A NEW Welsh-medium playgroup, or Cylch Meithrin, opened its doors for the first time in Cwmbran last week.

The group, based at the Power Station on Blenheim Road, is open between 7.30am and 9.15am from Monday to Friday during the school term.

It offers care for two to five-year-olds as well as before school and wrap-around care for children attending Ysgol Gymraeg Cwmbran.

The move is part of Mudiad Meithrin’s ‘Set Up and Succeed’ (SAS) programme to establish 40 new Welsh-medium playgroup with a Cylch Ti a Fi (Welsh-medium parent and toddler group) attached by 2021.

Cylch Meithrin Cwmbran’s leader, Jodie Pentney, said: “I have enjoyed working with children for several years and am thrilled to have taken on the role of leader at Cylch Meithrin Cwmbran.

“The Cylch Meithrin has provided me with an incredible opportunity to develop my Welsh language skills alongside the children whilst supporting them on their educational journey.”

The project also stems from the Welsh Government’s aim of having a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

The Welsh language strategy states that it will support the expansion of Welsh-medium early years provision by 40 nursery groups by 2021 to facilitate a seamless transition into Welsh-medium education, in order to reach an additional 150 nursery groups over the next decade.

Nearly 2,000 staff work in Cylchoedd Meithrin across Wales. During the last year alone more than 250 leaders and assistants have been appointed in Welsh-medium playgroup.