Out of School Clubs
Out of school clubs (sometimes called kid’s clubs) often open before and after school. Some also open all day during the school holidays.
They provide childcare and play opportunities for children to relax and develop new skills while their parents are working or studying, leaving them safe in the knowledge that the children are being well looked after by qualified, experienced staff.Many out of school clubs operate on school premises, although some use community or church halls that are within safe walking distance of the school.
Those clubs that open in the school holidays provide parents with peace of mind that their children are going to be in a safe environment, being creative and occupied while they are in work.
Children are only allowed to leave the club with a known and named adult.Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs are a Wales wide organisation that helps set up, develop and support out of school clubs. They help clubs or prospective clubs to apply for funding and they train and support club staff during the set up and subsequent running of the club.
For more information visit www.clybiauplantcymru.org
Playgroups provide sessional childcare, play and early years education for children from two and a half to five years. They usually open term time only and the sessions can last no more than four hours. Playgroups often offer a morning and afternoon session, although children can only attend one session per day. Some groups also offer a wrap around nursery service (see wrap around care in the menu below).
Most playgroups operate within the heart of their local community, in church or community halls, some may be in schools, or even mobile on a playbus. They rely on parents to be volunteers to assist in the management of the group and to help on a rota basis in the playgroup, but there are also regular paid staff who do all the organising and planning for the group.
For more information about playgroups you can contact Wales Pre-School Providers Association locally on 01495 760909 or visit their website at www.walesppa.org
Welsh Medium Playgroups
The aim of the cylch meithrin is to promote the education and development of children two years of age to school age. Opportunities are provided for children to learn and socialise in the care of professional, qualified and dedicated staff. The cylch meithrin is registered with the Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales (CSIW) in accordance with the requirements and regulations of the Children Act 1989, and also with the Office of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools (Estyn) when this is relevant.
Membership of Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin is open to cylchoedd meithrin on condition that they pay the appropriate membership fee annually, adhere to the aims and policies of Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin, register where necessary in accordance with statutory requirements and adopt the constitution that ensures that Welsh is the operational medium of the cylch.
Each cylch is required to register as an independant charity, and is managed by a committee of parents and users of the service. The committee’s responsibility includes managing finance, employing staff, adopting and implementing policies, publicity and fundraising. An early years curriculum is planned to promote the “Desirable Outcomes for Children’s Learning before Compulsory School Age” in the cylchoedd, and activities are offered which ensure that every child is given experiences enabling him to develop to his full potential while in the cylch meithrin. All children are welome to the cylchoedd whatever their colour, race, social class, family status or additional needs. Children with additional needs are given extra support when needed, in order to enable them to join in all the cylch’s activities.
To find out more about Welsh medium playgroups you can contact Mudiad Meithrin on 01970 639639 or visit their website www.meithrin.cymru
Wrap Around Care
Wrap around care can be provided by either nurseries or playgroups. What it means is that either service provides afternoon or morning sessions to compliment the other, caring for the child over the lunch period too. For instance a child could attend nursery in the morning then the playgroup staff would collect the child from nursery and escort him / her to playgroup where they would have lunch (usually packed lunch from home) and then stay for the afternoon session at the playgroup. Alternatively the child is in playgroup in the morning, has lunch and is then taken to nursery in the afternoon. Some state nurseries offer the same service, but the child stays on the same premises .
Early Years Education
There are a variety of opportunities and settings for working with children in Early Years Education. There are nursery schools, nursery units attached to schools and there are also many registered education providers in the voluntary sector (playgroups) and private sector (day nurseries). All of the above will be working with the desirable learning outcomes and inspected by ESTYN.
People often get confused about the types of childcare available – particularly nurseries. Nurseries can be run by voluntary or community groups, employers, local authorities or be privately run. They can even be found as nursery classes attached to primary schools. Day nurseries are usually open from 8am to 6pm weekdays all year round (except for bank holidays). Some offer extended care for school age children, opening at 7am and closing at 7pm.
These nurseries usually provide full day care, education and play for children up to the age of 5. In this type of setting you’d be planning and organising stimulating educational and fun activities, and taking care of children’s personal needs – whether that be preparing their food, washing them or settling them down for a sleep, for example. Workplace nurseries are provided or supported by employers and ideally operate to suit parents’ working hours, which may include shift work.
The staff and facilities in day nurseries are all regulated and inspected by the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).
Holiday playschemes are often run by voluntary organisations, local authorities, charities, local parks, community centres, leisure centres or schools. They are not only a great place for youngsters to meet their friends – they also offer a wide range of activities to keep them busy, such as sports, drama, arts, crafts and music. Many playschemes are open access – this means that the play provision is staffed, in settings where the children, including those who are under 8 years old, are free to come and go as they please, free to decide what they want to do and how they go about it. Children can learn and develop through play, with the freedom of opportunity to play by themselves or with others in environments that should be stimulating, exciting, and full of challenge whilst being free from inappropriate risk. There is no contract between the play workers and parents or carers to provide care for any duration whilst the child is present.
Childminding is currently the most popular kind of day care chosen by parents, as it offers childcare for babies and children of all ages, with hours that are more flexible. Childminders become a well respected and important part of families’ lives, managing a business-like relationship with the parents as well as often being a close friend of the family.
Childminding is a very flexible career that suits many different lifestyles. As a childminder you will be your own boss, working from your own home and can organise your work to suit both yourself and the families you work with. You may be looking after a child from baby to teenager, able to offer them emotional support and build self esteem as they grow. You would be caring for children according to their needs – taking them to toddler groups or baby gym if they are babies, then playgroup or nursery as they get older and eventually school, combining this with play at home and plenty of opportunity for one-to-one activity and individual attention.
Childminding is a professional career and provides plenty of scope for development if you want it. As a registered childminder you may also be recruited to a Childminding Network. Network Childminders are offered additional training including the opportunity to become accredited to deliver early education to three and four year olds, toy and equipment loan schemes and support from their network coordinator. But the biggest incentive is the sense of fulfilment you get watching the children you care for develop new skills.
The maximum number of children you can care for at any one time is set by CIW.
For more information about childminding you can contact PACEY on 0845 8801299 (Cardiff) or visit their website at www.pacey.org.uk
You can get a pack providing information on how to become a childminder by contacting us on Freephone 08000 196330
Home Based Childcare (within child’s own home)/ Nanny
A nanny can provide childcare for children of any age within the child’s own home or for up to two families within one of the family homes under a nanny share arrangement. Nannies could operate the following services:
- Live-in nannies
- Daily nannies
- Nanny share arrangement (in Wales a nanny looking after children of more than two families must register with CIW as a Childminder – see above)
A nanny could work full or part time and could work flexible hours to fit work hours, such as shift working, subject to agreement. Nannies can advertise their services independently or could join an agency.
Nannies do not currently have to be registered with CIW although there is a voluntary register of home based childcarers operated by CIW, which verifies that the individual: has met the minimum requirements and carried out a Disclosure and Barring Service ( (DBS check). There is a cost to register and more information can be found at www.careinspectorate.wales
Nannies that are registered under the Voluntary Approval Scheme can offer parents increased benefits, as parents may be able to access financial help towards their services through Tax Credits / Universal Credits which recognises childcare registered by the scheme or though employer supported childcare. Nannies registered with the Scheme can also make their information available to the public via the Family Information Service.