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News: Childminders and COVID-19 in Wales/Gwarchodwyr plant a COVID-19

Darllenwch hyn yn Gymraeg yma.  Read this in Welsh here.

We are sure many of you will have seen the welcomed news in England in relation to childminders who have a positive case of COVID-19 in their household.

In Wales we have been lobbying Welsh Government to apply a similar position and give clear clarity to childminders specifically on this issue.  Following us raising issues Welsh Government have been, and continue to be, in discussion with Public Health Wales. 

What is the current position in Wales?

The First Minister has announced that the requirement for coronavirus risk assessments and reasonable measures for regulated premises will be retained until 18 April and then be subject to review

This means that childcare and play settings will need to continue to undertake risk assessments and put in place the reasonable measures the risk assessment deem necessary and follow the Childcare and Play Guidance.  Welsh Government are looking to review these this week to reflect the current restrictions.

This currently states:

‘Childminders should be familiar with self-isolation advice and what they need to do if they or a household member has symptoms, tests positive or is asked to self-isolate.

Childminders are also advised to contact their local Environmental Health Teams or PHW Health Protection Teams (0300 00 300 32) for advice on whether they can offer childminding services from the home while someone in their household has been advised to self-isolate or has tested positive. This supports the provision of advice specific to a childminder’s individual circumstances.’

We are aware there are issues with contacting PHW with only a recorded message being available on the line above.  PACEY Cymru have therefore collated contact details for local environmental health teams in Wales for you to use if you need advice. Please email paceycymru@pacey.org.uk for details.

What will change from the 18th April?

To date Welsh Government have confirmed that the position in relation to childminders will remain unchanged in Wales from the 18th April when current restrictions are removed. 

What are the challenges?

We know in practice and from information shared by members that this does not lead to a clear and consistent approach across Wales due to confusion in Wales as to how this is applied and decisions made.  There are also not specific lines of advice published to support settings which leads to delays around decision making while contact is made with advisors.

We are aware that the delay in being able to contact environmental health team or Public Health Wales and confirm the approach leads to childminders often having to temporarily close while awaiting the decision

We know that even a temporary closure impacts on a families childcare needs and can also negatively impact on the setting.  We have heard from members that some parents have made the decision to move to other forms of childcare to ensure reliability in the case of issues like this.  This is currently outside of a childminders control and can have an extremely negative impact due to the anxiety and stress around financial insecurity as well as the viability and sustainability of childminding services going forward.

We are also aware of Environmental Health teams and Public Health Wales being cautious in relation to recommending childminders remain open and so more than often a childminder seeking advice is being asked to close.

In the context of a continuing decline in childminder numbers in Wales we strongly believe that issues like this need to be considered and resolved to ensure a consistent approach that supports the welfare of children while also allowing the childminder themselves to make informed decisions based on information to hand and in line with individual risk assessments.

We also know that there are more recent issues in relation to a lack of financial support if settings need to close due to COVID-19 and this is likely to grow.

What are PACEY Cymru asking for?

In Wales we have been lobbying Welsh Government to apply a balanced and considered approach and give clarity to childminders on this issue. 

PACEY Cymru are asking for:

  • clear and consistent lines of advice to be published by Welsh Government given the uniqueness of childminding settings.
  • childminders in Wales to be enabled and empowered to make timely, informed decisions around remaining open using the lines of advice and their own risk assessments and judgements. 
  • Remove the barriers to accessibility to short term funding in relation to forced closures to support the sector to support the sustainability and viability of childminders at a time of need

What you can do to support

Share your views with us! 

We especially want to hear from those who have had positive COVID-19 cases in their household.  Share with us your experience of;

  • your situation
  • the decision making process you followed
  • where you sought advice from
  • whether you were able to remain open or had to close based on the advice you sought
  • the views or impact on families of children for whom you provide care that being able to remain open or having to close had
  • the impact on your service and finances that being able to remain open or having to close had

Please email paceycymru@pacey.org.uk with any experiences you are able to share.

