Welsh in Education Strategic Plan
In this section
Outcome 1 - More nursery age / three-year olds receive their education through the medium of Welsh
Where we are now?
In terms of provision for nursery/three-year olds we are in a strong position, and it is our intention to build on the progress that has already been achieved.
- Early Years Education in Carmarthenshire is currently delivered through a mix of local authority-maintained settings, and non-maintained settings delivered by private or not for profit organisations. The intention is to continue to increase Welsh-medium early years provision across the county. During the lifetime of the previous Plan, we have seen an increase in the number of Welsh-medium places available in terms of pre-school care and education provision.
- In 2019/20 93.1% of our learners transferred from Cylchoedd Meithrin to Welsh-medium schools, which is a steady rise since 2015/16 (87.3%). (See outcome 3 for a more detailed analysis).
To ensure a choice for parents, and offer equal opportunities, places are funded within the provisions of voluntary and private organisations, such as Mudiad Meithrin, Cylch Ti a Fi or Wales Pre-school Providers Association, in line with Local Authority guidelines.
The authority supports 31 non-maintained settings. There are about 100 other non-maintained settings in the County that offer childcare, but these are not approved to provide education. Carmarthenshire’s Family Information Service offers an information service to all childcare providers as well as parents.
The Local Authority works with pre-school and childcare providers to increase the number of learners who choose Welsh medium education, by promoting the benefits of bilingualism. Through the ‘Information to Parents’ booklet, parents are informed which schools and settings offer Foundation Phase Welsh medium provision.
Also, pamphlets such as Welsh with your Kids – give it a go! are helpful, as well as Welsh Homework – no problem, whilst also referring parents and carers to the authority's film clips and Welsh Government online resources.
Number of Settings and Cylchoedd Meithrin
|Number of settings||50||54||49||51||50|
|Number of Cylchoedd Meithrin||57||64||61||60||57|
|Number of children attending the Cylchoedd Meithrin||1634||1715||1651||1606||1307|
*NB: Changing the ages of schools has influenced the numbers attending the Cylchoedd Meithrin, as has the growth of the private sector within the County.
Welsh Medium Childcare Providers and Places
|Type of Settings||
Number of settings
Number of places
Number of settings
Number of places
Number of settings
Number of places
|Full Day Care||10||385||17||630||42||1016|
|After school care||23||625||24||653||26||824|
Number of 1st language Welsh nursery age children ,2012 to 2021
Percentage of 1st language Welsh nursery age pupils, 2012 to 2021
Percentage of nursery children / three-year olds who receive their education through the medium of Welsh is 57.54% (2020). Carmarthenshire has the highest number of Nursery age learners taught through the medium of Welsh. All catchment areas in Carmarthenshire have access to Welsh-medium education.
At present the Flying Start programme in Carmarthenshire offers families with children aged 0-3 years targeted early intervention services. Due to the nature of it being a targeted programme, strict postcode eligibility applies. Set up in 2007, eight original communities were identified using uptake for free school meals and other poverty indicators, to evidence areas of deprivation, which were: Bigyn, y Betws, Carwe, Felin-foel, Penrhos, Llwynhendy and Richmond Terrace. In 2012/13 Welsh Government announced an expansion of the service and Carmarthenshire identified a further 9 new communities which were to benefit from Flying Start intensive support services, which were: Dafen (Llanelli), Pantyffynnon, Garnant, Glanamman (Ammanford), Carmarthen Town North, Pwll (Llanelli), Trimsaran, Burry Port, and Pembrey. Services are delivered under four service areas; intensive Health Visiting on a needs-led basis, funded childcare places for 2–3-year-olds, early language activities and a range of parenting programmes, offering support on behaviour management and positive parenting.
The provision of good quality childcare for children from 2-3 years of age is the centrepiece of the programme and as it focuses on children living in disadvantaged communities, it aims to offer stimulating opportunities to improve their long-term outcomes in preparation for school.
A strong commitment to immersion education is key to this strategy. The national aim to mandate the Welsh language from the age of 3 and English from the age of 7 is crucial in supporting this approach. During the first 5 years of the Plan.
