Engagement in Wales
Over the summer PACEY Cymru have been reviewing the way in which we engage with members and all other home based childcare providers in Wales. A small focus group was held in the summer to support the future direction of this work to enable a more effective and wide reaching, accessible approach.
Formerly, through the PACEY Local model, PACEY Cymru held quarterly, regional face to face meetings but over time it has become clear that this is not an effective way of sharing information and hearing the views of members and home based childcare providers in Wales. We considered, as a team, the views of those attending the focus group and took a close look at engagement needs and requirements through our Cwlwm funded work.
The outcome of this is a fresh approach that we feel will lead to improved engagement across Wales and the key elements of this are outlined below. If you have any questions or want to share your views please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Wales office on 0845 8801299.
In line with our Cwlwm work both nationally and locally we will continue to engage with members and home based childcare providers through relevant engagement events. The details of these will be shared on the PACEY website as they are planned and shared and will be held when a need is identified and be specific to this topic rather than being a regular quarterly meeting on a wider range of topics. These may be run as Cwlwm events or PACEY Cymru events and the topic of discussion will link to a specific identified need for sharing or consultation with the sector. This could include changes to Welsh Government or Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) policy and requirements or for a wider discussion around a consultation document. When events have been held by PACEY Cymru historically these have had a significantly higher turn out and so wider evidence of engagement can be shown through working in this way.
We will also be planning into the calendar, supported through our Welsh Government funding, PACEY Cymru Forum webinars to support general discussion and sharing of good practice between members and all other home based childcare providers in Wales. These will be held every two months on a range of topics the first of which, due to take place in November, will be for those who have questions and want to find out more about the Childcare Offer for Wales. There will be no charge for accessing the webinar and information on these will be shared on our webinars for Wales page as they are planned and promoted. We believe that this will allow the forum to be more accessible to those across Wales due to the fact that webinars can be accessed from a home environment. The webinars will be facilitated by one of PACEY Cymru's Quality and Training Officers.
Following feedback we now have two closed Facebook groups that members, childminders in Wales and those looking to become a childminder in Wales will find useful.
Ideas for Creative Childcare- We know that childcare and early years professionals have some amazing creative ideas to share with other childcare professionals. Whether it's tips, ideas and activities to help support children meet their early learning goals or pictures of the things you get up to in your settings, we'd love to see them here. This is a closed group so you will need to request to join the group. This is relevant for those who are working in the sector as well as those looking to enter or register as a setting or childminder in Wales.
Becoming a Childminder in Wales- The aim of this group is to be a supportive group and network for people wishing to become childminders, those in the process of becoming a registered childminder and newly registered childminders. More experienced childminders, invited to join the group by PACEY Cymru, are welcome to share ideas and encouragement, but the main focus of this group is to support and guide new people to become registered childminders in Wales. Information posted in this group refers to childminding regulation and registration in Wales. This is a closed group so if you are looking to become a registered childminder in Wales or in the process of doing so you can request to join the group.
PACEY Cymru also identified a need to support those looking to form childminding groups in their local area and has produced guidance for anyone who is thinking of this with the things they need to consider and top tips. The guidance that has been produced is linked to below. PACEY Cymru is able to provide support and guidance through the pack on how to set up the group but this has to be led and managed by the childminders involved and is unaffiliated to PACEY.
Childminding groups can vary in many different ways, and come in lots of shapes and sizes. Some groups are very relaxed and only meet up occasionally in their spare evenings, some meet up during the day to have a catch-up and allow their minded children to socialise, and some groups are more formal. Formal groups may agree a group constitution and this may allow them to apply for more funding options. Having a regular funding stream will benefit your group in various ways, from securing and paying venue costs, to buying new equipment and toys, refreshments and arranging outings for the group.
Benefits of a childminding group
- Meet other childminders and offer mutual support
- Pass on childminding enquiries to each other.
- Reduced PACEY group membership - see PACEY website for further details
- Share good practice examples, resources and ideas
- Organise training events for the group and/or guest speakers to expand your continuous professional development (CPD)
- Enhance children’s socialisation and communication skills
- Offer support to newly registered childminders
- Representing and raising the profile of childminding in your local community
- Provide additional shared activities and outings with your minded children
What to find out more? The Childminding Groups in Wales Information pack is available to download in English and Welsh.