What does the Disability Respite and Childcare Panel do?

Our Disability Respite and Childcare Panel considers requests for short-term funding of childcare places, ‘Extra Hands’ support for childcare settings and respite placements in order to:

  • enhance the wellbeing and resilience of families of children with disabilities and / or additional needs
  • allow parents of children with disabilities and / or additional needs to work

The panel meets monthly and requests for funding must be submitted by the last working day of the month before the panel date. Funding is always temporary and is only allocated as the budget allows.

The panel also considers requests for Additional Learning Needs support for children accessing the Childcare Offer for Wales who have a disability and/or additional need.

Childcare placements criteria and guidance

The definition of ‘Disability or Additional Need’ is: a disability, complex health need or additional need which is likely to last more than 12 months and has a substantial impact on everyday life (can be considered without diagnosis).

It is expected that children with additional needs will already be supported by a number of different organisations who should be listed on the application form. Supporting statements from these organisations will be requested before the panel meets.

Applications will only be accepted from professionals working with the family (e.g. childcare provider, health care worker). 

What is the criteria for funding?

Applications to the Disability Respite and Childcare Panel will be considered to allow children aged 0 – 19 with a disability and/or additional need to access childcare, where...

1. The childcare is needed to promote the wellbeing of the child/family, or the parents are unable to work without Extra Hands support for a childcare placement and, 
2. The parent is unable to afford the childcare fees or Extra Hands support is needed so that the child can attend and, 
3. The setting has taken all reasonable measures to meet the child’s requirements and is unable to meet the needs of the child without additional funding

We’re unable to approve funding for Extra Hands where the child is already receiving similar funding or similar services from another agency. We’re unable to approve funding for childcare placements where the family is receiving other sources of childcare funding for the same purpose.

How much funding is offered?

The funding for childcare offered through this panel could contribute (if required):

  • up to £4.50 per hour towards the cost of childcare places for parents who would not otherwise be able to afford the fees, with a maximum of five hours or £22.50 per day - whichever is less (funding provided per hour will not exceed the setting’s normal hourly rate and the number of funded sessions will normally be limited to 12)
  • £10 per hour towards the cost of employing an extra member of staff who will act as an inclusion worker for a specific child or children (Extra Hands)

How many hours per week can the funding go towards?

The maximum number of hours per week that the funding can provide towards the cost of employing an additional member of staff is broken down as follows...

Extra Hands Funding - Childcare Offer

Term time 

Three year olds (Early Education) – maximum of 20 hours per week

Three to four year olds (Foundation Phase Nursery) – maximum of 17.5 hours per week 

School holidays 

Maximum of 30 hours (three and four year olds) per week

The funding will cover the entirety of the childcare offer period 

Extra Hands Funding – to allow parents to work

Maximum of 10 hours per week for 13 weeks or one school term

Extra Hands Funding - to enhance the well-being and resilience of families 

Maximum of one session per week (eight hours per session) for 13 weeks or one school term

Can the funding be withdrawn?

If the child misses three sessions of funded childcare, the setting is responsible for informing the panel administrator of this and the funding offer may be withdrawn after the third missed session. A new application would need to be made for any future funding. Spot checks will be carried out by WFIS staff.

Extra Hands staff employment

In the case of Extra Hands funding being agreed, the extra member of staff is employed by and reports to the childcare setting itself, which is responsible for meeting the additional employment costs that this scheme does not cover. The setting is responsible for making sure that the employee is suitably qualified and checked via an appropriate safe recruitment process. The setting will also need to make sure that the employee works within the scope of their policies, procedures and any additional legal requirements.


You can appeal against a panel decision in the event that you don’t agree with the outcome reached.

Appeals forms can be requested from paneladmin@wrexham.gov.uk. Once the form is completed, return it via email to paneladmin@wrexham.gov.uk.

Any appeal must clearly demonstrate the reasoning behind your rejection of the panel’s decision. Extra information or evidence not included in the original application form must be provided in order for the appeal to be considered.

Appeals must be received by the Thursday before each panel meeting. Any received after this time will be considered at the following panel meeting.

If you then disagree with the decision on the appeal, you can submit a complaint via the council’s general complaints procedure.