GWENT councils are set to receive almost £500,000 of funding to provide out of school hours childcare in a Welsh Government initiative.
The Out of School Childcare grant, available from next year, has set aside £2.3 million to provide local authorities across Wales to help families struggling with the cost of childcare.
The grant, totalling £489,929 for the areas of Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, and Torfaen, will provide local authorities with additional funds to target specific areas of childcare support including provision for disadvantaged families and one-to-one care for disabled children.
The scheme will also allocate money to improve training and start-up grants for childcare providers as well as support Welsh language childcare provision.
Vaughn Gething, deputy minister for tackling poverty, said: “Childcare is a huge issue for many families, especially working parents.
"This funding will give real support for hard working families by helping deliver affordable childcare for children, allowing parents or guardians to work the hours they want or to study to improve their life chances.
"We will expect local authorities to show us how the money will be used to provide childcare provision which meets the needs of parents and carers.
"We know that many parents and carers work atypical hours, are on low income, have disabled children and there is a need to consider how we meet the demand for Welsh language childcare. I look forward to seeing ho this money is used to benefit families across Wales.”
The grant scheme is due to be rolled out for the 2014/15 financial year.
Blaenau Gwent will get £75,391, Caerphilly will be given £128,686, Monmouthshire gets £70,785, Newport: will receive £132,912 while Torfaen will be given £82,155.