RCT Council offers Childcare and a Summer Activity Programme for the Summer Holidays
Written by Gavin on 9th July 2020
RCT Council will offer childcare and a summer activity programme across seven settings during the school summer holiday – which will prioritise vulnerable children, and offer provision for children of NHS and social care workers strictly subject to availability.
Emergency childcare has been provided for key workers and parents of vulnerable children since the start of the Coronavirus emergency in March, initially through dedicated hub sites. The 25 hubs were recently replaced by a childcare offer across all education settings for the three-week school summer term from June 29 to July 17 (with Monday, July 20, a designated INSET day).
The Council has confirmed it will offer summer holiday childcare prioritising vulnerable children age 5-16 in mainstream settings and age 4-19 in special school settings, from Wednesday, July 22, to Friday, August 21. This provision will be from Monday to Friday each week, from 9am to 3pm.
The offer will be held across seven school hub sites – Darran Park Primary (Ferndale), Hawthorn Primary, Penywaun Primary, Ynysboeth Primary, YGG Tonyrefail, Porth Community School and Ysgol Hen Felin.
However, due to a strict limitation on availability, this provision will not be open to all key workers. NHS and social care workers with children aged 5-16 in mainstream settings and 4-19 in special schools settings are welcome to apply, and the Council will allocate childcare if it is available. Consideration will also be given to staff who are required to deliver the childcare and summer activity programme. Priority will however be given to vulnerable learners who are deemed to be high priority.
The online application process via www.rctcbc.gov.uk/publichealthrct, which has been used up until now, will be retained. The application period runs from midday on Wednesday (July 8), closing at 11.59pm on Sunday, July 12. The Council is reminding residents that this childcare and summer activity offer should be used only is there is no other available childcare available. Please note, late applications will not be processed.
This provision is in addition to the Welsh Government Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme for 0-4 year-old vulnerable children, and those of critical workers. This scheme will continue through the summer holiday and is delivered via CIW registered childcare providers. Applications from critical workers, via the above webpage, must be made by July 12 (or by the end of
the summer term, July 17, for school-based staff). Referrals for vulnerable 0-4 year-old children can continue to be made until the scheme closes.
Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said: “In recognition of the challenges caused by the current situation, the Council has now confirmed details of its four-and-a-half week provision from July 22 to August 21, which will prioritise childcare arrangements for the most vulnerable children and, where at all possible, extend to children of NHS and social care workers. This will be for children aged 5-16, and aged 4-19 in special school settings, with the online application period running from Wednesday morning to Sunday evening this week (July 8-12).
“Our childcare offer has been running from March 2020, and has taken several forms in response to the changing situation brought by the Coronavirus emergency. It recently changed from the successful 25 hubs to a provision across all school sites on June 29, as schools were made available for pupils to Check In, Catch Up and Prepare.
“This provision has been increasingly in demand, with 2,000 applications processed by the Council for the three-week school summer term. Our schools have played a vital role within the wider community response to Coronavirus, supporting the most vulnerable young people and also parents holding crucial roles on the frontline. Our summer holiday childcare offer aims to maintain this support where at all possible, albeit with strictly limited places.
“Our summer childcare will be run by staff from a number of services – from the Youth Education and Participation Service to Leisure, Cultural Services, support staff from schools and external providers. The provision will be delivered across seven school settings, selected based on community demand, and also the previous successful delivery of the School Holiday Enrichment Programme – which was run across six primary schools and one special school last summer.”
Transport for children attending school for Emergency Childcare provision will only be provided in exceptional cases for vulnerable children where social care assessments suggests that the level of need warrants it.
Breakfast and a packed lunch will be provided for pupils who are entitled to Free School Meals. Pupils not entitled to Free School Meals must bring a packed lunch each day and make their own breakfast arrangements. All pupils should bring filled water bottles, which staff can refill throughout the day as required.
In accordance with Welsh Government guidance, if one parent is an essential worker in the fight against Coronavirus but the other is not, then the other parent should provide safe alternative arrangements at home where possible.