This month sees the launch of new health and social care, early years and childcare qualifications. The below summary outlines the new qualifications:
- Those looking to forge a career in the care sector in Wales will be able to study for new health and social care, early years and childcare qualifications from 2 September.
- The new Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development (CCPLD) qualifications will cover levels 2 to 5 and are designed to strengthen the child care profession for the future, will provide a recognised and consistent standard, as well as a clear pathway for those wanting to progress in their careers.
- The qualifications were developed in partnership by Qualifications Wales, Health Education and Improvement Wales, and Social Care Wales, and will be delivered by a consortium made up of the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) and City & Guilds. The qualifications are all offered bilingually.
- The new suite of qualifications were developed following a review by Qualifications Wales of the qualification system in the Health and Social Care sector in Wales which was published in July 2016. The Review outlined a number of actions, one of which was to develop a new suite of Health & Social Care and Childcare qualifications for Wales to replace more than 200 qualifications which were then eligible for funding on programmes of learning funded by Welsh Government or local authorities.
- The new qualifications have been designed to prepare new employees more thoroughly for employment. The introduction of a new ‘core’ qualification will give them the key knowledge and understanding needed to start a career in Health & Social Care or Childcare. It is also aligned with revised induction standards to help streamline learning for new employees. For practitioners currently working within the sector, the new qualifications will support their progression further in employment.
- Recognising the importance of Speech and Language in children’s learning and development and the role childcare practitioners play, the new qualifications have been developed to embed the principles of speech and language.
- The Welsh Government Apprenticeship programme will continue to play a key role in supporting the sector to train and upskill. Level 2 apprenticeships (entry level) is protected to support practitioners to qualify for employment and enable progression to Level 3.
- From 2 September, people working between 10 and 16 hours within the Childcare and Play sector who want to progress their career can apply for funding for apprenticeship qualifications through the Progress for Success (PFS) programme. This is the first time PFS will pilot an apprenticeship for people working in the sector who work less than 16 hours.
- PfS is a Welsh Government and European Social Fund programme which funds existing early years, childcare and play practitioners to undertake recognised childcare and play qualifications. The programme has been developed alongside the Welsh Government 10 year workforce plan for childcare, play and early years. Its main purpose is to raise the quality of provision offered to our youngest children in Wales by increasing and broadening the skills levels held by the existing workforce.