Play Sufficiency Assessment
Insights from the Coronavirus
75This section should discuss the impact the Coronavirus has had on the local authority’s ability to progress Play Sufficiency Actions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had an impact on the lives of CYP across Pembrokeshire and the effects of this will continue to be felt in the months and years to come. The focus in implementing the actions from the 2022 Action will be to interweave COVID-19 recovery into every play-related action taken for the benefit of CYP’s mental and physical wellbeing and to continue to work towards the Council’s priorities.
Unfortunately, some of the proposed actions from the previous PSA were negatively affected due to delays or disruption due to COVID-19, and this can be seen in the Matters table in the subsequent section. Since restrictions have started to ease, the local authority has again been able to host play events such as the Summer of Fun and Winter of Wellbeing, the positive feedback from these events show the importance of such activities in support of COVID-19 recovery and providing children with rich opportunities for play again, especially in supporting children to overcome feelings of being unsafe or socially anxious due to the pandemic, which was reported by children during consultation.
In terms of training and workforce development, this has also seen delays due to COVID-19 and the inability to run face-to-face training for a number of months. Staff shortages were also a key issue during the pandemic. Some settings noted having to stop their indoor play provision during the pandemic and having to operate with reduced numbers of staff or volunteers.Higher turnover of staff was another issue raised by play providers, with older members of staff leaving during the pandemic and other problems with retention.
Some play providers noted that the pandemic affected their finances significantly, as well as children’s development and staffing. Another point that was raised was around seeing a rise in the number of children with ALN since the pandemic, and having to go back to basics of building routines and rules and developing social skills for many.