20% of Clubs for Kids to Close

After the pandemic hit, Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Clubs said almost one in five clubs had closed. Staff were not returning after being furloughed, and there had been an increase in parents working from home.

 

Chief executive Jane O’Toole said: “We need people to understand what a great career opportunity this is.”

 

The issue has been raised with the Welsh Government.

 

A spokesperson said: “The pandemic has created significant challenges for many businesses, including the childcare sector, but we are working hard to support the sector through this difficult period.”

 

Ms O’Toole said the organisation was looking at ways of supporting activities to recruit and retain staff.

 

“We’re also working with the Welsh Government to try and get some targeted funding to help clubs with their staffing costs,” she said.

 

“But it is a real challenge – I think almost every after-school club in Wales will be saying the same thing.”

 

Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids’ Club has about 1,000 member clubs across Wales, providing after-school and holiday care for more than 20,000 children.

clubs

Ms O’Toole said they were a “lifeline” for many working parents.

 

“We know that parents rely on after-school clubs to be able to go to work and earn a living,” she said.

 

“If we don’t have enough staff, then those clubs won’t be able to open, and parents will struggle.”

 

Ms O’Toole said the clubs were a “great career opportunity”, with many staff working in schools or other childcare settings.

 

“It’s a really rewarding job – you get to work with children and see them grow and develop,” she said.

 

“And I think at the moment, given everything that’s going on in the world, it’s an even more important job than ever.”

“We need to understand what a great career opportunity this is.”

The issue has been raised with the Welsh Government.

A spokesperson said: “The pandemic has created significant challenges for many businesses, including the childcare sector, but we are working hard to support the sector through this difficult period.”

 

Ms O’Toole said the clubs were a “lifeline” for many working parents. She said: “We know that parents rely on after-school activities to be able to go to work and earn a living. If we don’t have enough staff, then those activities won’t be able to open, and parents will struggle.”

 

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