People working between 10 and 16 hours within the Childcare and Play sector who want to progress their career are being encouraged to apply for funding for apprenticeship qualifications through the Progress for Success (PFS) programme.
Progress for Success is a Welsh Government and European Social Fund programme which funds existing early years, childcare and play practitioners to undertake recognised childcare and play qualifications. The aim of the programme is to raise the quality of provision offered to our youngest children in Wales by increasing and broadening the skills levels held by the existing workforce.
Specific funding is now being provided by the Progress for Success programme to pilot apprenticeships across Wales in childcare and playwork aimed at existing practitioners who work between 10 and 16 hours per week. This is also the first time PFS will pilot an apprenticeship for people working in the sector who work less than 16 hours.
The apprenticeship qualifications will enable existing practitioners to qualify in the new Childcare Play Learning and Development (CCPLD) which go live today (2 September).
Economy Minister Ken Skates said:
“People who work in early years play a vital role in children’s development helping give them the best possible start in life and prepare them for school so they can reach their potential and get the most from their education.
“Parents want the best quality childcare for their children and the Progress for Success programme provides a great opportunity for people wanting to further their career development to obtain fully funded apprenticeship qualifications through work based training. This will enable practitioners to support children across their early years learning and development and enhance their quality of care.
“The quality and skills of people can be the difference between success and failure, so investing in the workforce is also an investment in the childcare setting. I’d encourage everyone who is interested to talk with their employer and apply.
“Apprenticeships make a significant contribution to our economy and the Welsh Government is well on track to meet its manifesto commitment of delivering a minimum of 100,000 all-age, high quality apprenticeships by the end of this Assembly. This is one of our key commitments and as a government we will continue to work to drive prosperity and increase opportunities, with apprenticeships being a vital part of that.”
PFS also supports the Welsh Government’s Childcare Offer for Wales which was introduced in 2017 and provides working parents with a mixture of childcare and early education for children aged 3 or 4.
Families can get up to 30 hours a week of early education and childcare. The 30 hours is made up of a minimum of 10 hours of early education a week and a maximum of 20 hours a week of childcare.
The Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
“Over 15,000 children are now accessing our childcare offer and it is making a huge difference to families across Wales.
“Vital to delivering our offer is the dedicated and professional childcare workforce. Progress for Success will help support and boost the skills of those who have already chosen a career in childcare. I would encourage people to find out more about the scheme and how it can benefit them.”
The Progress for Success apprenticeship qualifications are part of the innovative approaches being developed under the Welsh Government’s 10 year Childcare, Play and Early Years workforce plan and also supports the Childcare Offer for Wales.
The workforce plan commits to prioritise investment into the childcare sector to support sustainable growth and skills development. The Progress for Success programme complements the Welsh Government’s commitment to retain access to entry level 2 Apprenticeships whilst supporting employers to up skill and train their staff to higher levels.
For more information call the Business Wales Helpline on 0300 060 3000 or visit the Business Wales website.