Posted: Sun 12th Jun 2016

Proposed Changes To Holiday Playschemes

This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jun 12th, 2016

Newport City Council run playschemes are facing a restructure following the introduction of new childcare regulations and a reduction in Welsh Government grant funding. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Although it is being proposed to reduce the number of all-day playschemes as a result of these changes, it is also intended to run a number of shorter play sessions across the city during the school holidays. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Roger Jeavons, Cabinet Member for Community Services, Work and Skills, will make a decision on the recommendations following consultation with all councillors. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Play development in Newport is funded by the council and Welsh Government’s Families First programme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Previously, play provisions of two hours or more had to be registered with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate for all children up to the age of eight. In April, this was extended to children up to the age of 12 (or 17 if they have a disability). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

As a result of the change in the legislation, a higher level of qualifications is also required for staff supporting playschemes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Welsh Government Families First grant which supports play development has been reduced by nearly £27,000. The combination of the change in the regulations and the reduced funding means that the council will not be able to deliver the same level of playschemes that it has in previous years. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The proposals are based on the council’s recognition of the importance of play provision and its desire to deliver as many opportunities as possible for children living in the city, ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In previous years, only four of the 17 schemes had to be registered. Now that all schemes have to be registered, it is recommended that there are six full day, registered open access playschemes. These will include one Welsh-language scheme and one for children with complex care needs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It is further proposed to have six sites where two hour play sessions can be held and to establish three outreach teams to provide play in open spaces within local communities. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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