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NEWS: Findings of recovery calls in Wales/Canfyddiadau galwadau adfer yng Nghymru

Darllenwch hyn yn Gymraeg yma.  Read this in Welsh here

Following PACEY Cymru undertaking recovery calls with childminders in Wales in recent months we have collated the key findings of these calls to provide an insight into issues impacting on the sector and recommendations for work to support the sector moving forward.  The calls provided a ‘snapshot’ at the time of collation on the views of childminders and the challenges they were facing in relation to COVID-19. 

 

How childminding services compare now to how they were working prior to Covid-19

COVID -19 has had an impact on how busy childminders are with a total of 61% saying they are quieter than pre-COVID-19.  Parental demand and concerns were a major contributing factor.  Childminders who provided a service for key workers commented how this ensured they were able to maintain services.  There was a mix of responses in relation to school aged children with some stating that care for younger children has been quieter with after school care being busier.  Others commented that after school care has been quieter as parents have been working from home.  Further comments stated that changes to services provided have also impacted as childminders made decisions in line with the Protective measures to reduce risk.

 

A number stated they had taken the decision to retire earlier than planned which will impact on the number of de-registrations in coming months and is a consequence of COVID-19.

Financial support

  

The most common source of support in the comments was the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme with others noted Local Authority grants available and a small number noting other sources of support including bounce back loans, Universal Credit and furlough schemes.

Confusion and the criteria around the support available were some of the reasons childminders did not access financial support.

 

Confidence in financial viability

  • 57% confident around financial viability over the next 12 months
  • 38% unsure or not confident around financial viability over the next 12 months

While some were confident and this was reflected in the comments it should be noted that even where childminders stated they were confident many of the comments came with a caveat around the uncertainty going forward. 

Positive cases of COVID-19 in childminding settings

11% of childminders stated they had had a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 at sometime within their setting.  This figure is higher than the number of recorded positive COVID-19 notification received by CIW from childminders in Wales.

It could lead us to assume that not all childminders have followed the notification process to CIW which is a concern.  PACEY Cymru alongside Welsh Government, Cwlwm partners, CIW and Local Authorities have worked tirelessly over the year to ensure accurate and relevant information has been shared with providers for them to understand their responsibilities.  Please see the dealing with symptoms and postive test results of our frequently asked questions for Wales for information on the process that should be followed. 

Self-isolation

40% of childminders stated they or household members had had to self-isolate at some point during the pandemic with 60% of these stating they had closed their service during this time.   The approach to closure of a childminder setting due to self-isolation of family members of a childminder depend on a number of factors  and this accounts for why not all settings closed due to self-isolation.  We would recommend that in the case of self-isolation being required of family members of a childminder that the childminder works with Public Health Wales on a risk assessment of their circumstances and to outline any potential mitigating actions they could put into place to remain open.

If a childminder or a member of their household develop symptoms of COVID-19 during any self-isolation stage then the setting would need to close and follow guidance around symptoms and testing.

Information, advice and guidance

The findings show that childminders value accurate and relevant information to their own practice.  This demonstrates the need for any information to be clearly specific around the requirements for childminders given the way services differ from other daycare and play services. 

 

Many of the comments were positive about the role of PACEY and others in sharing information, advice and guidance.

 

Work going forward

  • Childminder decline in Wales

In line with previous work there is a concern given the decline in registered childminders in Wales in recent years.  The recovery calls have provided further evidence around concerns that there may be further de-registrations in coming months exacerbated by issues related to COVID-19.

PACEY Cymru recommend that partnership work is ongoing with CIW, Welsh Government, Local Authorities, Business Wales, Social Care Wales and other key stakeholders to address issues related to the decline in childminding by continuing to make improvements and remove barriers to registration.

  • Start-up grants and pre-registration support

To support ongoing sustainability issues for the sector and the ongoing decline in childminder numbers in Wales PACEY Cymru recommend that further consideration is given by the Welsh Government to the future of childminder start-up grants.  It is recommended that given the ongoing concerns around the decline and inconsistencies of funding that a national, long term grant scheme is established with a wider funded programme that supports further to the point of registration nationally

  • Business planning

One theme that came through was in relation to a childminder’s reliance on other household income and is a concern.  It is challenging to address these issues but PACEY Cymru will continue to support the further professionalisation of childminding, promote financial planning and signpost to wider business support to help the sector recover and grow confidence. 

  • The role of CIW

There was some confusion and concern around CIW’s role around providing information, advice and guidance in relation to COVID-19.  PACEY Cymru believe it is worth considering how CIW’s role can more clearly be shared with the sector for them to further understand this and for this to then meet expectations.  PACEY Cymru will feed in the views shared as part of discussions around CIW’s role in relation to quality improvement in 21-22.

