NDNA’s Childcare Works phase two, which is fully funded by the Welsh Government, aims to train up 84 people aged 25 or over and give them supported employment in a nursery for 16 weeks.
The project will be delivered across ten local authority areas in Wales. It follows the success of Childcare Works phase one 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 sector.
NDNA Cymru is now seeking participants who are currently not in employment or education who are interested in taking part in the project.
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.”
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.”
Sandra Welsby, National Manager for Wales, said: “Our Childcare Works project supports the Welsh Government’s ten-year Childcare, Play and Early Years Workforce plan giving participants a chance to learn new vocational skills, in a supportive environment enabling them to take up further training, an apprenticeship or a future career in the early years.
“For participating nurseries, it is a chance to make your workforce more diverse as participants come from all walks of life with differing life experiences.”
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.”
Sarah Griffiths, Nursery Manager at Hill Tots Nursery Brymbo which took part in phase one of the programme said: “The NDNA Childcare Works scheme is a win win situation. It effectively gives nurseries a 12-week interview process and those 12 weeks are valuable.”
They took on trainee Jackie for her placement and she is now employed with them permanently. She said: “My advice is if you are unemployed and the opportunity is there, take it because what have you got to lose? You get experience on the way but if it’s not for you, you are still learning and it’s on your CV. You can take these skills into a new job.”
Another participant Gary who secured permanent employment with Li’l Angels nursery in Shotton said: “It’s given me confidence and changed my life. I feel fulfilled, I have got a purpose. I love it. It’s a passion now. Some of the children have gone now but when I see them outside nursery they say: “There’s my teacher!” I have influenced them in a positive way.”
NDNA’s Childcare Works project will run until December 2020. Nurseries in Conwy, Wrexham, Gwynedd, Anglesey, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Newport, Torfaen, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot can sign up now – go to ndna.org.uk/childcareworks or ring the NDNA Cymru office on 01824 707823.
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.