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The Welsh government has announced an extension of business rates relief for nurseries until 2025, sparking calls for the government in England to do the same.
The Welsh government has announced that registered childcare premises will benefit from 100% non-domestic rates relief for an additional three years.
The Welsh government says the extension of the rates relief, until 31st March 2025, will provide £9.7m of additional support for registered childcare premises.
The Small Business Rates Relief scheme was enhanced in April 2019 to provide 100% relief to all registered childcare premises in Wales for a three-year period. It was designed to help the sector deliver the childcare offer of 30 hours of early education and childcare.
Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Social Services said: “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.”
Scotland has previously announced the extension of business rates relief for childcare providers until 2023.
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, called on the Government in England to take similar action.
He stated: “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.”