The importance of Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) registered Welsh Medium Childcare
Schools and the services they provide are often the hub of local communities, but, only 23.9% (1) of learners are currently in Welsh medium education (PLASC 2021/22).
Local communities consider both the school and the wider services available on school sites, such as childcare that they require to be supported and thrive as a family . Many parents will base their choice of school on wider services available and regardless of the value they may place on Welsh medium education, they may choose an English medium school due to the additional services they have on site.
Welsh medium schools may have a Clych Meithrin provision on site through developments undertaken by Mudiad Meithrin’s Cynllun Sefydlu a Symud (SAS), however, parents also require childcare beyond 3pm and during the school holidays, as well as for children older than 7 years; Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) registered Out of School Childcare provides such care and having these childcare services on Welsh medium school sites will support more parents to choose Welsh medium education and remain economically active.
Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs has undertaken a mapping exercise to evaluate the number of Welsh medium primary schools against local childcare provision. There are over 400 (2) Welsh medium primary schools in Wales and 164 (3) already have Welsh medium childcare either on site or in the immediate local area. There is still a significant need to establish more Out of School Childcare Clubs for Welsh medium primary schools and that they become registered with Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW). Currently 593 (3) of those 164 (36%) existing Welsh medium childcare clubs are not registered with CIW leaving parents unable to receive financial support or access the Childcare Offer and 95%(3) of those unregistered are based on school sites.
Why you should have a Welsh medium CIW registered Out of School Childcare Club on your school site?
Welsh is not just a language for education, it is a living language and children should be supported to use the language outside of the classroom in the communities where they live. Childcare, specifically Out of School Childcare Clubs, provide children with a suitable environment and opportunities to play with the understanding that Play is intrinsically motivated and freely directed by children.
There are many benefits to having a CIW registered Out of School Childcare Club for example:
• to attract families to the school – the availability of CIW registered childcare provision is an influencing factor when moving house and choosing schools;
• to Support mental well-being – children have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and Out of School Childcare Clubs and the play opportunities they provide support children’s resilience and mental well-being.
• to benefit children feeling more comfortable in school resulting in improved school attendance and greater pupil achievement;
• to enable families to access help with the cost of childcare fees, through access to Tax Credits or the Tax Free Childcare scheme, relieving financial stress on families and increasing the sustainability of the club;
These examples highlight the importance that Welsh medium, CIW registered Out of School Childcare Clubs have in increasing the use of the Welsh language, to actively assist in the preservation of the Welsh language and culture for future generations.
If you would like more information on opening an Out of School Childcare Club or registering an existing club, Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs can assist you through the process.
Contact one of our regional offices:
- https://www.gov.wales/pupil-level-annual-school-census-plasc | https://www.llyw.cymru/cyfrifiad-ysgolion-blynyddol-ar-lefel-disgyblion-cybld
- Local Authority website data | Data gwefan yr Awdurdod Lleol
- Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs data | Data Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs