Praise for the Emergency Childcare Hub at Maes yr Haul Primary School from Local MS Carwyn

Following a huge amount of positive feedback from local parents about the emergency childcare hub located at Maes yr Haul Primary School, Bridgend MS Carwyn Jones organised a virtual call with the Hub Lead and Deputy Head of Maes yr Haul, Claire Nicholas.

As schools closed their doors to pupils in March due to Covid 19, staff at Maes yr Haul Primary, having been informed they were going to be a hub school, prepared to re-open just a couple of days later along with five other emergency childcare hubs across Bridgend county borough.

Speaking to Claire Nicholas was an opportunity for Mr Jones to pass on his thanks to her and to her team including other headteachers from neighbouring schools, learning assistants and volunteers who gave up their time to work in this hub during the lockdown, to hear about how things have been over the past few months and to discuss whether there can be any lessons to learn from operating this model going forward.

At the hub, Claire and her team provided a range of arts and crafts, outdoor sports and online learning. The children’s safety and wellbeing were paramount creating a positive and relaxed atmosphere.

Mr Jones said “It was very humbling to hear about how quickly Claire and her team sprang into action to put in place arrangements to operate as a hub so key workers could continue their vital work. As a son of two teachers, they have my support and utmost respect. It was interesting to hear Claire talk about the huge team effort involved with everyone pulling together to ensure that things were well organised. At one stage, she said that they had seven headteachers offering support. It was also good to know that there was a consistent approach across all hubs so there was cross hub support if needed.

“A number of constituents had contacted my office to say that the hubs have been a vital lifeline, enabling them to continue their critical work. At Maes yr Haul, one parent, a very strong advocate for the hub, told me that her child in particular had really benefitted from being at the hub and that it had made such a big difference to her child’s emotional wellbeing.

“With pupils briefly returning to school for their check in, catch up sessions, at the end of June, Claire and her team had to juggle their own work preparing to see their own classes whilst still operating the hub.

“It was interesting to hear about how the school is now planning to welcome back all pupils in September especially to hear about their plans to help those who had not engaged with learning over the lockdown, those excluded learners.”

Maes yr Haul together with the other five emergency childcare hubs finally closed their doors on the 17th July.