Out of School Childcare Conference and Awards Ceremony 2024

Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs held our 3rd annual Out of School Childcare Conference and Awards Ceremony on 6th March 2024. Although it would have been lovely to celebrate achievements in person, the online platform, streaming live on Youtube improved accessibility and we were pleased to welcome so many Out of School Childcare Clubs to our event with over 200 views to date! We would like to thank our guest speakers by providing such informative, relevant and interesting information: @doctorcymraeg, Stephen Rule, Laura Williams & Natalie Vater, CREW and Keith Towler, Chair of the Board of Trustees Play Wales​.

Ten awards were awarded, for which we received many worthy nominations, demonstrating the wonderful work going on in the sector to make a positive difference to children, families and communities. Congratulations to all the nominated Playworkers, Volunteers, Managers, Committees and Clubs across Wales and the winners. It really is a privilege to support you and your clubs.

Our Winners of the Out of School Childcare Awards 2024


Welsh Language Champion: Gwynedd After School Club, Flintshire

An Out of School Childcare Club that has championed the Welsh Language and striven to improve the level of Welsh Language incorporated into the Setting, and  support their own learning or the learning of others.

“Gwynedd After School Club have worked so hard over the past 7 months ensuring that the Welsh Language is being seen and heard throughout the After School Club. They started their journey on the Bronze Welsh promise award and are now well away on their Silver award. They have many staff that have completed the Camau course and they’ve all come together as a team to ensure that the children are given the best opportunities through the Welsh language. They combine everyday activities in club with the Welsh language and ensuring all key dates are celebrated. They have a Facebook page that all parents have access to, and weekly there are pictures and videos of activities and children speaking Welsh.  They encourage children to learn Welsh through play and are always looking at opportunities for developing Welsh language within the club.”

Supporting Staff Wellbeing: Gofal Plant Flourish Cymru Childcare, Rhondda Cynon Taf

A Manager, Owner, Play Leader or Committee that has striven to support the mental health and wellbeing of their staff, to create a healthy, positive work environment.

“Gofal Plant Flourish Cymru Childcare work tirelessly to ensure they look after not only the children’s wellbeing but the staff’s too. This past year they’ve employed a Wellbeing co-ordinator who does regular check ins with all the staff and children. Questionnaires are also sent out for everyone to be able to anonymously say anything that they need to. The co-ordinator works through any issues facing the staff or children and works on a plan to be able to help. Whether that’s sending information for people to be able to access things themselves, organising sessions with coaches, dietitians, naturopaths or financial advisors, they really go above and beyond what they need to do. They work with naturopaths to ensure that menus are nutritional and beneficial for the children, oganize and fund regular coaching sessions for managers and organize meetings with parents to ensure they are accessing all the support they are entitled to.”

Volunteer of the Year: Jane Williams, Bwlchgwyn Cabin Crew, Wrexham  

A volunteer who has worked hard and invested their own time to support their local Out of School Childcare Club and community.  

“Jane dedicates her time to ensure all staff are happy, that the children are given time, support and play opportunities and regularly supplies chocolates and biscuits for staff.”

Learner of the Year: Bethan Jones, Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs

A learner who has worked hard to achieve or make progress towards a qualification with Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs. This may have involved supporting peers, participating well in sessions, making the most of the learning experience, or overcoming challenges with passion and determination.

​​”This learner has taken complete ownership of her learning and is ahead of the game with her achievement. The work she has submitted is also of an exceptionally high standard and shows excellent knowledge of play, playwork and the sector. Independent research is clear throughout her work and she has also linked to her own playwork practice, reflected on situations and linked to her work to again clearly show her understanding. Great to see such a passionate, conscientious and motivated learner engaging with the qualification.”

Play Champion: Tiddlywinks, Neath Port Talbot 

 An Out of School Childcare Club that has championed children’s right to play and striven to provide high quality play opportunities for the children in their care.  

Nikita at Tiddlywinks must not sleep at night, because she is constantly coming up with fresh ideas. Tiddlywinks are keen for the children to take risks and are constantly looking to keep children interested and have fun. Nikita has organised many events this year and included the parents in many of them. Tiddlywinks love being and are a big part of the wider community. The feedback the club get from most of the parents is that they don’t feel so guilty working because the children are given opportunities to play and don’t miss out.”

