A finance officer working on a programme to support underprivileged children used a card to buy goods worth more than £11,000 for her own family.
Victoria Gomez, who was responsible for budgets on the Flying Start scheme, used a procurement card to buy items including a coffee machine, PlayStation accessories and jewellery.
Speaking at Cardiff Crown Court , Judge Michael Fitton QC said: “The crucial priority is for the money to be repaid.”
The court heard the fraud happened between March 2016 and December 2017 while she was working for Bridgend County Borough Council .
Prosecutor Thomas Roberts said the Flying Start programme, which is funded by the Welsh Government , aims to support children in areas of particular deprivation before they start school.
Gomez, 44, previously worked for the council in a different area and started working on Flying Start in 2011.
The court heard she qualified as a registered accounting technician and was responsible for payroll, paying suppliers and petty cash.
Prosecutors said the defendant had training in how to use a procurement card, which was supposed to be used for buying items like food for the children and equipment for the staff.
Mr Roberts told the court Gomez used the card to top up her Amazon account and buy PlayStation membership.
The court heard she also bought a coffee machine, tablet, shoes, jewellery and toys amounting to nearly £6,000.
Prosecutors said she also used the card to buy items approved for the programme, but returned them and got the refunds on her own bank card.
Mr Roberts told the court she got 30 refunds between September 2016 and December 2017, adding up to more than £5,600.
The council launched an investigation following allegations made by a whistleblower and Gomez was suspended in April 2018. The matter was reported to the police the following month.
Mr Roberts said the total loss to the council was £11,573. Christopher Evans, defending, said his client would be able to repay the money in full in three or four weeks.
Gomez, from Southerndown Road in St Brides Major, Bridgend , admitted fraud. She had no previous convictions.
Mr Evans said Gomez was in £30,000 of debt through credit cards and loans and asked for an adjournment to allow her to repay the money.
He said he would get a letter from her GP about her mental health and a letter from the hospital about her physical health.
Judge Fitton said: “I want to know more about this. I have not decided yet whether I am going to send you to prison immediately.”
He told the defendant the fact he was adjourning was not an indication as to the type of sentence he would pass. Gomez was granted bail until January 20.