  • Ongoing financial support

While there has been a variety of sources of financial support to date this report has identified the on-going need for continuing financial support in the short, medium and longer term to support the sector post COVID-19 during a recovery phase.   PACEY Cymru recommend that Welsh Government work closely with the sector to establish concerns, issues and further sources of financial support during 21-22 and potentially beyond.

  • PACEY Cymru support

The need for Wales specific information, advice and guidance came thorugh strongly in this report.  PACEY Cymru will continue to work with partners including Welsh Government, Public Health Wales, CIW, Local Authorities, Business Wales and Social Care Wales, to ensure we are seen as a ‘go to’ source of accurate, accessible and relevant information, advice and guidance.  This work has highlighted the challenges that are in place around engaging with childminders.  PACEY Cymru will also undertake further work in 21-22 to ensure childminders understand the benefits of keeping up to date and accessing sources of accurate and reliable information, guidance and advice and where to access support.

  • Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)

The development of an ECEC approach in Wales will be key to widening opportunities available to childminders in Wales around the delivery of funded services including Childcare Offer for Wales, Flying Start and Foundation Phase Nursery/New Curriulum funded places.  PACEY Cymru will continue to support the development of frameworks and approaches at a national and local level to ensure these are fit for purpose for childminding settings, offer parity and parental choice as well as supporting improved outcomes for children.

Further support

If any childminder in Wales would like to speak and discuss any issues with a member of the team please contact paceycymru@pacey.org.uk with your contact details and a member of team will contact you to arrange a support call.

Ar ôl i PACEY Cymru ymgymryd â galwadau adfer gyda gwarchodwyr plant yng Nghymru yn ystod y misoedd diwethaf, rydym wedi coladu canfyddiadau allweddol y galwadau hyn i roi cipolwg ar faterion sy'n effeithio ar y sector ac argymhellion ar gyfer gwaith i gefnogi'r sector wrth symud ymlaen.  Roedd y galwadau'n cynnig 'cipolwg' ar adeg eu coladu o farn gwarchodwyr plant a'r heriau yr oeddent yn eu hwynebu mewn perthynas â COVID-19. 

Sut mae gwasanaethau gwarchod plant yn cymharu nawr â sut roeddent yn gweithio cyn Covid-19

Mae COVID-19 wedi cael effaith ar ba mor brysur yw gwarchodwyr plant gyda chyfanswm o 61% yn dweud eu bod yn dawelach na chyn COVID-19.  Roedd galw gan rieni a’u pryderon yn ffactor a gyfrannodd yn fawr.  Nododd gwarchodwyr plant a oedd yn darparu gwasanaeth i weithwyr allweddol sut roedd hyn yn sicrhau eu bod yn gallu cynnal gwasanaethau.  Cafwyd cymysgedd o ymatebion mewn perthynas â phlant oed ysgol gyda rhai yn nodi bod gofal i blant iau wedi bod yn dawelach gyda gofal ar ôl ysgol yn brysurach.  Dywedodd eraill fod gofal ar ôl ysgol wedi bod yn dawelach gan fod rhieni wedi bod yn gweithio gartref.  Nododd sylwadau pellach fod newidiadau i'r gwasanaethau a ddarperir hefyd wedi cael effaith wrth i warchodwyr plant wneud penderfyniadau yn unol â'r Mesurau Amddiffyn i leihau risg.

Nododd nifer eu bod wedi gwneud y penderfyniad i ymddeol yn gynharach na'r disgwyl a bydd hynny’n effeithio ar nifer y dadgofrestriadau yn ystod y misoedd nesaf ac mae hynny o ganlyniad i COVID-19.

Cymorth ariannol

 

Y ffynhonnell gymorth fwyaf cyffredin yn y sylwadau oedd y Cynllun Cymorth Incwm i'r Hunangyflogedig gydag eraill yn nodi bod grantiau Awdurdod Lleol ar gael a nifer fach yn nodi ffynonellau cymorth eraill gan gynnwys benthyciadau adfer, Credyd Cynhwysol a chynlluniau ffyrlo.

Dryswch a'r meini prawf ynghylch y gefnogaeth sydd ar gael oedd rhai o'r rhesymau nad oedd gwarchodwyr plant wedi cyrchu cymorth ariannol.

