AN EXTRA £60 million is to be invested into childcare in Wales over the next three years.

The investment is part of the Welsh Government's commitment to provide 30 hours of free childcare for parents of three and four year olds, for up to 48 weeks of the year, by 2020.

The cash will be handed out over the next three years and will be used to either set up new locations to provide childcare or bring existing providers up to standard.

It will also be used to create new jobs in the sector, as well as provide more Welsh-language childcare and services for children with learning difficulties.

Children's minister Huw Irranca-Davies said: “I’m really pleased to announce a significant £60 million Welsh Government investment in new childcare settings across Wales, which will ensure parents across the country are able to access high quality, government-funded childcare places.

"This will not only ensure their children are given the very best start in life, but it will go a long way to help reducing the strain on family income and helping ensure childcare is not a barrier to them taking up employment or increasing their hours.

“This investment will help ensure the 30 hours offer is as clear and easy as possible for working parents to understand and children to access.

"As part of this, we need to enable parents, wherever possible, to be able to drop off their children and pick them up from the same site and access a seamless 30 hours of childcare, although wrap around provision will continue to be an important part of the answer for some children and parents.”