Bridgend News Roundup: Childcare offer opening to new applicants, Applications to open for school places, Third phase of Covid-19 fund for creative freelancers to open

Childcare offer opening to new applicants

Working parents who have a child who was born between 1 September 2017 and 31 December 2017 could be able to claim 30 hours of funded childcare.  The Welsh Government’s childcare offer gives eligible working parents across Bridgend county borough the chance to access up to 30 hours of funded childcare and early education for three to four-year-olds, for up to 48 weeks of the year.  To be eligible for the scheme, which opens to new applicants on Monday, November 23, parents must earn on average a weekly minimum equivalent to, or more than, 16 hours at national minimum wage or national living wage but less than £100,000 per year.  If you are in a single parent family you need to be working and if you are in a two-parent family, you both need to be working. If you are self-employed or on a zero hours contract, you need to be able to prove this by providing the relevant documents. The offer is available during maternity leave and to those on long-term sickness.  Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations Councillor Dhanisha Patel said: “The offer can help parents to return to work, increase their hours or work more flexibly.  As a council, we are keen to help as many parents within the county borough as possible so are proud to support good quality funded childcare.”  To check your eligibility and apply, visit the council’s childcare offer information webpage.

Applications to open for school places

Admissions for the September 2021 intake of reception pupils to infant/primary schools and Year 3 in junior school in Bridgend county borough will open at 10am on Monday, November 23.  With the council’s online My Account service, it’s never been easier to submit applications.  You can sign up to My Account at Bridgend County Borough Council’s website, select and complete the relevant online form from 10am on Monday, and submit it before the deadline of 4pm on February 12, 2021.  Councillor Dr Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “My Account makes it fast, convenient and efficient for parents and guardians to apply for school places. A separate application process is in place for admissions to voluntary aided or church schools, and parents and carers will need to contact them directly to request an application form.”  Further details about school admissions, including catchment maps, can be found at  Joining My Account is free and requires only an email address. With options for managing your council tax account, checking your housing benefit and more, My Account avoids the need to visit the civic offices in person, queue or wait for a telephone operator to be free, and offers a fast, safe and more convenient way of doing business with the council.

Third phase of Covid-19 fund for creative freelancers to open

A total of £230,000 has been paid out to 92 residents in Bridgend county borough during the first two phases of the cultural freelancer fund with the third phase opening on Monday.  Another £3.5m is being made available to support freelancers in the cultural and creative sectors across Wales who are facing financial challenges as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.  The third phase of the fund for freelancers will open from 10am on Monday, November 23. The funding is part of an additional £10.7m announced by the Welsh Government for the wider Cultural Recovery Fund.  Individuals in the sub sectors of arts, creative industries, arts and heritage events, culture and heritage, whose work has direct creative and cultural outcomes, can apply for a £2,500 grant.  Bridgend County Borough Council Leader Huw David said: “The council welcomes the additional funding for the creative and cultural industries, which have been particularly badly hit during the Covid-19 pandemic.  This funding is already making a real difference to freelancers and organisations working in the sector after so many projects had to be postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.”  The grant seeks to complement other Covid-19 response measures to support organisations and businesses in Wales as part of the Cultural Recovery Fund. The eligibility criteria for the grant is as follows:

  • Facing financial challenges in the period from April 2020 – March 2021
  • Freelancer professionals whose work has direct creative/cultural outcomes, who work in the four key sub sectors: the arts; creative industries; arts and heritage events; culture and heritage
  • You must be operating in Wales
  • You must be based within the local authority you are applying to

You are not eligible for this grant if:

  • You have recently received funding from the Start-Up Grant launched in June 2020 to help new businesses survive the economic consequences of coronavirus (Covid-19)
  • You are a freelancer who works in the sport sector

Those who wish to apply should check their eligibility using the Business Wales Cultural Recovery Fund Grant checker.  You can also find out more information about the scheme on Bridgend County Borough Council’s freelance fund webpage, as well as a set of frequently asked questions.  Individuals who are eligible for the grant and wish to apply are asked to complete the application form on the council’s website from November 23. Applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. This may lead to applications not being appraised after they have been submitted if the fund is fully committed.  The freelancer fund has supported 2,800 individuals so far across Wales and the additional funding will support another 1,400 people.