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Childcare, Play and Early Years Workforce Plan


The Welsh Government has published its Childcare, Play and Early Years Workforce Plan for the next 10 years. However, the plan’s focus is on actions taking place within the first three years and aligned to the Welsh Government’s National Strategy – Prosperity for All.

The Welsh Government recognises that a highly skilled early years workforce plays a vital role in helping to develop children’s learning and development encouraging them to be able to develop the skills they need to reach their full potential in life.

The Childcare, Play and Early Years Workforce Plan supports this recognition. It sets out Welsh Government’s ambition to develop a highly skilled childcare and play and early years workforce which is recognised as a highly regarded profession and career of choice, and one which society values for its contribution to children’s learning and development.

Minister for Children and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies said:

‘We want to attract the right people into the early years and childcare sector with the skills and behaviours to provide high-quality care, education and play opportunities for children. We need to ensure training and qualifications are accessible for our workforce and are based on good practice and standards. We need training which supports the workforce to fully understand how children learn and develop, and we want to support the existing workforce to gain the skills they need to progress in their careers and access more employment opportunities.’

More information

Play Wales' response 

‘Play Wales is pleased to see the Workforce Plan published and will continue to work with Welsh Government through the Playwork Education and Training Council for Wales (PETC Wales) to address pressing issues for the playwork sector – as outlined in the key actions of this plan. The plan sets out how the new Childcare, Learning, Development and Play Qualifications will respond to the needs of those working in the sector when they are available from September 2019.

Play Wales published A play friendly workforce for Wales, our workforce development plan, that highlights our strategic and operational priorities over the coming years. These include funding for playwork qualifications and meeting the skills and knowledge requirements of a seasonal workforce. Play Wales’ plan recognises that to progress in a career working with children many playworkers are now working across playwork, education, childcare, community development or youth work and require other skills and qualifications to maintain a full-time job.’

Play Wales’ workforce development plan

Play Wales has developed A play friendly workforce for Wales to share its priorities for upskilling the workforce in relation to children’s play, both for those working face-to-face with children and those whose work impacts on the places children play.

To implement this workforce development plan we will work closely with a range of partners including: playwork settings, local authorities, Welsh Government, and childcare and playwork organisations.

The plan includes:

  • Clear and concise definitions of the playwork workforce and the play workforce
  • Challenges to address for the playwork workforce and the play workforce
  • Play Wales’ strategic and operational priorities for the playwork workforce and the play workforce.