In learning how difficult it has been for the many differently constituted settings to access support both financially and to support their staff, parents and the children that they care for throughout this pandemic much of our organisational focus has been around answering those challenges and developing resources to support settings to overcome those barriers. The primary challenges for childcare providers are; economic concerns, workforce challenges, supporting children and families through the crisis, and updating policies for reopening.
Support provided by Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs includes; signposting possible funding opportunities and supporting in completing those applications, compiling workforce logs for the Welsh Government detailing the open status of clubs and sourcing key workers for the childcare facilities which are still open, developing resources to support clubs, children and their families to help support them through the crisis and updating editable policies for clubs to utilise in their reopening.
As considered previously, it is more than apparent that there are many facets of the sector that have ‘fallen through the funding cracks’. Those very real challenges haven’t stopped our childcare providers from continuing to put the rights and needs of the children in their care to the forefront of their priorities. Some of the workforce has been redeployed to work in childcare hubs across Wales, for others furlough was not an option and they are currently enduring a period of unpaid uncertainty.
For those that are still working, ingenious ways have been developed to continue to support the families in their care. In many cases contact has continued in the form of Facetime/Whatsapp/Zoom and any number of other platforms which have facilitated the temporary move to remote children’s support. Initiatives like videos for families and children, regular meet ups between care providers and families of children with ALN is not a legal requirement, or policy, it is simply a reaction from childcare providers knowing that the children they care for continue to need them, now more than ever.
As a part of the CWLWM partnership, Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs are continuing to assist childcare settings to support the children and families in their care.Our commitment to the sector is to ensure the Out of School Childcare Clubs not only survive, but are able to revive and thrive, continuing to be an integral part of the Welsh foundational economy.It is undoubtedly the case that children’s rights have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus crisis. Socioeconomic concerns, poorer diets, and an increase in sedentary behaviour have all been highlighted as possible ramifications to result from this crisis. A child’s right to education, good health and well-being, and the arts, have up until now, been reliant on services remaining open. It is now the responsibility of us all to ensure that Wales’ status as the leading Country for promoting children’s rights is not forgotten. Continuing promotion of children’s rights in Wales remains at the forefront of our commitments. Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs will be collating responses from our survey and answering consultations such as the Welsh Governments Children, Young People and Education Committee one which is exploring how the outbreak of Covid-19 is affecting all aspects of life for children and young people in Wales, to ensure that we represent the Out of School Childcare sectors voice when they look at how to shape the focus of our children’s transition back to normality.
Janine Elworthy, Childcare Business Development Officer