The End Child Poverty Network Cymru (ECPN) have released a statement in response to the Welsh Governments school closures to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
ECPN welcomes the commitment from the Minister of Education in Wales to support and safeguard vulnerable children. You can read the full statement below:
Welsh Government's Response to COVID-19: School Closures & the impact on low income families
In these difficult and unprecedented times, the End Child Poverty Network (ECPN) Cymru welcomes the commitment from the Minister for Education in Wales to support and safeguard our most vulnerable children during this period of school closures. For those families who are entitled to Free School Meals, it is essential that their children are fully protected from hunger, and are still able to have access to a nutritious meal. The Welsh Government must urgently bring forward measures to ensure that no child in Wales goes without. ECPN Cymru endorse the recent calls made by the Bevan Foundation and their proposal for a free school meal allowance to help families avoid crisis during this challenging period. We ask that the Welsh Government:
- Ensure that no child goes hungry during the extended school closures, not only during the term time but throughout the whole period of closure.
- That the method of providing children with enough to eat respects childrenäó»s rights, and is administered by local authorities with sensitivity which avoids any stigma.
- Children with additional barriers, such as those with additional learning needs and their families receive tailored support that meets their particular needs.
- Ensure that arrangements are in place which maintains the safety of all vulnerable children, including for example children on child protection registers, children in the care system, young carers and care leavers.
- Provide parents and families with appropriate resources to ensure that the learning needs of children in low income families whilst at home are supported, including where access to online learning may be problematic.
About Us The End Child Poverty Network Cymru (ECPN) is a coalition of concern focused on the eradication of child poverty in Wales, co-ordinated and managed on a day-to-day basis by Children in Wales. Its steering group include representation from across the voluntary and statutory sectors and the Network has an increasing supporting membership from a broad cross-section of agencies. Steering Group members include Barnardo's Cymru, Children in Wales, Save the Children Wales, NEA Wales, Action for Children, NSPCC Cymru, WLGA (observers), The Childrens Society, The Princes Trust, Citizens Advice, Oxfam Cymru, Public Health Wales, Shelter Cymru, the Buttle Trust, TUC Wales (observers), and the Office of the Children's Commissioner for Wales (observers). The End Child Poverty Network Cymru, operational since 2002, seeks to:
- Increase public and professional understanding of child poverty in Wales
- Provide public and professional support for measures to tackle child poverty
- Ensure that policies are in place at all levels of Government (local, Assembly and Westminster), which contribute to eradicating child poverty in Wales