 

Hyder mewn hyfywedd ariannol

  • 57% yn hyderus ynghylch hyfywedd ariannol dros y 12 mis nesaf
  • 38% yn ansicr neu heb hyder ynghylch hyfywedd ariannol dros y 12 mis nesaf

Er bod rhai yn hyderus a bod hyn yn cael ei adlewyrchu yn y sylwadau, dylid nodi, hyd yn oed pan nododd gwarchodwyr plant eu bod yn hyderus, daeth nifer o sylwadau gyda rhybudd ynghylch yr ansicrwydd wrth symud ymlaen. 

Achosion positif o COVID-19 mewn lleoliadau gwarchod plant

Nododd 11% o warchodwyr plant eu bod wedi cael achos positif o COVID-19 rywbryd yn eu lleoliad.  Mae'r ffigwr hwn yn uwch na nifer yr hysbysiadau COVID-19 positif cofnodedig a dderbyniodd AGC gan warchodwyr plant yng Nghymru.

Gallai hyn ein harwain i dybio nad yw pob gwarchodwr plant wedi dilyn y broses hysbysu AGC, sy'n bryder.  Mae PACEY Cymru ochr yn ochr â Llywodraeth Cymru, partneriaid Cwlwm, AGC ac Awdurdodau Lleol wedi gweithio'n ddiflino dros y flwyddyn i sicrhau bod gwybodaeth gywir a pherthnasol wedi'i rhannu â darparwyr er mwyn iddynt ddeall eu cyfrifoldebau.  Gweler delio â symptomau a chanlyniadau profion positif yn ein cwestiynau cyffredin i Gymru am wybodaeth am y broses y dylid ei dilyn. 

Hunan-ynysu

Nododd 40% o warchodwyr plant eu bod nhw neu aelodau'r cartref wedi gorfod hunan-ynysu ar ryw adeg yn ystod y pandemig gyda 60% o'r rhain yn nodi eu bod wedi cau eu gwasanaeth yn ystod yr amser hwn.  Mae'r dull o gau lleoliad gwarchodwr plant oherwydd bod aelodau teulu’r gwarchodwr plant yn hunan-ynysu yn dibynnu ar nifer o ffactorau ac mae hyn i gyfrif am pam na chaeodd pob lleoliad oherwydd hunan-ynysu.  Byddem yn argymell, yn achos aelodau teulu’r gwarchodwr plant yn gorfod hunan-ynysu, fod y gwarchodwr plant yn gweithio gydag Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru ar asesiad risg o'u hamgylchiadau ac i amlinellu unrhyw gamau lliniaru posibl y gallent eu rhoi ar waith i aros ar agor.

Os yw gwarchodwr plant neu aelod o'u cartref yn datblygu symptomau COVID-19 yn ystod unrhyw gyfnod hunan-ynysu, yna byddai angen i'r lleoliad gau a dilyn arweiniad ynghylch symptomau a phrofion.

Gwybodaeth, cyngor ac arweiniad

Mae'r canfyddiadau'n dangos bod gwarchodwyr plant yn gwerthfawrogi gwybodaeth gywir a pherthnasol i'w harfer eu hunain.  Mae hyn yn dangos yr angen i unrhyw wybodaeth fod yn glir a phenodol ynghylch y gofynion ar gyfer gwarchodwyr plant o ystyried y ffordd y mae gwasanaethau'n wahanol i wasanaethau gofal dydd a chwarae eraill. 

 

Roedd llawer o'r sylwadau'n gadarnhaol am rôl PACEY ac eraill wrth rannu gwybodaeth, cyngor ac arweiniad.

Gwaith wrth symud ymlaen

  • Gostyngiad mewn gwarchodwyr plant yng Nghymru

Yn unol â gwaith blaenorol mae pryder o ystyried y gostyngiad mewn gwarchodwyr plant cofrestredig yng Nghymru yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf.  Mae'r galwadau adfer wedi darparu tystiolaeth bellach ynghylch pryderon y gallai fod dadgofrestriadau pellach yn y misoedd nesaf wedi'u gwaethygu gan faterion yn ymwneud â COVID-19.

Mae PACEY Cymru yn argymell bod gwaith partneriaeth yn mynd rhagddo gydag AGC, Llywodraeth Cymru, Awdurdodau Lleol, Busnes Cymru, Gofal Cymdeithasol Cymru a rhanddeiliaid allweddol eraill i fynd i’r afael â materion sy’n ymwneud â’r gostyngiad mewn gwarchodwyr plant trwy barhau i wneud gwelliannau a chael gwared ar rwystrau rhag cofrestru.

