The Council has successfully held its first joint Childcare and Play conference to engage with local providers – and it also presented the opportunity to launch the Childcare Offer Small Capital Grants scheme.
On Saturday, September 21, Childcare and Play officers hosted the event at Rhydyfelin Children’s Centre (10am-2pm), as part of the close working partnership between the two Council departments.
The purpose of Saturday’s conference was to engage with providers, and present updates on sector developments in Rhondda Cynon Taf and across Wales. It also provided the opportunity for local providers to give the Council feedback on what additional support they may require moving forward.
The conference began with updates from the Council’s Childcare and Play teams, and Play Wales – before the 45 participants split into morning workshops based around business support and training needs. The afternoon saw two interactive sessions held simultaneously, offering participants the chance to learn more about how they can use risky play in their settings.
Saturday’s event also saw the launch of the Childcare Offer Small Capital Grants scheme. Following a successful bid to Welsh Government, the Council has secured more than £150,000 funding to support childcare schemes operating in Rhondda Cynon Taf, to better deliver the Childcare Offer.
Grant applications are now invited from childcare settings to undertake essential capital works, or to buy equipment. The grant is intended to enable settings to increase the number of Childcare Offer places they can offer, and/or improve the quality of facilities for children in receipt of the Offer. The maximum funding that can be applied for is £10,000, depending on the size and type of the childcare setting.
Councillor Christina Leyshon, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “I’m delighted the Council’s Childcare and Play conference was a success, with an excellent turnout for the first event – which is now hoped will continue as an annual event.
“Officers within the Childcare and Play teams within the Council work closely together – recognising that many local childcare providers also deliver open access play and the Care2Play referral scheme. Saturday’s event was an excellent opportunity to engage with local providers, find out what additional help they require, and strengthen our relationship with them.
“The event also saw the Small Capital Grants scheme open, so local providers can apply for up to £10,000 to improve their provision, as part of the Welsh Government’s Childcare Offer – which, since September 2018, has been open to all areas of Rhondda Cynon Taf following a local pilot period.
“I’d urge all eligible parents who don’t currently take advantage of the Offer to find out more about it. There are no hidden catches and the Offer has so many advantages – including that it helps more parents access work opportunities, which in turn supports the economy and reduces inequalities by removing some of the barriers preventing parents returning to work.”
For more details on the Childcare Offer, and how to apply, visit: https://www.rctcbc.gov.uk/EN/Resident/ChildrenandFamilies/ChildcareTeam/ChildcareTeam.aspx.
Posted on Friday 4th October 2019