Economy Minister Ken Skates and Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services Julie Morgan have today invited those aspiring to work in childcare in Wales to apply for a new Welsh Government funded programme which looks to encourage more people to consider and trial a career in the child care sector.
Childcare Works phase 2 will be delivered by the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) Cymru and will train up to 84 people aged 25 or over, providing them with supported employment placements in a nursery for 16 weeks. The project will run until December 2020, with work placements at nurseries in 10 local authority areas, namely Conwy, Wrexham, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Newport, Torfaen, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. NDNA Cymru is now seeking participants who are currently not in employment or education but who are interested in taking part in the project to apply.
It follows the successful Childcare Works phase 1 in Flintshire and Wrexham, which trained 16 participants over the age of 50, most of whom have gone on to secure permanent employment within the early years and childcare sector.
Speaking at a launch event at Lullabyz Nursery in Newport, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan said
“As a government we have made a significant investment to providing funded childcare to working parents of 3-4 year olds across Wales. The Childcare sector is crucial to delivering this provision and employing a highly skilled and qualified professional workforce is vitally important, not only to support parents and carers to access employment but to support our youngest children’s learning and development. I’m delighted that alongside the Economy Minister we are able to give further funding to provide key introductory training to encourage more people to enter the sector and consider a future career in Childcare. We want to encourage diversity across the sector and encourage people from diverse backgrounds to enter the sector.”
Economy Minister Ken Skates said:
“Childcare is an essential part of the Welsh economy, providing a vital service in a foundational sector and ensuring our communities and the Welsh economy can prosper and parents and carers can access employment and training.
“This project is one of a number of ways we, the Welsh Government, are looking to support investment into the childcare sector, supporting the sector to grow and become sustainable. We want to attract individuals with the right skills and personal attributes for working with young children to pursue a career in childcare. With the success of phase one showing that given a little help and the right training opportunity, it can lead to starting a rewarding longer term career. This project will support our ambitions for the sector and support roll out of the new Childcare qualifications later this year. I’m delighted to see phase two now open and would encourage those eligible and aspiring to pursue a career in childcare to apply and make the most of the training and placements available.”
The Childcare Works project is one of the actions Welsh Government is developing under its 10-year Childcare, Play and Early Years Workforce plan. The plan aims to professionalise the sector and encourage high quality new entrants. The Childcare Works project will give participants a chance to learn new vocational skills, in a supportive environment enabling them to take up further training, or an apprenticeship and pursue a future career in the early years and childcare. The project also supports the Welsh Government’s Employability Plan, launched last year to support people into work now, while preparing the workforce for immediate and long term future challenges.
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said:
“We are really pleased that the Welsh Government has given us the opportunity to roll out the Childcare Works project across the country.
“This project encourages people to consider a career in early years and childcare whilst undertaking practical work placement opportunities within the sector. Participants are given ongoing support, providing a valuable skills platform for those wishing to embark upon a career within the childcare sector.
“We are also looking for nurseries across the ten local authority areas who can offer placements and gain from an extra pair of hands. For them, it’s also a great opportunity to recruit new staff after seeing their work in practice with their children and the staff team over a three month period.”
If you are interested in participating as a nursery trainee, and you live in any of these local authority areas, go to ndna.org.uk/childcareworks or ring the NDNA Cymru office on 01824 707823.