During the last few weeks Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs as a whole organisation and a team have united in learning new ways to support the Out of School Childcare Sector. We have learned how difficult it has been for the many differently constituted settings to access support both financially and with advice and guidance to ensure they are able to support their staff, parents and the children that they care for throughout this pandemic.
I am confident that our sector has appreciated our support; all anecdotal evidence from phone calls, emails and social media messages demonstrates how vulnerable the sector has felt and how our keeping in touch has helped them to make decisions for their settings to attempt to survive.
Through our contact with settings it is more than apparent that there are many facets of the sector, that have ‘fallen through the funding cracks’. Settings are all constituted in different ways, from those that are Voluntarily Managed [both unincorporated and incorporated], run by a Sole Trader, or by a Partnership as well as those who are Private Limited Companies, and have in many ways been unable to access any funding to support them through this crisis both in the immediacy and for the future.
As a part of the CWLWM partnership, Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs have sought to address these gaps by writing to and meeting with Welsh Government Ministers and officers, providing their officials with data about our Childcare settings and how they have been affected by the lack of funding available for the survival of large parts of the sector.
Some of the issues that have been highlighted, on behalf of the sector and to demonstrate the lack of support from both UK and Welsh Governments are:
Business Rates Relief Grant– settings cannot access this as they rent space in community buildings and thus are not the main rates payer.
Economic Resilience Fund, childcare businesses are exempt from VAT, but few turn over in excess of £85K so cannot access this fund either.
SEIS and Furlough- as a Limited Company, some Directors are not entitled to this funding as paid through dividend and not PAYE.
Insurance Cover we have challenged one of the main providers of insurance to Out of School Childcare sector, who are currently not paying out for loss of income under the Out of School Policies.
3rd Sector Resilience Fund and Voluntary Sector Emergency Fund settings who are not registered charities or Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO’s) are unable to access this fund, 37% of the sector is managed by VMCs and 61% of those are unincorporated
Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs will continue to work with Welsh Government, by representing the Sector and work towards an appropriate funding mechanism being in place to ensure the Out of School Childcare Sector not only survives, but is able to revive and thrive and continue to be an integral part of the Welsh foundational economy.
Jane O'Toole, Chief Executive Officer