- We will be working with partners to increase Welsh medium provision and targeting areas where there is no provision at present.
- We will provide support and guidance through our Early Years team and will continue to share materials with parents/carers/guardians in relation to the value of bilingualism so that they have a better understanding and can make informed decisions at all transitional stages.
- We will continue to increase the percentage transferring from the nursery groups to the Welsh-medium Foundation Phase.
In order to increase the number of Welsh-medium places available the current provision will be reconfigured by developing more childcare/pre-school provision through the medium of Welsh.
- We will continue to work with early years providers including Mudiad Meithrin and provision before the child turns 3, to strengthen and expand Welsh-medium childcare provision.
- We will continue to strengthen our work with Flying Start and with the Welsh Learning Carmarthenshire team. Strategic planning has already begun through working with these agencies to ensure a simple, educated understanding of Welsh medium provision through the sharing of leaflets and posters etc.
- We will utilise these partnerships to signpost individuals to Welsh literature and publications and to share information on opportunities for adult learning.
- Working with our Welsh for Adults team, Dysgu Sir Gâr and the National Centre for Learning, allows us to reach out into the community not only through information sharing but also through community working.
- We will work with the Admissions Team to ensure that clear, comprehensive and up to date information is included in the Information for Parents booklet which is available to parents of children of all ages. This information is also easily accessible on the County Council website.
- Officers who deal with enquiries will be given in-house training annually to ensure that they are best placed to answer any questions. Also, a good understanding is vital in order that they can discuss the implications of Welsh medium options. This can also be the important point at which detailed questions may be asked. It is therefore important for the admissions team to be in contact with the Welsh in Education Manager when needs be.
- Whilst reviewing the online school admission process, we will consider the users' journey. This needs to be very visible and easy to use so that parents and carers can consider and better understand Welsh medium education from the onset. With our vision to move all schools along the Language Continuum the need for correct up to date information regarding individual schools’ provision will become highlighted through the admissions team initially.
- We will also promote the Welsh Government’s suite of web content about Welsh-medium education which aims to provide guidance on how to create a positive narrative around the Welsh Language.
- We will increase the use of social media to ensure that parents and carers can make informed decisions on choosing a school for their children.
Athrawon Datblygu’r Gymraeg have created film clips about Welsh medium Education with extracts from pupils within Welsh medium education from a mixture of linguistic backgrounds as well as from parents. These clips give an insight into real families who have questioned Welsh medium education from the onset but who are very eloquent in conveying how their lack of understanding of bilingualism was simply that. These are very powerful and helpful clips as they convey many issues that arise with parents and carers who may have some reservations about Welsh medium Education. Information from Welsh Government regarding the clips on the WG website will be shared along with the use of the suite of web content which also provides guidance on how to create a positive narrative around bilingualism.
Marketing campaigns will be undertaken such as referring to Welsh social media channels for children which include resources for parents and children such as songs, film clips and information.
In order to increase the number of Welsh Medium places available we will:
- Develop more childcare/pre-school provision through the medium of Welsh
- Support current dual stream and transitional schools to become Welsh medium schools
- Invest in establishing new Welsh medium/dual stream schools using space available.
- Consider the age range of specific schools and potentially creating a space for providing Welsh medium very early years’ provision
- Continue to monitor the demand in urban areas
- The re-designation of all schools will be very advantageous in the improvement of the numbers in pre-school and childcare provisions.
It is our aim that all pre-school and childcare provision is delivered bilingually within the 10-year plan.
Numbers and % of nursery children/three-year olds who receive their education through the medium of Welsh
2022-2023 2023 - 2024 2024-2025 2025-2026 2026-2027 1358 / 58% 1381 / 59% 1404 / 60% 1451 / 62% 1478(+120) / 63% 2027-2028 2028-2029 2029-2030 2030-2031 2031-2032 1545 / 66% 1615 / 69% 1662 / 71% 1709 / 73% 1756(+398) / 75%