We will continue to lobby for change and will update through our usual channels as this work develops.

 

Rydym yn siŵr y bydd llawer ohonoch wedi gweld y newyddion a groesewir yn Lloegr mewn perthynas â gwarchodwyr plant sydd ag achos positif o COVID-19 yn eu cartref.

Yng Nghymru rydym wedi bod yn lobïo Llywodraeth Cymru i gymhwyso rheol debyg a rhoi eglurder clir i warchodwyr plant yn benodol ar y mater hwn.  Ar ôl i ni godi materion, mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi bod, ac yn parhau i fod, mewn trafodaethau ag Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru. 

Beth yw’r sefyllfa bresennol yng Nghymru?

Mae'r Prif Weinidog wedi cyhoeddi y bydd y gofyniad am asesiadau risg coronafeirws a mesurau rhesymol ar gyfer safleoedd rheoleiddied yn cael ei gadw tan 18 Ebrill, ac yna'n destun adolygiad.

Mae hyn yn golygu y bydd angen i leoliadau gofal plant a chwarae parhau i gynnal asesiadau risg a rhoi ar waith y mesurau rhesymol y mae'r asesiad risg yn barnu eu bod yn angenrheidiol ac yn dilyn y Canllawiau Gofal Plant a Chwarae.  Mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn bwriadu adolygu'r rhain yr wythnos hon i adlewyrchu'r cyfyngiadau presennol.

Yn datgan ar hyn o bryd:

‘Dylai gwarchodwyr plant fod yn gyfarwydd â chyngor hunanynysu a’r hyn sydd angen iddynt ei wneud os ydynt hwy neu rhywun sy’n byw gyda nhw yn cael symptomau, yn profi’n bositif neu’n cael cyfarwyddyd i hunanynysu.

Cynghorir gwarchodwyr plant hefyd i gysylltu â'u Timau Iechyd yr Amgylchedd neu Dimau Diogelu Iechyd lleol Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru (0300 00 300 32) i gael cyngor ynghylch a allant gynnig gwasanaethau gwarchod plant o'r cartref tra bod rhywun yn eu haelwyd wedi cael cyngor i hunanynysu neu wedi profi'n bositif. Bydd hyn yn cefnogi’r cyngor sy'n benodol i amgylchiadau unigol gwarchodwr plant.’

Rydym yn ymwybodol bod problemau gyda chysylltu ag Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru gyda dim ond y neges uchod ar gael. Mae PACEY Cymru wedi casglu manylion cyswllt timau iechyd yr amgylchedd lleol yng Nghymru i chi eu defnyddio os oes angen cyngor arnoch.  Anfonwch e-bost paceycymru@pacey.org.uk am fanylion.

Beth fydd yn newid o 18 Ebrill?

Hyd yma mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi cadarnhau y bydd y sefyllfa mewn perthynas â gwarchodwyr plant yn aros yr un fath yng Nghymru o 18 Ebrill pan fydd y cyfyngiadau presennol yn cael eu dileu. 

Beth yw'r heriau?

Rydym yn gwybod yn ymarferol ac o wybodaeth a rennir gan aelodau nad yw hyn yn arwain at ddull clir a chyson ledled Cymru oherwydd y dryswch yng Nghymru ynghylch sut y caiff hyn ei gymhwyso a’r penderfyniadau a wneir.  Hefyd, nid oes llinellau cyngor penodol wedi'u cyhoeddi i gefnogi lleoliadau sy'n arwain at oedi wrth wneud penderfyniadau wrth gysylltu â chynghorwyr.

Rydym yn ymwybodol bod yr oedi o ran gallu cysylltu â thîm iechyd yr amgylchedd neu Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru a chadarnhau’r dull gweithredu yn arwain at warchodwyr plant yn aml yn gorfod cau dros dro wrth aros am y penderfyniad.

