BLOG: Costs of Living Directly Impact Providers of Childcare in Wales

A recent meeting with Welsh Government allowed Dave Goodger, CEO to represent your views on the impact of cost of living on our sector.

 Costs of Living Directly Impact Providers of Childcare in Wales

Following the illuminating conversations with our member panels on Thursday 22nd September, I met with Welsh Government Officials on Wednesday 28th September to discuss the impact of the cost of living on the childcare and early years sector in Wales. The opportunity to meet with Welsh Government allowed me to represent your views directly and suggest actions that the Officials might be able to consider to support the sector through this difficult financial period.

‘This is a challenging period and is having a cumulative effect on setting leaders and owners. If it was just a utility bills challenge, it might be more manageable, but this latest challenge is accompanied by inflationary pressures across the board including food, resources for children, cleaning and infection control products, utility costs, rent costs, and transport costs all increasing rapidly. These increases come at a time when we are still seeing challenges for recruitment and retention of staff and on the back of a period of great uncertainty around Covid-19 and the sector is rightly concerned.’ Dave Goodger - CEO

The evidence provided by member settings allowed me to convey how retail costs have doubled or even trebled in some instances since 2019, with specific examples. It helped me to outline that, despite the rate rise in January 2022 for the Childcare Offer and Early Education entitlement, the rapidly increasing costs are unexpected challenges. And the evidence provided by our members helped me illustrate how the sector is trying to manage, without passing on ever-increasing costs to parents in a variety of ways. These views were echoed by other stakeholders in the childcare and playwork sectors.

Although there are no indications, as yet, of any help that might be provided, we will keep reminding Welsh Government of the pressures that the sector is facing. We know that all public budgets are stretched, and we continue to make the case that, without a vibrant and sustainable childcare sector the economy and children in Wales will both suffer.

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Alongside the conversation with Welsh Government this week, across Early Years Wales, we have also joined a UK Government panel to assess risk-planning for the sustainability of childcare, a Welsh Government working group to explore any future professional register for the workforce, and we are poised to submit our response to the proposed review of the National Minimum Standards (NMS) for Regulated Childcare for children up to the age of 12 years, (consultation closes on Friday 7th October,

We commit to working in these committees, working parties and attending meetings to promote the sector on behalf of our membership and to advocate for the best outcomes for the early years sector as a whole in Wales.

Thank you to members of the member panel who contributed to the call for evidence. If you’d like to be contacted for future member panel conversations click here for more information and to nominate a representative.

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