Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Social Services
The impacts of the last year have been felt by all of us, and particularly so by our children and young people and by those living in our most deprived and disadvantaged communities. While we have sought to prioritise the needs of our children and young people throughout the pandemic, maintaining services for them as much as possible, we know there is now a need to provide additional support to help make up for lost time and lost opportunities.
Across Wales we have a number of highly effective early intervention and prevention programmes providing support to children and families. During the health emergency, they have often had to adjust their approaches in line with the wider restrictions that we have all faced, sometimes pausing certain services temporarily.
Many of the activities have now restarted, working with families to address the direct impacts of the lockdown and pandemic on economic, social, mental and physical wellbeing. The help they provide is critical as children and families refocus and move forwards.
In ensuring that no family is left behind as a result of the pandemic, today I’m announcing a package of funding amounting to £11.5m which will ensure children and families receive the support they need to thrive and achieve their full potential.
- £4.5m to boost the Child Development Fund, which provides additional support to children and families impacted by the pandemic to address concerns around developmental delay, in areas such as speech, language and communication, fine and gross motor skills and personal and social development;
- £7m boost to the Children and Communities Grant to drive down waiting lists for early help and support services and provide support as early as possible, to help address the adverse effects of the pandemic on children and young people aged 0-25, including those who are newly vulnerable;
This investment is in addition to the many programmes already in place to support our children and young people and underlines our commitment to putting children at the heart of our plans for this Senedd term.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.