Parents in Merthyr Tydfil are being encouraged to use childcare to improve their children’s skills and give a head start on their futures.
As part of a new campaign ‘Best Start, Best Future’ Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council aims to raise awareness of the benefits of childcare amongst its residents and neighboring authorities to support the development of children living and growing up in Merthyr Tydfil.
With the county borough’s latest Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (CSA) showing that 91% of parents who use childcare agree that it has supported their child’s overall development, the campaign features several providers and parents from the local area, including Aaron Phillips from Aberfan.
Aaron sends his two-year-old son Gwyn to Trinity Child and Family Centre in Aberfan. He said: “When Gwyn first came here he wasn’t speaking, he had no language at all and we were questioning a developmental delay, but now he’s been coming for a period of time his development has now actually overshot his age range and I am certain it’s just from attending Trinity.”
The campaign which launched 12/05/2017 follows a recent study by the London School of Economics and Oxford University, which showed that children aged two and three who attend nursery display better social and every day skills, while those who stay at home showed poorer speech and movement concluding that nursery settings are more beneficial for young children.
Chris Hole at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, said:
“We have launched this ‘Best Start, Best Future’ campaign to support new parents, families and extended families in understanding the benefits of children attending quality childcare provision and of how this can be critical to a child’s future success.
“Attending a quality childcare setting helps a child to develop social, language, emotional and cognitive skills, as well as physical abilities that will help them later in life as they progress through education.
“In Merthyr Tydfil, we are fortunate to have a number of quality childcare settings including nurseries, pre-schools, cylch meithrins, childminders, out of school and holiday clubs, so there really is something for everyone.”
Mary Powell-Chandler, Head of Save the Children in Wales said:
“Without a doubt, a child’s early years are the most critical for learning and development, and where supporting their learning will make the biggest difference. The brain absorbs and grows the most during these crucial years, learning words, phrases and numbers, and developing an understanding of the world around them as well as how to build healthy relationships. Save the Children believes that this is why early years teachers and well qualified practitioners are so important. They guide and assist children to grow their minds through play and every day relationships and interactions, rather than formal education – giving them what all parents want for their children - the best start in life.”
The ‘Best Start, Best Future’ campaign features videos from local providers Twyn Carmel Meithrin, Funtazia Day Nursery, Trinity Child and Family Centre and childminder Myra Greenhaf. For more information visit www.merthyrfis.org