The Welsh Government have announced that they are starting a pilot scheme offering 30 hours a week free childcare for three to four years old in six areas across Wales, including part of Rhondda Cynon Taff.
The details of the scheme are not yet known, but it does raise several questions.
The Labour party in RCT last year cut the amount of nursery education for three year olds from 30 to 15 hours a week, so how they are now going to be able to offer 30 hours a week free childcare is puzzling. Are they going to extend the school day back to full time? Although the provision is for child care not education, and of course is only for working parents.
The Council have closed several of their day care nurseries, and turned others into purely Flying Start centres, which provide free part time care for two to three year olds in selected deprived areas. How then could they provide the extra childcare outside of schools?
Of course the whole idea is a slightly odd one. Working parents need child care from much younger than three years, so whilst this may be welcome it is hardly going to make a huge difference to many.