In August 2016 Welsh Government launched the #TalkChildcare campaign in order to talk to parents and begin to talk to providers about the new childcare offer for Wales. The campaign aimed to understand the current barriers parents face in accessing childcare, what’s important to them about the new offer and to ensure that providers are aware of the offer and have the opportunity to raise any questions.
PACEY Cymru shared the links to this in previous news stories but there will be further opportunities to feed in as providers as the offer in Wales develops.
Welsh Government have since considered the responses and feedback received, and have updated their web pages to reflect the key messages parents and providers have raised. These include:
They have also outlined What is Next? which shows what will happen as the offer develops.
One of the key considerations that was noted during the campaign was one that PACEY Cymru have highlighted. Many of the parents/carers said they would like more choice in terms of where they can access early education (Foundation Phase provision) for their children. PACEY Cymru have previously promoted the need for childminders, who are currently underused as providers of Foundation Phase provision in Wales, to be given the opportunity to access funding and provide an additional service to families.
Claire Protheroe, Direct Services Manager, PACEY Cymru stated ‘PACEY Cymru strongly believe that Welsh Government and Local Authorities need to take a closer look at this issue and provide opportunities for childminders to access funding for Foundation Phase education for children in their care. By doing this they will be supporting parental choice and continuity of care in line with the responses received. This will also have a positive impact on sustainability of childminding settings at a time when we know that many childminders are deregistering due to financial instability’
PACEY Cymru’s report on Childminder De-registrations in Wales takes a closer look at some of the reasons for the increase.
PACEY Cymru will continue to work with Welsh Government as the offer develops further and champion the needs of the sector. We will be informing members of upcoming engagement events where they can share their views through our monthly e-newsletters. If you have any further views to share on this please email us email@example.com. We are especially keen to hear from any members in early implementation areas who are currently delivering the childcare offer on how this is going- both positive and negative- to inform discussions and direction. There is further information on these areas and the answers to other frequently asked questions on the PACEY website.