Free childcare available to Trust parents

Posted: June 14, 2016

Up to 30 hours a week completely free

Staff at the Great Western Hospital with young families will be all too familiar with the hassle associated with finding affordable childcare locally. 

But thanks to a new pilot scheme from Swindon Borough Council, those stresses may soon be a thing of the past as staff can now claim up to 30 hours of free childcare a week. 

Swindon has been chosen by the Department of Education to be one of eight pilot areas, which entitles parents to free care from local nurseries, pre-schools and child-minders. 

Oonagh Fitzgerald, Director of Human Resources, welcomed the news by saying: "Working in healthcare is a fantastic and rewarding career but often one that's not nine-to-five, which can make finding suitable childcare difficult.

"We are extremely grateful to have been offered this amazing support by the council, which I know will come as a great help to so many of our staff, as well as people thinking of joining our teams at GWH, with young families."

Spaces for the year-long scheme, which begins in September, are limited to 415 children.

As spaces are limited, to be eligible for the pilot all parents in a household must meet the criteria below, and at least one should work for GWH.

  • Have children aged either three or four years
     
  • Live in Swindon
     
  • Not earn more than £100,000 a year 
     
  • Agree to childcare being provided in Swindon

It is hoped that as many staff as possible will take advantage of this new scheme, which has been offered to the Trust ahead of the national roll out to all eligible youngsters from September 2017.

Cllr Fionuala Foley, the Council's Cabinet Member for Children's Services, said: "I am sure this offer will be of great benefit to all Trust staff and the local community."