Plaid Cymru Assembly candidates Helen Mary Jones (Llanelli) and Simon Thomas (Carmarthen West) will today visit the Gamfa Wen nursery in Carmarthen to highlight the party’s pledge to offer free childcare for all three years old in Wales.
The Party of Wales has pledged to increase the number of hours of free early years play-based education available for three year olds from 10 hours to 30 hours every week if it forms the next Welsh government following the Assembly election on May 5.
Plaid Cymru Assembly candidate for Llanelli and Shadow Minister for Children and Young People, Helen Mary Jones said:
“Plaid Cymru is committed to supporting our children and young people from cradle to career. That is why we are pledging to offer free childcare for all three year olds in Wales.
“Nurseries such as the one we will be visiting today play a vital role in our children’s future educational prospects and social development.
“As well as giving our children the best possible start in life, our policy could help parents who already use childcare save more than £100 a week. Parents throughout Wales are paying more for childcare than in most parts of the UK. Childcare costs have increased by 40% since 2011 in Wales, making it difficult for parents to return to work."
Simon Thomas AM, Plaid Cymru Assembly candidate for Carmarthen West and Shadow Minister for Education, added:
“Wales is lagging behind the other UK nations in the international PISA academic standards, and investing in a comprehensive education system is one of the most effective way of improving our children’s life prospects.
“Research shows that children from disadvantaged backgrounds will benefit the most from increasing this provision, and help them reach their full potential. This will have a positive impact on the economy and our society as a whole.
“Our policy could help raise families out of poverty, enabling parents to work, have more disposable income, and contribute to the economy.
“Investing in the next generation and creating a well-educated Wales is one of Plaid Cymru’s top priorities.”