Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs is very excited to be working in partnership with Welsh Government to pilot a new initiative this Summer with 3 Registered Out of School Childcare Clubs across Wales. The scheme is allowing these clubs to offer a number of fully funded Holiday Club places each day for the duration of the Summer to children from low income families in their area. These funded places will allow families, who would otherwise not be able to access these services, to benefit from quality, Care Inspectorate Wales registered childcare facilitated by qualified Playworkers. Out of School Childcare Clubs and the amazing work that you all do to create exciting, fun play environments for children have been shown to support development of skills, social skills, lead to new friendships, increase confidence, allow engagement in new activities, support positive behaviours and increase happiness (“Your Opinion Counts”, 2016). All 3 Out of School Childcare Clubs involved will also be providing all children in their care, including those accessing funded places, with nutritious meals and snacks during each day.
Reception of the scheme in all 3 Clubs to date has been fantastic, with the funded places not only benefitting the families (with some parents “bursting into tears” in happiness at the news of the funded places) but also supporting the sustainability of the Out of School Childcare Clubs themselves. Providing places within existing, high quality provisions is an inclusive way of operating the scheme, and reduces potential stigma of separate provisions.
We are confident that the benefits of this initiative will be evident throughout the Summer, and hope that Welsh Government will support it to continue (and roll out further) during future years.