A Welsh Government-funded project that gives people out of work the experience they need to start a career in the childcare sector has been praised by Children’s Minister Huw Irranca-Davies.
The Minister visited the Li’l Angels Day Nursery, based in Shotton, Deeside today to meet some of the people taking part in the Welsh Government-funded National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) Cymru “Childcare Works” project.
The project, which has been operating in Flintshire and Wrexham in North Wales and has targeted those over the age of 50, aims to provide those who are currently unemployed and not in education and training (NEET) with the introductory skills they need to re-enter the workforce and develop a career in the childcare sector.
The project helps deliver the Welsh Government’s 10 year Childcare, Play and Early Years workforce plan, which sets out plans to build capacity and capability across the childcare sector in Wales, as well as supporting Ministers’ plans to create high quality jobs closer to people’s homes.
During the visit, the Minister met Gary Sibbald, who was previously out of work but has been taking part in a work placement at the nursery.
Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies said:
“It was an absolute pleasure to visit the Li’l Angels Day Nursery today. I was delighted to see how our investment in developing the childcare sector in Wales is not only creating high quality childcare places, but also creating high quality jobs for local people.
“I was also delighted to meet Gary, who is training to work in the childcare sector under the Childcare Works project. It was great to hear how he’s had such a great impact on the children – especially on one little girl who would not talk, who is now speaking, since he started working there.”
NDNA has supported 16 participants across a range of nursery settings, working in partnership with nursery owners to provide the participants with a range of childcare specific training, transferable skills and paid work placements.
The placements have supported the participants to secure future employment opportunities and some participants have already started their new employment opportunities within the sector.
Gary, who is currently on placement with L’il Angels Nursery in Shotton said:
“I was made to feel at ease from day one. All staff and children are making my new journey very exciting and I am learning something new every day.”
Sue, his manager at L’il Angels, said
“We are very proud and pleased to have been a setting for this project and that the Minister has chosen to visit us, following the placement.”
Lorraine, who is on placement with Kingfisher House Day Nursery, Hawarden, said:
“An amazing opportunity to learn new vocational skills in a supportive environment, which has ultimately led to a new career in the childcare sector. Thank you to NDNA and the Welsh Government for all your help!”
Huw Irranca-Davies added:
“I was delighted to attend the Childcare Works Celebration event and present the participants with their certificates to celebrate their success. This project has helped to attract new skills and experience into the sector, supporting the creation of childcare employment opportunities whilst enabling the participants to use their new skills to start the formal training required for the sector.”
Later in the day, the Minister will present certificates at the National Day Nurseries Association Cymru Celebration event to the successful participants of the Childcare Works project.