Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs is the national organisation for Out of School Childcare Clubs in Wales. We have been promoting, developing and supporting the Out of School Childcare sector for over 20 years to develop a professional workforce that embraces and supports children’s self-directed play.
Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan, has acknowledged the significant contribution that Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs has made to the sector, noting that our support is “so important in helping our communities access quality out-of-school provision providing such valuable opportunities for our children to develop their social and emotional skills.”
Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs was established in 2001 with a base of 589 clubs. The organisation grew out of the recognition that quality, accessible Out of School Childcare could transform the fortunes of Wales – its children, parents, and enterprise – by enabling parents and carers to return to work, or education and training
The year 2005 saw a change in the memorandum and Articles of Association allowing the Board of Trustees to be drawn from club members to fully represent the sector. New initiatives and projects were launched to reflect the Welsh perspective in childcare, and we were able to access European funding to support the sector. Funding Facilitators, Development Officers and Training Officers provided expert support and guidance from 3 regional offices in Cardiff (also our headquarters), Colwyn Bay and Swansea. We delivered playwork qualifications, statutory training in First Aid and Food Safety, continuing professional development training and workshops for children.
Our £5.8 million Kids’ Clubs Project, ran from 2005 to 2009, and was funded a with a grant from European Social Fund (ESF) and match funding from Big Lottery (the then New Opportunities Fund – NOF), local authorities and the Welsh Assembly Government. Lottery funding also supported the opening of clubs from 2003-2007. The number of clubs grew to 1622 during 2007/08, when the Kids’ Clubs Project was nearing completion and New Opportunities Fund (NOF) funding was complete. To support the huge growth in clubs under these initiatives, the Kids’ Clubs Project also offered continuous professional development training and business skills support as well as providing financial support for vulnerable families and children with additional needs. European funding also funded projects to support club committee skills and 2006 saw our work within the Childcare in Wales Learning and Working Mutually project (CWLWM) initially established to deliver specific European projects such as our business development toolkit and training for the childcare sector.
From 2008 The Community Focussed Schools Initiative enabled us to keep driving forward our mission to promote, develop and sustain Out of School Childcare Clubs across Wales, allowing us to retain and provide Childcare Business Development Officer support to clubs within most local authority areas.
From 2009, with child poverty at the centre of social and political action, Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs focussed on projects to help young people and their families return to work, achieve a healthy lifestyle and maintain sustainability in clubs. European funded training initiatives allowed us to address needs of underrepresented groups such as the Traveller community, Asylum Seekers and unemployed people by building skills and confidence, enabling them to become part of the workforce again and lifting their families out of poverty.
January 2011 saw us launching Apprenticeships in Playwork for the first time. This training funded by Welsh Government and Europe, allowed us to deliver the Apprenticeship Framework which covers CACHE Level 2 & 3 Diploma in Playwork qualification as well as Essential Skills and Employment Awareness.
In 2012 our Play Learn and Grow Healthy project built on an earlier Lottery funded grant to promote children’s health across Wales in fun ways within Out of School Childcare Clubs. This substantial resource pack added to our ever-growing bank of resources built over the years through project funding addressing both childcare business skills and fun activities for children. See our membership area for resources.
2014, saw the CWLWM partnership, comprising the five leading childcare organisations in Wales, become a strong Welsh Government funded partnership to deliver a strategic, bilingual integrated service that ensures the best possible outcomes for children and families across Wales, within the Welsh Government’s ‘wholesystem’ approach. See the Cwlwm website https://www.cwlwm.org.uk/.
In January 2016, Jane O’Toole became Chief Executive Officer following the retirement of the previous Director, Wendy Hawkins, with whom Jane had worked alongside since the organisation’s inception and having played an integral part in the management of the organisation as well as all projects and fundraising.
Jane ensured that the excellent work of the former years of the organisation, supporting the Out of School Childcare sector in Wales, continued. Jane worked closely with Welsh Government and its departments, helping implement and inform on new strategies such as The Childcare Offer and Self Assessment of Service Statement (SASS) as well as the new qualifications for the Early Years, Playwork and Childcare sector. She continues to lead the growth and development of the organisation which represents the views of Out of School Childcare in Wales.
By 2018, due to years of ongoing austerity, the presence of Childcare Business Development Officers (CBDOs) within each local authority had significantly reduced. Projects funded by the Moondance Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund allowed Regional CBDOs to continue providing bespoke support specifically for the Out of School Childcare Club Sector along with network events.
Covid-19, saw the organisation as busy as ever, engaging with Out of School Childcare Clubs and seamlessly continuing to deliver business support and Playwork qualifications/other training as staff quickly adapted to work from home and online. We were also awarded funding under Progress for Success to deliver the Award in Transition to Playwork qualifications across most of Wales. Working relationships with Welsh Government, Cwlwm partners and local authorities were cemented as we supported the sector through the crisis.
2021 Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs updated and launched a new vision and mission statement focussing on 4 strategic goals of Governance, Sustainability, Training and Welsh language and culture.
2022 A new logo, image and website is launched as Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs updates its profile to reflect a new vision. Alongside its work with Welsh partners, Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs joined forces with the national intermediary organisations representing and supporting Out of School Childcare UK’s 4 nations to strengthen policy, practice, research and support for OSC across the whole of the UK. https://www.uk4osc.org/
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