ON MONDAY 10 June a new Cylch Meithrin (Welsh-medium playgroup) opened its doors for the first time in Cwmbrân. The cylch, based at the Power Station on Blenheim Road is open between 7.30am and 9.15am from Monday to Friday during school term time.
At present Cylch Meithrin Cwmbrân offers sessional care for 2 to 5-year-olds as well as before school and wrap-around care for children attending Ysgol Gymraeg Cwmbrân.
The move is part of Mudiad Meithrin’s ‘Set Up and Succeed’ (SAS) program to establish 40 new Cylchoedd Meithrin with a Cylch Ti a Fi (Welsh-medium parent and toddler group) attached by 2021 in specific areas of Wales where there isn’t a Cylch Meithrin at present.
Cylch Meithrin Cwmbrân’s Leader, Jodie Pentney, said:
“I have enjoyed working with Children for several years and am thrilled to have taken on the role of Leader at Cylch Meithrin Cwmbrân. The Cylch Meithrin has provided me with an incredible opportunity to develop my Welsh language skills alongside the children whilst supporting them on their educational journey.”
The project also stems from Mudiad Meithrin’s response to Welsh Government’s Welsh language strategy ‘Cymraeg 2050: Meithrin Miliwn’ that recognises the importance and influence of the Early Years in creating Welsh speakers, and supports the vision of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
The Welsh language strategy states that it will support the expansion of Welsh-medium early years provision by 40 nursery groups by 2021 to facilitate a seamless transition into Welsh-medium education, in order to reach an additional 150 nursery groups over the next decade.
Nearly 2,000 staff work in Cylchoedd Meithrin across Wales. During the last year alone more than 250 Leaders and Assistants have been appointed in Cylchoedd Meithrin.
Leanne Marsh, Mudiad Meithrin’s acting Chief Executive, said:
“Our ambition is to enable every child to take advantage of Welsh-medium early years education and childcare service. There are a number of geographical gaps across Wales, so the ‘Cymraeg 2050’ vision enables Mudiad Meithrin along with local communities to work towards the aim of meeting the need and create the demand for Welsh-medium care and education.”