Playworker of the Year: Sarah Sharpe, Poppins Day Care, Vale of Glamorgan

A Playworker who embodies the Playwork Principles and has gone above and beyond to provide an excellent service for children, parents/carers and the local community. 

Sarah has continually improved year on year. It is impressive how after all this time she is willing to further her knowledge and offers exceptional care and opportunities to the children. “My boys love that they spend the majority of their time outdoors, whether it’s going to the allotment to plant or pick fruits and vegetables, or going on a hike with a packed lunch to see the countryside and all it offers (even a Llama this summer). I don’t know how she does it or how she finds the time, but she always finds interesting things to keep my boys busy in the holidays and they absolutely love her and the days they attend. As a parent I can go to work knowing they are safe but not being stuck in a hall bored.

“Sarah takes me to the woods and we see the sheep and cows. I like painting conkers with mud and jumping in the stream. I love picking apples and getting seaweed to put on the mud to help the trees grow. Sarah is funny.”

Commitment to Continuing Professional Development: Dylan’s Den, Rhondda Cynon Taf

An Out of School Childcare Club that is committed to encouraging and supporting its staff to attend training and workshops to enhance their professional development, in order to support a quality childcare provision to be offered to the local community.

“Dylan’s Den has an excellent training programme, not only essential training but fun play training aimed at making it a better place for the children. Every member of staff has a training plan, and any expression of interest is looked into and if possible, booked. The personal development of the staff is an important part of staff wellbeing at Dylan’s Den. The management encourage all staff to access training that is suitable to staff progression and the needs of the setting. They are given time to complete these sessions either at the setting or at home if training is online. All training is paid whether it is during setting time or personal time.”

Promoting Positive Diversity​: Dylan’s Den, Rhondda Cynon Taf

An Out of School Club which has focused on creating an enriched culture where all employees, children and families can flourish and celebrate their diversity and differences within an inclusive ethos. 

Dylan’s Den is a multi-cultural setting accepting children from all nationalities and cultures. Multiple resources have been purchased to show equality and diversity and display boards show countries from around the world. Chloe Adams is the Equality and Diversity champion and is passionate about driving home the importance of this.​”

Champions of Inclusion: Child’s Play @ LTD, Swansea

An Out of School Childcare Club that works hard to provide inclusive, quality provision and to welcome and support accessibility for all children, staff and families. 

 ​”We recognise the importance of giving children and adults the opportunity to understand they are part of a multiracial society, and to respect cultures, lifestyles, languages and religions other than their own. To reflect our passion for community, kindness and inclusion we wanted to ensure that our settings were accessible to as many families as possible. As part of our Equality and Inclusion Policy, taking into account the Equality Act 2010, we pay due regard to children’s gender, religion, origins, cultural and linguistic background and any additional needs or disability that may affect them and their family. We have obtained and provided resources such as books, posters and activities that positively and accurately reflect the diversity of society. We actively incorporate cultural celebrations into our seasonal planning of activities with the children. We are an all-inclusive childcare provision.”

Out of School Club of the Year: Borras Park, Wrexham

A Setting that embodies the Playwork Principles and that is an excellent example of the benefit of quality play and childcare for children, families and communities.

“Borras Park club is always outside and has excellent outdoor resources, many of which are loose parts. The children choose their activities and support each other with the staff using the ‘planning in the moment’ model. There’s a fire pit area and many logs, they make excellent use of the outdoor environment. In their recent CIW Inspection they were given 4 Excellents. Parents say, “All  the staff are super helpful, approachable and quick to act when needed, they are brilliant with the children and always make it fun.” 

“Children are very happy and can’t wait to attend. They are disappointed when I pick them.” 

“Service provided is excellent, from staff, to setting.”   

“Fantastic staff and so safe and nurturing. We love seeing our two children having fun playing outdoors, feeding the chickens or working on their favourite craft activities.”

Roll of Playworker graduates 2023 (January – December) and Welsh Learning Achievers

We would also like to celebrate our Playworker graduates 2023 (January – December) and Welsh learning achievers. During the year, we saw an amazing number of Playworkers engaging in training with us and subsequently flourish in their roles, with learners making meaningful changes to their practice and benefitting children across Wales.

It’s not too late to watch The Out of School Childcare Conference and Awards! Click this link to watch on Youtube now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXhz-TZJaG8