the next term, provided they are still eligible to receive the offer. Children who are eligible for the offer for one or two terms only will receive 3 weeks holiday provision at the beginning of each term, just as any other child would.

Please see the following 9 weeks pro-rata holiday entitlement:

  • A child who is eligible to receive the offer for three terms will be entitled to receive 9 weeks of holiday childcare during school holidays.
  • A child who is eligible to receive the offer for two terms will be entitled to receive 6 weeks of holiday childcare during school holidays.
  • A child who is eligible to receive the offer for one term will be entitled to receive 3 weeks of holiday childcare during school holidays.

Four year olds:

Where a child is offered a full-time education place before the September after their fourth birthday (e.g. term after their fourth birthday or the term they turn four), that child is still eligible to receive 30 hours per week of holiday provision up until the September after their fourth birthday.

Children born in autumn or spring terms may be eligible to receive the offer for more than one year. In such cases, at the beginning of the second year a new allocation of holiday provision will be given for the remainder of the time they are eligible to receive the offer.

Please note, once a child is eligible for full-time education they are no longer entitled to the childcare offer during term-time.

How do I apply for Holiday entitlement?

There is a separate application form which needs to be completed in order to claim Holiday entitlement. You can apply for your holiday childcare via a link in the email you received confirming your term time childcare. If you cannot locate the confirmation email or having trouble accessing the link, please contact Clic Ceredigion on 01545 570881 and the link can be resent via email.

Applications for the holiday entitlement will need to be made at least 4 weeks before the date you require the holiday entitlement. These will be checked within the month leading up to the holiday by the Childcare Unit. If your application is successful, you will be notified via e-mail.

7. Application Process for eligible parents/guardians

Ceredigion County Council is the delivery Authority on behalf of Pembrokeshire for the Childcare Offer. The delivery authority (Ceredigion County Council) will need to check the eligibility of all applicants.

Whilst applicants will be signing a disclaimer to confirm that they meet the minimum criteria for eligibility, it is expected that each application is also supported by documentary evidence of eligibility.

Below is a checklist of the documents (copies) needed to support your application: 

  • scan/photograph evidence (save as a .pdf or .jpeg format)
  •  birth certificate (long version) or birth certificate (short version) with proof of parental responsibility 

  • parent’s last 3 months pay slips (proof of earnings)
  •  If Self–employed: a copy of your latest self-assessment Tax return (HMRC SA103 form) or if it is a new business (set up within the last 12 months) and you don’t have a self-assessment tax return yet you will need to provide a copy of the letter from HMRC confirming your Unique Tax Reference number (UTRN).
  • proof of residency (e.g. most recent Council Tax Statement, bank statement, utility bill)

 Before starting your application, you will also need the following details in hand:

  • All parents National Insurance Numbers
  • Agreed childcare providers hours and days
  • Employers contact details, including: Address, telephone number and email

If you experience any issues with providing evidence of the documents above, please contact:

Clic Ceredigion on 01545 570881 or e-mail

Ffion Jones, Thirty Hour Childcare Information Officer on 01437 776194 or email

Once you have completed your online application and submitted all the required evidence your application will be processed by the Childcare Unit within 10 working days.  If your application is successful, you will be notified via e-mail.

Delays in submitting relevant evidence or failure to submit will result in delaying the eligibility checking process.

You cannot save your application so please ensure you have the relevant documents prior to starting the application.

Step by Step Guide: Parent/Guardian

 Parent online application form

8. Registration Process for Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) Registered Childcare Providers

You will be required to register with Ceredigion County Council (Delivery Authority on behalf of Pembrokeshire County Council) in order to deliver the Offer to eligible children within Pembrokeshire.

The on-line registration form for Childcare Providers is now open for you to complete.

Childcare Provider application form  

Childcare Offer Step-by Step Guide

Early Implementation of the Childcare Offer - Q&As for providers         

Once you have completed the online registration form you will receive a contract which you will need to sign and return to Clic Ceredigion.

If you have any issues with the registration process, please contact:

Clic Ceredigion on 01545 570881 or e-mail


Ffion Jones on 01437 776194 or email


ID: 4620, revised 16/09/2020