Mudiad Meithrin’s aim is to give each young child in Wales the opportunity to take advantage of early years services and experiences through the medium of Welsh, thereby contributing to the target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
With the 60th anniversary of the Tynged yr Iaith lecture, Mudiad Meithrin is calling on the Welsh Government to assist with the staff recruitment challenge facing the early years sector.
In a document called ‘Grym ein Gweithlu’, Mudiad Meithrin offers a high-level analysis of the nature of the challenges faced, and the changes needed in order to attract individuals to work in the sector.
Mudiad Meithrin gives suggestions on how the Welsh Government can take action in the areas of policy, finance and employability, promotion, qualifications and training.
Despite the emphasis on the importance of workplace planning in the area of language policy, and that over a number of years, the lack of a Welsh-medium early years workforce remains a serious challenge.
only a small percentage – 4.4% – of those training from scratch receive the training through the medium of Welsh
Promises to support the opening of 60 further Cylchoedd Meithrin and to expand the childcare offer during this Senedd’s term are encouraging, but create an additional challenge in terms of finding practitioners
In order to meet these challenges and aims, we need to qualify up to 300 new staff each year, or 1500 individuals during the term of the current Senedd
Introducing the document to Jeremy Miles, the Education and Welsh Language Minister, Mudiad Meithrin’s Chief Executive Dr Gwenllian Lansdown Davies said:
“From experience and by examining the data, we know that Cylchoedd Meithrin and Welsh-medium Day Nurseries are the main ways in which we as a nation begin our children’s journeys to becoming confident Welsh speakers, as the majority of children then progress onwards to Welsh-medium schools. Ensuring a qualified workforce is vital to contribute to this agenda and to create demand by establishing more Cylchoedd Meithrin and Welsh-medium Day Nurseries.”
It is completely pertinent for the Welsh Government, and everybody interested in Welsh language policy, to pay attention to this area. Without a Childcare workforce, we have no hope of fulfilling our important and ambitious plans to create new Welsh-speakers for the future.
Dr Ioan Matthews, the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s Chief Executive said:
“Planning the workforce and ensuring a sufficient supply of staff to sustain Welsh-medium provision is vital if we are to attain the aims of the Welsh Government’s Language Strategy. For this reason, this document is to be much welcomed and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol looks forward to making a practical contribution to the work, specifically by working with further education colleges to increase their provision to learners in these areas, and by enabling learners to qualify as practitioners.”