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Community Swansea West Wales

Swansea ceremony celebrates play and childcare heroes

THE INCREDIBLE e work carried out by Swansea’s highly skilled childcare and play workforce has been recognised at an evening of glitz and glamour at The Brangwyn Hall.

Almost 550 nominations were received for Swansea Council’s first ever Early Years and Play Celebration Event which was an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the amazing quality childcare and play opportunities that ensure children in the city are given the best start in life.

Externally funded and sponsored by Gower College Swansea and Holistic Steps there were 65 winners on the night from the public and private sectors across a range of categories.

These included play opportunities such as out-of-school care including after school clubs and holidays clubs, open and closed access play schemes plus parent and toddler groups.

Early Years Childcare was also recognised including full day care and sessional day care such as cylch, play groups, wraparound and Flying Start as well as childminders.

Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Support, Hayley Gwilliam, who was part of the judging panel, said: “It was a magical evening where we shone a light on the early years and play industry, focusing on individuals and settings that excel within their field while ensuring the industry as a whole felt valued, recognised and appreciated.

“It was clear from depth of nominations that we received that parents and carers were eager to share with us how greatly they value the care, love and support that nominees and winners provide for them and their children.

“Some of these settings also played a crucial role in the pandemic by staying open which enabled key workers to carry on with their work.

“Once again I’d like to congratulate all our nominees and winners and thank everyone who helped organise and attended the evening to recognise and celebrate so many wonderful achievements.”

A spokesperson for Gower College Swansea said: “On behalf of the staff and students of Gower College Swansea we are delighted to be the main sponsor of this event.

“Childcare and early years provision is a major and important part of this College offer – for both full time and part time students and therefore we are as well placed as anyone to recognise the outstanding work and dedication that takes place in nursery and childcare settings across Swansea and offer our thanks and congratulations.”

Jessica Rice, Director of JR Events and Catering, said: “We’re thrilled to have partnered with Swansea Council for the inaugural Early Years & Play celebration. The event was an inspirational evening, from the opening act, local theatre group Rising Stars, through to the very worthy settings being recognised at the event.

“The early years and play sector deserve this hard earned recognition, and we’re honoured that we were able to play our part.”

Swansea’s Family Information Service (FIS) is a free impartial, information and advice service about childcare provision, costs, training, and careers as well as children and young people’s activities for parents and carers of children and young people aged between 0-20 and the professionals who work with them.