The Deputy Minister for Social Services has announced a further £36.6 million to support children and families as part of their recovery from the pandemic and it's restrictions to ensure no child is left behind.
The Welsh Government has outlined its commitment to putting children at the heart of everything it does this Senedd term. To ensure no family or child is left behind as a result of the pandemic, a significant package of support is being provided to fund initiatives designed to help children, young people, families and the services they use recover and move forwards from the pandemic.
Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
I am pleased to announce the funding to provide a package of support for the well-being of our young people and families in Wales. The impacts of the last year have been felt by all of us, and particularly by our children and young people emotionally and physically. This funding will provide them with continued support and more opportunities to strengthen their social, emotional and physical well-being.
I want to build on the success of the Summer of Fun, and continue to provide support for our young people, their families and also to the local economy around them that deliver these types of activities and services. Play has become increasingly important as a vehicle to help our young people to re-engage as it provides many opportunities to develop a range of different skills at all different ages.
The £36.6 million package of well-being support will be split between:
- £11.6m capital funding to increase capacity in childcare, play and Flying Start settings in Wales, including funding which can be used to develop outdoor spaces, purchase C02 monitors or take other steps to support their covid response;
- £5m capital funding to help local authorities respond to the priorities in their play sufficiency action plans;
- £20m revenue to support access to play, sporting, creative and expressive, and cultural activities and experiences in Welsh and English in Wales for children and young people aged 0-25. Building on the success of the Summer of Fun and providing even more opportunities for our young people over the winter and into the spring.
Ms Morgan continued:
This is our future generation and this package of well-being support is for all young people from every community and provide the opportunity for them to develop their social, emotional and physical well-being for now and for the future.
Part of this funding will also build on the success of projects such as the Summer of Fun within education settings and provide activities outside of formal learning, linked to our Renew and Reform plan.
In welcoming the announcement the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles said:
I am pleased that, as part of our Renew and Reform plan, some of the funding announced today will also be used to directly support schools, colleges and higher education settings to promote physical, mental, emotional wellbeing through increased access to creative, sporting and cultural activities in English and Welsh. This complements a number of wider initiatives we are also developing, to ensure provision of additional quality experiences and activities in and around the school day, week and year.
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sports, Dawn Bowden said:
I welcome the opportunity this funding provides to build on the summer of fun activities and pleased the culture and sport sector will continue to play an important role in supporting our children and young people to recover from the pandemic. This programme is another example of how we are working collaboratively to provide our children and young people with opportunities and experiences that will have a positive and lasting impact on their health and wellbeing.