Strategic Vision of Childcare: Welsh Assembly GovernmentCWLWM - Childcare Wales Learning & Working Mutually >>
The Welsh Assembly Government is responsible for policy, funding and (through the Care Standards Inspectorate) regulation of childcare in Wales. It published its childcare strategy ‘Childcare is for Children’ on 29 November 2005. The strategy recognises that providing children with the best possible start is vital. Childcare matters, not just for families, but also for the economy. The Assembly Government aims to make it affordable and accessible for everyone in Wales.
The strategy recognises that effective business management is vital to the sustainability of childcare settings. The national childcare organisations have an important role to play here, as well as local children’s information services.
A high quality workforce is essential in ensuring the provision of high quality childcare. The Assembly Government is consulting separately on a new initiative, Flying Start, which is firmly based on international and UK evidence on how best to support children in their earliest years, especially those facing poverty. The Welsh Assembly Government will make available part of the Flying Start funding to support workforce development, and will also work with the new Sector Skills Council for Care and Development to create a workforce development plan for Wales.
In some areas of Wales, Welsh medium childcare is not always available. A commitment has been made, in the strategy, to establish baselines and monitor progress in the provision of Welsh language and bilingual childcare settings, in all childcare sectors.
Cymorth – the Children and Youth Support Fund - is the main Assembly Government source of financial support for childcare places. Guidance specifies that each local authority needs to ring-fence a minimum level of funding from Cymorth for childcare-related schemes. Support for users is provided by the childcare element of Working Tax Credit, and the Assembly Government will be working with all local Children’s Information Services, childcare providers and primary health contacts to ensure that they have accessible promotional material to provide to parents regarding the Working Tax Credit.
The Welsh Assembly Government’s role in CWLWM is as lead partner, and has made available £100,000 in match funding for the CWLWM project. Within the Welsh childcare and play sector, they hope to encourage mutual working and learning.