Challenges for childcare and play settings
Our role in supporting childcare and play settings as we deal with the continued impact of the pandemic.
We are aware that many settings are facing significant challenges in recruiting, retaining, or deploying their staff team. Including dealing with staff absences due to the need to isolate when they become unwell. We also understand that the decision by Welsh Government to end the temporary relaxation of certain requirements of the National Minimum Standards (NMS) has added to difficulties, particularly because of the need for supernumerary staff members.
While we, Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) are part of the Welsh Government, we are not responsible for decisions about the relaxation of the NMS. Colleagues in Welsh Government are currently considering several issues raised by childcare providers following a report of a review of the NMS published in 2019. Those issues include supernumerary staff members. Welsh Government is planning to consult with childcare providers on some revisions to the NMS later this year.
We will always consider the impact on children of any changes to the staffing arrangements in settings. This will include the action taken by the provider to mitigate any risk to the safety and quality of the service provided. Please be assured that our inspections will look at things on a case-by-case basis. Each situation will be considered on its own merits, with the safety and wellbeing of children our priority.
We understand the value of the childcare and play sector to families in Wales and the Welsh economy. We have attached below a document, provided by Welsh Government, outlining the support which may assist you at a very difficult time. It is a summary only and relevant bodies can be contacted for further information.