Your early years news, features and guides round up: 14th December 2019 – 10th January 2020

A very Happy New Year to you all – and a brand new decade in fact!

We have got some exciting things in the pipeline for 2020, so watch this space for any new and exciting projects you and your setting could get involved in.

But for now, take a look here at some of the news & updates surrounding the sector that have caught our eye these past couple of weeks…


New Year, New You?

Take a minute to reflect on 2019. Did you achieve what you set out to achieve? What are your goals for 2020?

No matter how big or small, everything you do has a positive impact on the children and families you care for. We’re interested in what changes/resolutions our members are pledging to make over the next 12 months. We want to follow your commitment to early years development through smalltalk and our social media so that you can inspire others whilst promoting pride within our sector.

Interested in taking part?

Please email by FRIDAY 24th JANUARY 2020 with a brief outline of your objective(s).

We look forward to hearing from you!



Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) | Self-Assessment of Service Statement (SASS)

The Self-Assessment of Service Statement (SASS) is now available to complete via CIW Online.

All childcare and play providers must complete and submit their SASS online. Only the Responsible Individual or Registered Person can complete the SASS.

The deadline to submit the SASS is 4 February 2020. As this is a regulatory requirement of the Child Minding and Day Care (Wales) Regulations 2010 (Regulation 17), failure to submit the SASS will mean that you will not be complying with the law. This may affect your rating at inspection and enforcement action may be taken.



Not yet activated your account? There is still time… 

In order to do this you will need to contact CIW directly on 0300 7900 126 and select option 4 to get your PIN.

The Cwlwm partnership (Early Years Wales, Clybiau Plant Cymru Kids Clubs, Mudiad Meithrin, NDNA Cymru and Pacey Cymru) are able to offer support to all providers completing their SASS – whether you are a member of a particular umbrella organisation or not.

Visit the Cwlwm website here for a schedule of support sessions on offer.



Ministerial Play Review

The latest statement from Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services providing an update on the Ministerial Play Review is now available on the Welsh Government website.

The Welsh Government places great value on play and its importance in the lives of children in our society. Children have a fundamental right to be able to play and it is central to their enjoyment of life and contributes to their health, well-being and development.

Read the full statement here.



Welsh Government Child Poverty Review

Welsh Government are interested to hear your views on the range of existing Government funded programmes and services in your area, specifically designed to support children, young people and families living in poverty.

They are interested to receive your comments on the following:

  • What programme(s)/initiative(s), if any, do you believe are having the most beneficial impact and why?
  • What programme(s)/initiative(s), if any, do you believe are not working so well and why (including any barriers to access, if applicable)?
  • What do you believe would make the most difference to children, young people and families to help improve their situation: a) on a day-to-day basis and b) in the longer term? Please focus on areas where Welsh Government have the powers to make a difference.
  • What in your view are the best ways to achieve this?

Welsh Government would be grateful if all views and comments could be forwarded via email to:

Lindsey Kearton, Child Poverty Review Lead at

CLOSING DATE: Friday 17 January 2020.




Have a think about the following…

🍎 How do you support well-being in your setting?
🌞 Have you noticed an improvement in employee engagement?
🌳 What impact has this had on the children and families you care for?

The editor of smalltalk magazine is seeking case studies around supporting well-being in early years settings.

If you are able to help, please email: before FRIDAY 17th JANUARY for publication in the next issue.



Chwarae Teg – LeadHerShip

Are you aged between 16-22 and interested in how political decisions are made in Wales?

Chwarae Teg is offering young women across Wales the opportunity to shadow an Assembly Member at the National Assembly for Wales. You could be part of a group of young women from all around Wales to gain first-hand experience from inspiring role models within Welsh public life.

No previous political experience or engagement is required. Applications close 31st January 2020.

More information can be found here.



Childcare and Playwork Survey

Calling all those involved in Childcare & Playwork!

Please complete this short survey created by a PGCE student at Coleg Sir Gar, who is researching the number of males and females in the Childcare and Playwork sector.

The aim of the research is to look at the reasons why it is a predominately female workforce and how this may be overcome.

Complete the survey here.