  • Grantiau cychwyn a chymorth cyn-gofrestru

Er mwyn cefnogi materion cynaliadwyedd parhaus ar gyfer y sector a'r dirywiad parhaus yn nifer y gwarchodwyr plant yng Nghymru, mae PACEY Cymru yn argymell bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn rhoi ystyriaeth bellach i ddyfodol grantiau cychwyn i warchodwyr plant.  Argymhellir, o ystyried y pryderon parhaus ynghylch dirywiad ac anghysondebau cyllid, y dylid sefydlu cynllun grant tymor hir cenedlaethol gyda rhaglen ehangach a ariennir sy'n cefnogi ymhellach i'r pwynt cofrestru yn genedlaethol.

  • Cynllunio Busnes

Un thema a ddaeth i'r amlwg oedd mewn perthynas â dibyniaeth gwarchodwr plant ar incwm cartref arall ac mae'n bryder.  Mae'n heriol mynd i'r afael â'r materion hyn ond bydd PACEY Cymru yn parhau i gefnogi proffesiynoli pellach ar warchod plant, hyrwyddo cynllunio ariannol a chyfeirio at gymorth busnes ehangach i helpu'r sector i adfer a meithrin hyder. 

  • Rôl AGC

Roedd rhywfaint o ddryswch a phryder ynghylch rôl AGC o ran darparu gwybodaeth, cyngor ac arweiniad mewn perthynas â COVID-19.  Mae PACEY Cymru yn credu ei bod yn werth ystyried sut y gellir rhannu rôl AGC yn gliriach gyda'r sector er mwyn iddynt ddeall hyn ymhellach ac i hyn fodloni disgwyliadau.  Bydd PACEY Cymru yn adrodd y safbwyntiau a rennir fel rhan o drafodaethau ynghylch rôl AGC mewn perthynas â gwella ansawdd yn 21-22.

  • Cymorth ariannol parhaus

Er y bu amrywiaeth o ffynonellau cymorth ariannol hyd yma, mae'r adroddiad hwn wedi nodi'r angen cyfredol am gymorth ariannol parhaus yn y tymor byr, canolig a hwy i gefnogi'r sector ar ôl COVID-19 yn ystod cyfnod adfer.  Mae PACEY Cymru yn argymell bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn gweithio'n agos gyda'r sector i sefydlu pryderon, materion a ffynonellau cymorth ariannol pellach yn ystod 21-22 ac o bosibl y tu hwnt.

  • Cymorth PACEY Cymru

Daeth yr angen am wybodaeth, cyngor ac arweiniad penodol i Gymru yn gryf yn yr adroddiad hwn.  Bydd PACEY Cymru yn parhau i weithio gyda phartneriaid gan gynnwys Llywodraeth Cymru, Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru, AGC, Awdurdodau Lleol, Busnes Cymru a Gofal Cymdeithasol Cymru, i sicrhau ein bod yn cael ein hystyried yn ffynhonnell ddibynadwy o wybodaeth, cyngor ac arweiniad cywir, hygyrch a pherthnasol.  Mae'r gwaith hwn wedi tynnu sylw at yr heriau sydd ar waith o ran ymgysylltu â gwarchodwyr plant.  Bydd PACEY Cymru hefyd yn gwneud gwaith pellach yn 21-22 i sicrhau bod gwarchodwyr plant yn deall buddion derbyn y wybodaeth ddiweddaraf a chyrchu ffynonellau gwybodaeth, arweiniad a chyngor cywir a dibynadwy a ble i gael gafael ar gymorth.

  • Addysg a Gofal Plant yn y Blynyddoedd Cynnar (ECEC)

Bydd datblygu dull ECEC yng Nghymru yn allweddol i ehangu'r cyfleoedd sydd ar gael i warchodwyr plant yng Nghymru yn ymwneud â darparu gwasanaethau wedi'u hariannu gan gynnwys Cynnig Gofal Plant i Gymru, Dechrau'n Deg a lleoedd a ariennir Meithrin y Cyfnod Sylfaen/Cwricwlwm Newydd.  Bydd PACEY Cymru yn parhau i gefnogi datblygu fframweithiau a dulliau gweithredu ar lefel genedlaethol a lleol i sicrhau bod y rhain yn addas at y diben ar gyfer lleoliadau gwarchod plant, yn cynnig cydraddoldeb a dewis i rieni yn ogystal â chefnogi gwell canlyniadau i blant.

Cefnogaeth bellach

Os hoffai unrhyw warchodwr plant yng Nghymru siarad a thrafod unrhyw faterion gydag aelod o'r tîm, cysylltwch â paceycymru@pacey.org.uk gyda'ch manylion cyswllt a bydd aelod o'r tîm yn cysylltu â chi i drefnu galwad o gefnogaeth.

Roedd llawer o'r sylwadau'n gadarnhaol am rôl PACEY ac eraill wrth rannu gwybodaeth, cyngor ac arweiniad.