Dear First Minister,
We write on behalf of the childcare, early years and play sector in Wales.
As you know, between us we represent the interests of vital workers (often on low pay) who are instrumental to the smooth running of our nation on several fronts.
We understand that today your colleagues, Minister Ken Skates AM announced a package of measures to protect workers (both salaried and the self-employed) in the form of direct financial “business support”.
Whilst we understand that you will be receiving representations from all sectors today, we’d like to press upon you that the childcare, early years and play sector is vastly complex in that there are private nurseries, sole trading and self-employed child-minders, Cylchoedd Meithrin and playgroups run by voluntary management committees but staffed by professional salaried employees and Out of School Childcare Clubs run by voluntary management committees or by private providers (similarly employing salaried employees).
Many (but not all) settings will have charitable status and will not necessarily see themselves as belonging to the “private sector” but whose employment and salary very much depends on continued support by government. Whilst many early years providers will now still be able to receive funding (Childcare offer, Flying Start and Early Education following Welsh Government announcements) there are many individuals and settings providing registered childcare who depend heavily on income in the form of parental fees, particularly those providing childcare across a broader age range. Such income is likely to disappear tonight under current circumstances.
We press upon you to ensure that all self-employed childminders and salaried workers (regardless of status) within our sector are protected and are provided with the type of financial support that the Chancellor of Exchequer has (also) suggested is likely to follow.
We wish you well in these uncertain times as you have to grapple with such complex and unprecended challenges.
Yr eiddoch yn gywir,
Dr Gwenllian Lansdown Davies, Prif Weithredwr Mudiad Meithrin
Jane O’Toole, Prif Weithredwr Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids Clubs
David Goodger, Prif Weithredwr Blynyddoedd Cynnar Cymru/Early Years Wales
Claire Protheroe, Prif Swyddog Pacey Cymru
Sarah Coates, Prif Swyddog NDNA Cymru