It’s time to set your fundraising resolutions for 2020! We’re working with easyfundraising to help you raise FREE funds for your setting or pre-school this year! Hundreds of settings have already used easyfundraising to raise money which has helped fund craft supplies, new equipment and daily running costs.

It’s completely FREE to sign up and only takes a couple of minutes to find out how it works, so don’t let your setting miss out!

Here’s what Holt Under Fives Playgroup & Toddlers in Wrexham have to say about it: Raising money through easyfundraising is fantastic! Families that may have parents/carers that don’t come along to events or aren’t involved with Playgroup, Pre-School’s or Nurseries due to their working hours can contribute easily through their day-to-day purchasing.”



Quality for All Success

Congratulations to…

  • Cylch Chwarae Penrhiwceiber, RCT
  • Little Gems at Townhill Flying Start, Swansea
  • Flying Start Little Ducklings Playgroup, Torfaen
  • Little Tigers Day Care, Monmouthshire
  • Flying Start Playgroup Little Owls, Newport
  • Butterflies Blaenymaes, Swansea

…who have successfully passed our Quality Assurance Scheme, Quality for All (QfA) over the past few months. We’re proud of your achievements.

If your would like more information on QfA, or would like to take part, visit our QfA webpage here.



Foundation Phase Excellence Events 2020

Early Years Wales is funded by Welsh Government to host a series of events promoting Hwb and showcasing examples of excellence in the Foundation Phase.

These events are open to all settings (not just Early years Wales members) in the non-maintained sector who deliver the Foundation Phase curriculum or are interested in its principles.


Denbighshire – 13th February 2020

The theme of this event is Creative Practitioners Nurture Creative Learners.

Do you find creativity and risk-taking liberating and exciting or incredibly daunting and challenging?

Nia Richards from the Arts Council of Wales Lead Creative Schools Scheme, with support from Foundation Phase teachers, will be speaking and delivering workshops on developing creativity.

Hannah Chivers from Welsh Government will be discussing ‘Hwb, the FPEN zone and developments with the Curriculum for Wales 2022′

Plus, a copy of ‘Geiriau Diflanedig (‘The Lost Words’) by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris for every delegate!

To book your FREE place, visit our Eventbrite page here.


Bridgend – 5th March 2020

For our Bridgend Foundation Phase Excellence Event on the 5th March 2020, guest speaker – Pavla Boulton, from University of South Wales (USW) will be discussing ‘The Lost Words Project…Exploring the New Curriculum’

Guest speaker Hannah Chivers from Welsh Government will be back discussing ‘Hwb, the FPEN zone and developments with the Curriculum for Wales 2022′

Also Kin Kindergarten will be delivering workshops on ‘Documenting Outdoor Learning’ & Booktrust Cymru will be discussing ‘Pori Drwy Stori’

Plus, a copy of ‘Geiriau Diflanedig’ (‘The Lost Words’) by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris for every delegate!

To book your FREE place, visit our Eventbrite page here.




Early Years Wales – Freelance Facilitator & Co-Facilitator Positions

As part of the Welsh Active Early Years Project, a project funded by the Healthy and Active Fund, a partnership between Welsh Government, Sport Wales and Public Health Wales – we are currently recruiting for Freelance Facilitators and Co-Facilitators across Wales.

The purpose of these roles is to deliver a face to face programme of physical literacy activities based on play to adults and young children aged 0-5 years followed by one-to-one group support to ensure that existing groups embed the ethos and activities into practice and new groups can be set up to be sustainable.

For more details on both of these roles, please visit our jobs page here. Closing date for both is 31st January 2020.



Our members also have the following vacancies…

Tiddlywinks Childcare Centre are looking for additional trustees to join their management!

See flyer below for more information.

Are you currently recruiting in your setting?

Don’t forget members, we will advertise any vacancy you have in your setting on our website and social media pages for FREE!

Send your vacancy to and we will take care of the rest.



…& finally

Did you know…

Our mailing bag we use to send out your copy of smalltalk is made of potato starch? Making it completely biodegradable and compostable!

So if you are ever unsure on how to dispose of it, it is compost heap and food bin friendly!

#FunFactFriday 🌳

2020-01-10T14:35:38+00:00January 10th, 2020|