A group of leading Welsh children's charities is calling on all political parties to put the needs of babies and the youngest children at the centre of their policies for the next Senedd.
Croesi'r Bont, or Crossing the Bridge, is a scheme developed by Mudiad Meithrin who run most Welsh-medium early years provision. The scheme is designed to ease a child's transition into Welsh-medium education for children whose families do not speak Welsh. It focuses on ensuring staff at playgroups and primary schools use consistent language patterns.
Mudiad Meithrin has been given funding to open 150 new playgroups by 2027 as part of the Welsh Government's vision of one million Welsh Speakers by 2050. Some playgroups have already adopted the plan, with one playgroup in Wrexham saying the parents from English-speaking families being surprised at how much Welsh the children are learning in a short period of time. Croesi'r Bont staff visit playgroups to progress and to help staff, especially those learning Welsh too, to reinforce their own language skills.