Hoffwn gychwyn trwy ddiolch i’r sector gofal plant am eich ymroddiad a gwaith caled yn ystod y cyfnod digynsail hwn, o’r rhai yn eich plith sydd wedi aros yn agored er mwyn plant gweithwyr allweddol, i’r rhai ohonoch sydd wedi cau ond sy’n parhau i gadw mewn cysylltiad gyda ninnau a’r plant a theuluoedd sy’n mynychu’ch lleoliadau.

Ochr yn ochr â’n partneriaid Cwlwm, mae NDNA Cymru wedi mynegi pryder i Lywodraeth Cymru – yn uniongyrchol a thrwy’r bartneriaeth – gan amlinellu’r pwysigrwydd o gydnabod y sector gofal plant a gwaith chwarae yn rhan hanfodol o’r economi sylfaenol.

Rŵan, yn fwy nag erioed, mae angen cydnabyddiaeth o’r sector gan Lywodraeth Cymru. Yn rhan o hyn mae angen cefnogaeth wedi ei theilwra i’r sector gofal plant bydd yn galluogi darparwyr i barhau i gefnogi a datblygu ein plant ifengaf, ynghyd a’r gefnogaeth a darparwyd i deuluoedd. Mae angen cydnabyddiaeth bod y sector yn rhan allweddol o’r economi Cymraeg.

Roedd cynaladwyedd yn bryder gan nifer o feithrinfeydd Cymru hyd yn oed cyn i’r Coronafeirws gorfodi lleoliadau i gau eu drysau. Gwyddom fod y meithrinfeydd sydd wedi aros ar agor i gefnogi gweithwyr allweddol a phlant sy’n agored i niwed yn colli cannoedd o bunnoedd bob wythnos. Ar yr un pryd, mae nifer sydd wedi gorfod gwneud y penderfyniad anodd i gau yn pryderu na fyddant yn medru ail-agor unwaith i bethau sefydlogi.

Rwy’n ymwybodol fod Llywodraeth y DU a Chymru wedi darparu amryw o becynnau cefnogaeth i fusnesau sy’n dioddef yn sgil y Coronafeirws; fodd bynnag mae’r pryder yn parhau na fydd y cymorth yn gefnogaeth ddigonol i’r sector gofal plant a gwaith chwarae.

Isod rhestrir rhai o’r materion rydym wedi amlygu ar ran y sector:

  • Cyllid – Mae’r darpariaethau sydd wedi aros ar agor i gefnogi gweithwyr allweddol a phlant sy’n agored i niwed yn gwneud hynny ar golled ariannol sylweddol, a dylen nhw dderbyn nawdd addas i’w galluogi i barhau a’u darpariaeth. Nid yw costau’r treuliau yn gostwng, er bod y nifer o blant sy’n mynychu (ac felly’r incwm) wedi lleihau’n sylweddol. Nid yw nifer o ddarparwyr yn medru cronni eu gwarged a’u cadw at gwymp tymor yr Hydref fel y byddant fel arfer yn eu gwneud; ac felly bydd gan y darparwyr hyn bryderon ychwanegol am hyfywedd ariannol eu busnesau yn nhymor yr Hydref.
  • Yswiriant – mae nifer o feithrinfeydd wedi methu hawlio am golled busnes oddi ar eu hyswiriwr, ac rydym yn ymwybodol bydd polisïau’r dyfodol yn gwrthod sicrwydd yn erbyn y coronafeirws, gan olygu bydd yna ddiffyg sicrwydd yswiriant yn achosion y dyfodol.
  • Ymchwiliad yr Awdurdod Cystadleuaeth a Marchnadoedd (CMA) – golygai’r ymagwedd a chyhoeddwyd gan yr ACM bod lleoliadau gofal plant yn cael eu dal rhwng dwy stôl. Nid yw’r nawdd a dderbynnir yn gystadleuol na’n bris y farchnad, ac os oes rhaid i feithrinfeydd cymryd y penderfyniad torcalonnus i gau yna fydd plant a theuluoedd ar eu colled hefyd.
  • Pontio – y posibiliad o gynyddu termau’r sector nas-gynhelir o ran darpariaeth blynyddoedd cynnar a ariannir, er mwyn galluogi plant i gychwyn yn hwyrach yn yr ysgol; a thrwy hynny, cefnogi’r proses pontio ac felly cefnogi lles plant a rhieni a lleihau’r pryder sy’n deillio o’r sefyllfa.
  • Dileu swyddi – Amod o’r Gronfa Cadernid Cymru (CCC/ERF) oedd na fyddai cwmni yn cael dileu swyddi tra bod y Cynllun Cadw Swyddi dros gyfnod y Coronafeirws (CCS/JRS) yn weithredol. Mae paramedrau’r CCS wedi newid, felly mae angen ystyried hyn yn nhermau amodau’r CCC, ond hefyd yr effaith gall hyn gael ar swyddi’n cael ei dileu ar raddfa ehangach ar draws y sector o ganlyniad i ddiffyg cefnogaeth ariannol bellach.

