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Flash childcare hub to remain open

Created on 08/07/2020 @ 13:32
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The Flash Leisure Centre will continue to operate as an emergency childcare hub despite a low uptake in its first two weeks.

It is believed that no children attended its first week of operation, but it has attracted six children of key workers this week.

Some parents say they have been put off from using The Flash hub because it then prevents their children from having a day-a-week at their normal school with friends and their teachers. Powys County Council said this is to prevent the potential of Covid-19 spreading from one setting to another.

However, this petition has been set up by one parent calling for the Welsh Government to think again and has already gathered nearly 500 signatures.

This morning a PCC spokesperson said: “The Flash is being used this week and has bookings for six children. These leisure centre-based hubs will remain open for the rest of the summer term.”

What Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Property, told us about the creation and use of The Flash as an emergency childcare hub.

“The re-opening of schools after three months has been challenging. One of the challenges is supporting schools to comply with Welsh Government guidance that the total number of pupils in any one school does not exceed one third of the total number of the school’s building capacity.

“Schools were informed that they should prioritise places for children of key workers who had registered with the school-based emergency childcare hubs during the 12 weeks as well as children of school and early years staff.

“This created a huge demand at present from key workers who had not previously registered their children with the emergency childcare hubs, and we were keen to provide alternative arrangements if it was possible to do so.

“We have worked extremely hard to establish and continue this emergency childcare provision in five of the county’s leisure centres while supporting school leaders in preparing for the re-opening of schools.

“One of the challenges was registering the centres with Care Inspectorate Wales. One of the requirements for the registration process was to have registered and qualified members of staff to run the hubs at the centres. The staff who will work here are county employed teachers, supply teachers, leisure centre staff and sport development staff.

“Welsh Government have provided clear guidance that children should only attend just one setting to reduce the likelihood of the Covid-19 virus spreading between different groups.

“Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of children for the rest of the summer term and we work with school leaders to ensure this happens.”

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