A £6million contract has been awarded to Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin for the next three years to train practitioners, which will in turn provide a higher number of Welsh-medium places.
The announcement came as the Welsh language’s prominence in early years education is due to be used as an example of best practice at a British-Irish Council seminar on minority languages.
Policy makers from eight different minority language communities across the UK and Ireland will today discuss ways to support these languages through early years education.
Each language is in a different situation, with different challenges, but with the shared priority of wanting more people to speak and use the language.
Speaking ahead of the event, Education Minister Leighton Andrews said:
“We attach great importance to this policy area in Wales. There can be no doubt that introducing children to a language at a young age should be a vital part of any strategy designed to promote minority languages.
“This is why we have awarded a new three-year contract to Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin to increase the number of Welsh-medium practitioners available to work within the early years education sector. This will ensure the whole of Wales benefits from a network of support and quality training to enhance and extend Welsh-medium provision
“It is important that we take advantage of events such as these to share best practice and look for new ideas and inspiration. These languages are unique and are an important part of our heritage, it is vital that we do all we can to ensure they continue to thrive.”