Since the lockdown began Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids' Clubs alongside our CWLWM partners have continued to support the childcare sector, albeit in a new way of working. During this time the childcare sector has developed ingenious ways of supporting those families who ordinarily would have used their service. Plans are currently being constructed to ensure the safe opening up of not only the childcare sector but the country, with the childcare sector being recognised as vital to the role they play in helping to rebuild the Welsh economy.
In ‘normal’ times [before Covid-19] many childcare settings contacted us as an organisation requesting support with regards to workforce challenges they faced, these have included new recruitment in the main due to lack of staff retention. Through continued support to our sector during the lockdown period, it is obvious that there are still concerns, many of which are payment of wages, concern that Childcare / Playwork Practitioners will return and possibly staff recruitment if they do not.
It has been said that it takes a crisis to bring people together, I have seen how the Covid-19 crisis has united the team that is Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs in learning new ways to support the Out of School Childcare Sector, but, uniting a team shouldn’t take a crisis. Recruiting new staff members who have the same ethos as the setting is time consuming along with a financial cost which is why where possible retention is more favourable than recruitment.
The Out of School Childcare workforce currently employs highly qualified, passionate and dedicated individuals, in recognising them I am sure you will agree that as a sector we need to retain those individuals moving forward as we look towards re-opening our doors.
The best team to have are those that are offered another position and yet decide to stay where they are. I realise this sounds like the dream team to have and while building a dream team doesn’t come easy, it takes work but I am confident you can achieve it.
As an employer it is important to recognise that there are 3 types of commitment an employee has towards you;
In a perfect world you would have a team that is made up of all type 1’s and we live in the real world.
At Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs we have taken this opportunity to involve the whole team in the plans as to how it would look and work to turn to office life. I encourage all owners and management committees to do the same. Getting staff members actively involved in the planning process shows concern and commitment to their well-being along with recognising and valuing their input into the business. As an employer actively engaging with employees creates actively engaged employees who are committed to helping their Out of School Childcare Club revive and thrive.
Nicole Lovatt, Regional Manager, North Wales