Rates relief extended for childcare providers in Wales until 2025
By Rachel Lawler
Registered child care provders based in Wales will benefit from 100% business rates relief for an additional three years, the Welsh government has announced.
The update means that childcare providers in Wales will not have to pay business rates until 31 March 2025, saving the sector up to £9.7m.
Deputy minister for social services in Wales Julie Morgan commented: "We are committed to investing in Wales’ childcare sector. It is vital we recognise the essential service childcare settings provide to families, offering positive and caring environments for our children and helping parents to access employment, education or training.
"The pandemic has had a devastating impact on businesses across Wales and childcare settings have been severely impacted. The pandemic has created new, and exacerbated existing challenges for childcare settings. The extension of the rates relief will help registered childcare premises continue the crucial work they do and help to ensure they remain viable businesses."
This update comes after the Scottish government suspended business rates for early years proivders until "at least" June 2023.
Extention to England urged
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, commented: "While we recognise that business rates are only one piece of the puzzle and do not affect all early years providers, there is no doubt that both extending business rate relief beyond March 2022 and increasing it back up to 100% would give some much some much-needed breathing space to eligible providers at what is still an incredibly difficult time for many settings.
"If the Scottish and Welsh governments can recognise the need for such action, then there is no reason that policymakers in England cannot do the same.
"As such, we urge the government to use the upcoming Spending Review to announce the extension of business rate relief rates for all eligible early years settings – or better still, a permanent exemption for the sector – alongside much-needed wider early years funding reforms."