It has been confirmed that Rhondda Cynon Taf Council will offer childcare and a summer activity programme, across seven settings during the school summer holiday.
The scheme will prioritise vulnerable children and offer provision for children of NHS and social care workers, but will be strictly subject to availability.
Emergency childcare has been provided for key workers and parents of vulnerable children since the start of the coronavirus emergency in March, initially through dedicated hub sites.
The 25 hubs were recently replaced by a childcare offer across all education settings for the three-week school summer term from June 29 to July 17.
Now the council has confirmed it will offer summer holiday childcare prioritising vulnerable children aged five to 16 in mainstream settings, and aged four to 19 in special school settings.
This provision will run from Wednesday, July 22 to Friday, August 21, and will be from Monday to Friday each week between the hours of 9am and 3pm.
The provision will be held at seven school sites, including:
- Darran Park Primary (Ferndale)
- Hawthorn Primary
- Penywaun Primary
- Ynysboeth Primary
- YGG Tonyrefail
- Porth Community School
- Ysgol Hen Felin
It’s been made clear the provision will have a strict limitation on availability, and will not be open to all key workers.
NHS and social care workers with children aged five to 16 in mainstream settings, and four to 19 in special schools settings, are welcome to apply and the council will allocate childcare if it’s available.
Priority will be given to vulnerable learners who are deemed to be high priority.
Consideration will also be given to staff who are required to deliver the childcare and summer activity programme.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s cabinet member for education and inclusion services Councillor Joy Rosser said: “In recognition of the challenges caused by the current situation, the council has now confirmed details of its four-and-a-half week provision from July 22 to August 21, which will prioritise childcare arrangements for the most vulnerable children and, where at all possible, extend to children of NHS and social care workers.
“This will be for children aged 5-16, and aged 4-19 in special school settings, with the online application period running from Wednesday morning to Sunday evening this week (July 8-12).
“Our childcare offer has been running from March 2020, and has taken several forms in response to the changing situation brought by the coronavirus emergency.
“It recently changed from the successful 25 hubs to a provision across all school sites on June 29, as schools were made available for pupils to Check In, Catch Up and Prepare.
“This provision has been increasingly in demand, with 2,000 applications processed by the council for the three-week school summer term.
“Our schools have played a vital role within the wider community response to coronavirus, supporting the most vulnerable young people and also parents holding crucial roles on the frontline.
“Our summer holiday childcare offer aims to maintain this support where at all possible, albeit with strictly limited places.
“Our summer childcare will be run by staff from a number of services – from the Youth Education and Participation Service to Leisure, Cultural Services, support staff from schools and external providers.
“The provision will be delivered across seven school settings, selected based on community demand, and also the previous successful delivery of the School Holiday Enrichment Programme – which was run across six primary schools and one special school last summer.”
The online application process via www.rctcbc.gov.uk/publichealthrct, which has been used up until now, will continue.
The application period runs from midday on Wednesday (July 8), closing at 11.59pm on Sunday, July 12.
The council is reminding residents that this childcare and summer activity offer should be used only if there is no other available childcare available.
This provision is in addition to the Welsh Government Coronavirus Childcare Assistance Scheme for 0-4 year-old vulnerable children, and those of critical workers.
This scheme will continue through the summer holiday and is delivered via CIW registered childcare providers.
Applications from critical workers, via the above webpage, must be made by July 12 (or by the end of the summer term, July 17, for school-based staff).