THE Welsh Government has announced £4 million funding to support childcare providers affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The new Childcare Provider Grant will offer dedicated funding for the childcare sector to help more providers re-open as schools in Wales return in September.

The grant is available to childcare providers who have been unable to access other business support schemes offered by the UK and Welsh governments, and most providers will be eligible for a one-off grant of £2,500 to meet costs such as rent, utilities and unmet wages.

Applications for the scheme will open on August 24 and the scheme will close on October 31.

Deputy minister for health and social services, Julie Morgan, said: “Many of our childcare providers have faced significant challenges as a consequence of coronavirus.

"To control the spread of the virus it was necessary to keep the numbers of children in attendance low but we recognise that this came at a cost.

“I am acutely aware of the challenges the childcare sector has faced and I want to thank all childcare providers for their perseverance and professionalism during these difficult times.

"The Welsh Government recognises the important role childcare plays as part of the foundational economy and we are determined to support the sector as the economy reopens.

“Ensuring the availability of formal childcare places is instrumental to our recovery and I am pleased we are able to offer this vital lifeline to those in the sector who have fallen through the other support measures.

“I hope this announcement will help parents and providers to plan, with more certainty, for the future.”