Rwy’n ddiolchgar fod darparwyr wedi parhau i weithio gyda ni drwy’r cyfnod dyrys hwn, gan ein galluogi ni i gynrychioli’r sector mewn ffordd wybodus yn ystod ein trafodaethau cyfredol gyda llywodraethau’r DU a Chymru.

Gan bob un ohonom yn NDNA Cymru a’r tîm NDNA ehangach, gobeithiem eich bod chi a’ch timau’n cadw’n iach ac yn ddiogel. Bydd NDNA Cymru yn parhau i weithio gyda Llywodraeth Cymru er mwyn sicrhau dyfodol darparwyr gofal meithrin yng Nghymru.

I would like to begin this blog by thanking the childcare sector for your hard work and commitment during these unprecedented times, from those of you that have remained open for keyworker children to those, which have closed but still continue to engage both with ourselves and with children and families of your setting.

NDNA Cymru alongside our Cwlwm partners have previously voiced our concerns – both directly and via the partnership – to Welsh Government outlining the importance of recognising the childcare and play sector as an integral part of the foundational economy.

We need now, more than ever to see that recognition for the sector from the Welsh Government. This needs to include tailored support for the childcare sector that will enable providers to continue to support and develop our youngest children alongside the help provided for families. The sector needs to be recognised as a key part of the Welsh economy.

Sustainability was already a concern for many day nurseries in Wales before the outbreak of Coronavrius brought about widescale closures. We know that nurseries who are staying open to support key workers and vulnerable children are losing hundreds of pounds a week. At the same time, many who have had to take the difficult decision to close, fear they may not be able to re-open once we return to business as usual.

Whilst I am aware that both the UK and Welsh Government have released a number of support packages for businesses affected by Coronavirus, there remains a great concern that these packages will not provide adequate support to the childcare and play sector.

Below are some of the issues we have highlighted on behalf of the sector:

  • Funding – Those who are able to remain open to support critical workers and vulnerable children will do so at a significant loss and should receive suitable funding to continue their service. Overheads continue to remain the same though the number of children attending (and income) is much less. Many providers are unable to build surplus funds, which would usually support them to remain sustainable through the Autumn term downturn, therefore childcare providers will have increased concerns about the sustainability of their businesses in the Autumn term.
  • Insurance – many nurseries have been unable to make claims from their insurers for loss of business and we are aware future policies will write out Coronavirus altogether meaning a lack of cover for any future outbreaks
  • Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation – the approach announced by the CMA puts childcare settings between a rock and a hard place. The funding rates received are not competitive market prices and if nurseries take the heart-breaking decision to close, children and families will also lose out.
  • Transition – possibility to increase the terms that the non-maintained sector have of funded early years provision to enable children to start school later, supporting the transition process and subsequently the children’s and parents’ well–being and reducing anxiety about the situation.
  • Redundancies – A condition of the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) was that redundancies would not be made whilst the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) was available. The parameters for the JRS have changed and therefore this needs to be considered not only in light of the ERF conditions, but also the impact that this may have upon the wider scale redundancies that may happen across the sector as a result of additional financial support being unavailable.

I am grateful for the engagement that providers have continued to have with us throughout this difficult time, as it has enabled us to informatively represent you as a sector during our ongoing discussions with both the UK and Welsh Government.

From all of us at NDNA Cymru and the wider NDNA team we hope you and your teams are keeping safe and well. NDNA Cymru will continue to work with the Welsh Government in order to secure the future of day nursery providers across Wales.