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Outcome: A social care and early years workforce that is highly recognised and valued

An overview of our progress against this outcome during 2021 to 2022.

Why it’s important

The social care and early years workforces are crucial to the well-being of people of all ages in communities across Wales.

They are also valued by the Welsh public. More than two thirds think they do a good job and almost three quarters have confidence in them.

Yet care workers are, on average, paid much less than other key workers.

Our impact

Our focus has been to provide evidence and use our influence to enable a better understanding and appreciation of the social care and early years sectors.

Perceptions have changed to the positive. The WeCare Wales Benchmarking Survey 2020 showed public awareness and perceptions have improved.

In particular, early years and childcare saw an increase in the positive impact on a child’s development from eight per cent (2018) to 47 per cent (2020).

Similarly for social care, the view that the sector improves the quality of life grew from three per cent (2018) to 28 per cent (2020).

Our social care and early years workforce deserve fair reward that reflects the crucial part they play in the well-being of people and communities.

This is something recognised by the Welsh Government through the Social Care Fair Work Forum.

As members of the forum, we’ll continue to influence and commit to embedding fair work and improving terms and conditions for those working within the social care sector.

The new version of the Care Worker Card issued during the year will have a direct positive impact on social care and early years workers.

They will benefit from a cashback card, as well as a range of retail offers. This will be achieved through a dedicated discounts provider, Discounts for Carers.

Cardholders have also had access to preferential shopping arrangements at certain supermarkets.

They also had access to resources, such as mobile applications that help with their physical and mental well-being.

We’ll assess the benefits of the Care Worker Card and pilot other options to recognise professionals during 2022 to 2023.

  • There are 26,740 Care Worker Card holders
  • The largest group with cards are domiciliary care workers, at 11,743

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Social care practice and policy that is underpinned by innovation, high-quality research, data and other forms of evidence