25 Oct 2017, Meredith Jones Russell
As part of its #TalkChildcare campaign, the Welsh Government is seeking feedback on its commitment to provide 30 hours of funded early education and childcare to working parents of three and four-year-olds for up to 48 weeks per year.
The latest phase of the #TalkChildcare campaign will ask childminders, nursery owners, cylchoedd meithrin (Welsh-medium playgroups and nurseries) and sessional care providers for their experiences in delivering childcare.
Opinions will be gathered using online questionnaires, focus groups and direct consultation.
The first phase of the #TalkChildcare campaign, which ran from August 2016 to April 2017, aimed to understand the barriers parents face in accessing childcare and what is important to them about the new offer.
As part of the campaign, the Government ran an online survey, a roadshow which visited 15 Welsh towns and a number of childcare settings, a set of focus groups and a series of regional events and webinars. It received more than 6,000 responses from parents and providers.
The campaign coincides with the testing of the childcare offer in seven local authority areas in Wales, which started in September. The pilots are taking place in Anglesey, Gwynedd, Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Flintshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Swansea.
The Welsh Government is also supporting the Childcare Works project, which aims to support unemployed young people embarking on a career in the early years in order to build the capacity of the sector and help meet the increased demand created by the childcare offer.
Communities and children secretary Carl Sargeant said,‘The childcare offer for Wales is one of the biggest developments in the sector for many years.
‘We are keen to work with childcare providers across Wales to ensure that there is a good awareness of the childcare offer, and to seek feedback on their experiences delivering childcare provision.
‘The next phase of our #TalkChildcare campaign will not only help inform our childcare offer, but will help us learn about how the sector can be supported to thrive across Wales.
‘I urge all providers across the sector, from childminders, day nurseries, cylchoedd meithrin, sessional provision and clubs, to have their say and share their knowledge and valuable experience with us to help us shape our new childcare offer for Wales.’