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Funding helps childcare settings make COVID-friendly improvements

Written by on 17th May 2021

Welsh Government Childcare Offer funding secured by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has helped 31 local settings carry out COVID-friendly improvements throughout 2021 – including the development of outdoor spaces on their premises.

During January 2021, Rhondda Cynon Taf  Council announced it had secured an additional £122,000 from the Childcare Offer Small Capital Grant Scheme – which was initially set up to enable childcare settings to undertake essential capital works or buy new equipment to increase their number of Childcare Offer places.

As a result of the pandemic, the Scheme has beenadapted in recognition of the new challenges that childcare settings face – with funding now availableto promote social distancing and to help meet stricter cleaning requirements.

The Council was granted £120,000 from the Scheme in 2019/20, and the majority of this was allocated to local settings at that time. In January 2021, 31 settings were successful in obtaining a share of £165,000 funding – which comprised of the remainder of the 2019/20 allocation and a new allocation of £122,000 which had been secured by the Council from Welsh Government.

All 31 settings have now completed their projects using this funding. These range from purchasing and installing new awnings, gazebos and safety play surfaces, as well as carrying out garden works, buying play equipment and creating storage spaces– all to better utilise outdoor spaces. Other examples include extending toilet facilities and replacing carpets with washable flooring.

The 31 providers include six settings in Rhondda, eight in Cynon Valley and 17 in the Taff area. Thepictures show completed projects at Home from Home Nursery in Porth (top left), The Gingerbread House in Aberdare (top right), Gofal Plant Flourish Cymru Childcare based at YGG Tonyrefail (bottom left) and Little Inspirations in Llantrisant (bottomleft).

Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said: “I’m pleased that since the Council announced it had secured an additional £122,000 from the Scheme in January, all 31 childcare settings who were successful in applying for funding have now made improvements and are benefitting from the new provision.

“The works have included a range of activitiesspecifically targeted at helping settings adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, some of the projects have increased outdoor opportunities by introducing sheltered areas that enable the children to play outside whatever the weather. Others have provided completely new spaces to help with social distancing, while some schemes were in the form of refurbishments or new equipment, or measures tohelp with new cleaning requirements.

Its great to see the range of projects which have been delivered, and I’d like to thank all 31 of thechildcare settings for working with the Council through the application process and the delivery of these improvements – which will not only help during the pandemic but also into the future.”