‘I’m worried that two languages will confuse my son’ and ‘I won’t be able to help my child with his homework,’ are common worries voiced daily to Cymraeg for Kids officers by parents who are considering whether to opt for Welsh-medium education and care.
It is vitally important to remember it is completely natural for some parents to feel worried and uncertain when considering their family’s language choices. Consequently, it is necessary to offer opportunities and support for these parents, as they discuss their aspirations and fears, and consider whether or not to pass Welsh to their child. It is necessary not only within the context of the Welsh Government target of creating a million Welsh speakers by 2050, but also remembering that only 45% of families where one parent speaks English and the other speaks Welsh ends up transferring Welsh to their child.
Several research reports have noted that the early-years support of parents is advantageous to the young child, not only in the short term but also in the long term. Supporting language is one of those key areas where parental support can make a world of difference.
What can parents expect from attending a Cymraeg for Kids group?
A warm welcome is extended to parents and extended family members. We welcome families from all language backgrounds into our groups, including fluent Welsh speakers, parents who lack confidence in speaking Welsh, as well as learners and families from ethnic minority backgrounds. We also welcome parents during the ante-natal period to drop in and see what we have to offer.
On the practical side there are opportunities to learn and sing simple nursery rhymes, an opportunity to practice reading stories, and a chance to learn simple phrases to use at home.
Useful material such as apps and S4C programmes are shared, as well as opportunities to learn Welsh locally and on-line.
The advantages of introducing Welsh are shared with parents, who are encouraged to choose Welsh-medium education and care. The parents are introduced to their local Cylch Ti a Fi (Welsh-medium Parent and Toddler group), the Cylch Meithrin (Welsh-medium playgroup), and their local Welsh-medium school. There will be plenty of opportunities to discuss Welsh over a cuppa and biscuits, as well as an opportunity to share fears, good practice and personal successes.
What sort of groups are available?
Cymraeg for Kids officers offer Baby Massage, Yoga for Babies and a Song and Story Sessions, all of which are free. Weather permitting, some sessions will be held outdoors. The emphasis is not only on introducing Welsh but also creating a strong early attachment to the language for the young child. Most importantly the groups are fun and an opportunity for parents and grandmothers and grandfathers to come and make new friends and provide the young child with the best possible start.
So, if you want to get to know parents with the same aspirations as you, if you want to talk about Welsh, or if you want an opportunity to increase your confidence by speaking Welsh, then there is a warm welcome for you in your local Cymraeg for Kids group.
Cymraeg for Kids National Manager.
For more information on the Cymraeg for Kids service go to: