Free childcare support for families in some of Gwynedd’s most disadvantaged areas could be on the cards.

More than 140 extra children in some of the most deprived areas of the county are expected to benefit if Gwynedd Council’s cabinet approves a recommendation to extend its Flying Start scheme. Welsh Government will invest almost £630,000 if it does, at its meeting next Tuesday, 25 April, as the Cambrian News goes to press.

The cash boost will come through the Government’s Children and Communities Grant which aims to make childcare more accessible. Phase Two of the scheme will also see care for two-year-olds in more areas including Caernarfon, Dyffryn Nantlle, Pwllheli, Porthmadog, Abermaw, Bala and Bro Ffestiniog.

The Flying Start scheme is run in the county by the council’s Children and Families’ Support Department.

The investment will give a welcome boost to families where parents are in education and training or need support to get back to work.

If cabinet gives the go-ahead, the council will also develop purpose-built buildings to help families with childcare in the early years, at Deiniolen, Bangor and Penygroes.

The plans will also see the expansion of childcare provision for those aged between two and four throughout the county. It is hoped this will give children the “best start” whilst also “strengthening” Welsh-medium provision.

Cllr Elin Walker Jones, cabinet member for the children and family support department, said: “I support these plans and moving on to Phase Two of Flying Start will be good news for children and also for their families.

“Having access to good childcare locally can make all the difference to a child’s development and this support can give their parents a boost as they start to think about returning to training or work.

“The Flying Start scheme already targets the most deprived areas of the county and I am glad that plans are in place to extend it to more communities.

“It will tackle deprivation and help fill the gaps in childcare provision available to parents of young children.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing more children benefit from free childcare.”

The Flying Start scheme targets the most deprived areas in the county, based on Welsh Government data.

However, the council says there will be some “flexibility” within the next phase of the scheme, to include some eligible families, who live outside the geographical boundaries.

If it goes-ahead, steps families who live within the noted areas will be informed on how to apply for support and awareness of the scheme raised.

For more information about the Flying Start scheme in Gwynedd visit the council’s website.