Rydym yn gwybod bod hyd yn oed cau dros dro yn effeithio ar anghenion gofal plant teulu a gall hefyd gael effaith negyddol ar y lleoliad.  Rydym wedi clywed gan aelodau bod rhai rhieni wedi gwneud y penderfyniad i symud i fathau eraill o ofal plant er mwyn sicrhau dibynadwyedd yn achos materion fel hyn.  Mae hyn y tu allan i reolaeth gwarchodwyr plant ar hyn o bryd a gall gael effaith hynod negyddol oherwydd y pryder a'r straen ynghylch ansicrwydd ariannol yn ogystal â hyfywedd a chynaliadwyedd gwasanaethau gwarchod plant wrth symud ymlaen.

Rydym hefyd yn ymwybodol bod Timau Iechyd yr Amgylchedd ac Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru yn wyliadwrus mewn perthynas ag argymell bod gwarchodwyr plant yn aros ar agor ac felly yn fwy nag aml gofynnir i warchodwr plant sy’n ceisio cyngor gau.

Yng nghyd-destun y gostyngiad parhaus yn nifer y gwarchodwyr plant yng Nghymru, rydym yn credu’n gryf bod angen ystyried a datrys materion fel hyn er mwyn sicrhau dull gweithredu cyson sy’n cefnogi lles plant tra hefyd yn caniatáu i’r gwarchodwr plant ei hun wneud penderfyniadau gwybodus ar sail y wybodaeth sydd ar gael ac yn unol ag asesiadau risg unigol.

Rydym yn gwybod hefyd bod materion mwy diweddar yn codi o ran diffyg cymorth ariannol os oes angen i leoliadau gau oherwydd COVID-19 ac mae hyn yn debygol o dyfu.

Beth mae PACEY Cymru yn gofyn amdano?

Yng Nghymru rydym wedi bod yn lobïo Llywodraeth Cymru i ddefnyddio dull cytbwys ac ystyriol a rhoi eglurder i warchodwyr plant ar y mater hwn. 

Mae PACEY Cymru yn gofyn am:

  • linellau cyngor clir a chyson i gael eu cyhoeddi gan Lywodraeth Cymru o ystyried pa mor unigryw yw lleoliadau gwarchod plant.
  • gwarchodwyr plant yng Nghymru i gael eu galluogi a’u grymuso i wneud penderfyniadau amserol, gwybodus ynghylch aros yn agored gan ddefnyddio’r llinellau cyngor a’u hasesiadau risg a’u barnau eu hunain. 
  • Cael gwared ar y rhwystrau i hygyrchedd cyllid tymor byr mewn perthynas â chau gorfodol i gefnogi’r sector i gefnogi cynaliadwyedd a hyfywedd gwarchodwyr plant ar adeg o angen

Beth allwch chi ei wneud i gefnogi

Rhannwch eich barn gyda ni! 

Rydym am glywed yn arbennig gan y rhai sydd wedi cael achosion positif o COVID-19 yn eu cartref.  Rhannwch gyda ni eich profiad o:

  • eich sefyllfa
  • y broses benderfynu a ddilynwyd gennych
  • o ble y gofynnoch am gyngor
  • a oeddech yn gallu aros ar agor neu wedi gorfod cau ar sail y cyngor a geisiwyd gennych
  • y farn neu’r effaith a gafodd gallu aros ar agor neu orfod cau ar deuluoedd plant rydych yn darparu gofal ar eu cyfer
  • yr effaith a gafodd gallu aros ar agor neu orfod cau ar eich gwasanaeth a'ch cyllid

Anfonwch e-bost at paceycymru@pacey.org.uk gydag unrhyw brofiadau y gallwch eu rhannu.

Byddwn yn parhau i lobïo am newid a byddwn yn diweddaru drwy ein sianeli arferol wrth i'r gwaith hwn ddatblygu.