Flying Start is the Welsh Government’s flagship Early Years Programme for families with children who are under 4years of age. The Programme aims to make a decisive difference to the life chances of eligible children in identified Flying Start areas.
The Flying Start initiative has been a huge success so far. Families are not only able to access free part time childcare for their children when they turn two, but they can also receive intense support/advice from their Flying Start Health Visitors, who are based on site. We also work closely with Stepping Stones, the SALT team and Educational Psychologist to enable support to be in place, ready for a smooth and seamless transition onto Nursery.
There are currently 28 ‘Little Learners’ attending our setting at present, which will increase to 32 very soon with the appointment of new staff. We continue to make our session’s fun and stimulating, which are well attended by all. We currently promote the following activities during our weekly planning: ‘Musical Mondays’, ‘Tasty Tuesdays’ and ‘Welly Walk Wednesday’. The childcare room continues to encourage independence in a caring and supportive environment, and the staff have a routine which works well, ensuring that activities are well planned to meet the individual needs of all children who attend.
We emphasise the importance of parental involvement within the setting by encouraging parents to be involved in their child’s learning experiences and welcome them into the setting during regular ‘Song & Story’ sessions, ‘Messy Sessions’ and ‘Explorative’ play days. We have had many positive comments made by parents. Feedback includes:
- ‘Very pleased with the setting – such a lovely environment. All staff are friendly and informative. My daughter loves the setting. So happy Gors Little Learners came to our area’.
- ‘All staff are friendly and my daughter has come on leaps and bounds. A great place for a first time experience’.
- ‘My child is very happy in Flying Start; she has improved in her English Language and has made new friends’.
- ‘We are so happy with my son’s development and are grateful to all the staff’.
Continuous development of Multi-agency working in promoting and improving the impact of Flying Start within the area has been constant. We have made strong links and continue to work closely with the H/V’s, Speech & Language Team, Staff at Stepping Stones, Educational Psychologist, Family Facilitators & the Design to Smile team.
Over the past three years we have seen Flying Start grow. We highly commend the partnership we have with the school and the handover of important information. Regular transition meetings with the Nursery teacher have been key in ensuring a smooth transition from Flying Start to Nursery.
Families within the community can see the impact that Flying Start has – a very positive one, and we very much look forward to making this year just as successful!
Amy Williams – Flying Start Childcare Manager