What is Flying Start
Flying Start is the Welsh Government’s flagship early years programme for families with children under 4 years of age.
The programme provides support for children aged 0-4 years old and their families so that they can learn, develop and thrive. The focus of the programme is on promoting language, cognitive, social and emotional skills, physical development and the early identification of high needs.
We do this through the delivery of health support and guidance, parenting, speech and language support and quality part-time childcare for 2-3 year olds.
The Flying Start team has lots of different professionals working together to support children and families these include; health visitors, midwife, family support and parenting workers, childcare staff, speech and language therapist, early years teacher, education psychologist, early language workers, nursery nurses and a team of dedicated support staff.
What about Flying Start in Merthyr Tydfil?
The Flying Start programme is available in various communities across Merthyr Tydfil.
If you would like to know if you live within one of the catchment areas, please get in touch with the Flying Start Team who will be happy to help.
In Merthyr Tydfil the Flying Start Programme provides:
- Free quality, part-time childcare for 2-3 year olds;
- An enhanced Health Visiting & Midwifery service;
- Access to Parenting Programmes;
- Support for Early Language Development
- Family Support services
Flying Start offers funded childcare for children aged 2 – 3 years in quality indoor and outdoor environments. Qualified staff will help children settle, make new friends and experience activities which build on the knowledge and skills gained at home. Attendance at childcare will prepare children for school and parents / carers will be able to get involved in their children’s learning.
Parents / Carers considering Welsh language provision for their child can speak to the Flying Start team about Welsh medium pre-school provision. All Flying Start childcare provision is inclusive and able to cater for children with additional needs.
The Flying Start Health Visiting Team is made up of specially trained registered Health Visitors, and Community Nursery Nurses.
Health Visitors work with families who have children under five, they work in partnership with families in order to give children the best start in life. Every family with a new baby will be offered a contact with a Health Visitor, they will make contact with you in pregnancy or once your baby is born.
The Health Visitor will discuss their visiting pattern with you and you will have an allocated Health Visitor until your child is 5 years old. Health Visitors can offer support in many areas such as infant feeding, healthy eating, child development and behaviour. They also are there for the rest of the family and can offer emotional support to both parents. They can also refer and signpost to other services.
Community Nursery Nurses work alongside Health Visitors and help provide support for children, at home or in-group settings. They are specially trained in child development and can support families to achieve milestones such as toilet training, weaning and good communication skills.
The Midwife in the Flying Start team will work alongside your community Midwife to offer you support during your pregnancy. The Midwife will also be able to offer support in the first few weeks after you have your baby and can offer you advice about your own health, getting to know your new baby and supporting the whole family to adapt to the new baby.
Merthyr Tydfil Parenting Team offer support to parents/carers of children aged between 0 and 18.
Being a parent/carer can bring joy and happiness but can also be a challenge at times. The aim of the service is to work in partnership with families living in Merthyr to:-
- Build Confidence and skills
- Strengthen relationships
- Nurture wellbeing and resilience
Through parenting positively and building meaningful relationships, parents can help raise healthy, happy children and develop a more calm and peaceful household. .
We offer programmes with other parents or one to one support and look at areas such as:-
- Promoting positive parenting
- Communication and listening skills and how they can help to promote positive behaviours
- Bed time routine/ establishing routines and boundaries
- Dealing with unwanted behaviours
Early Language Development
The Early Language Team works closely with parents as partners to try and ensure that all children start school with the ability to talk clearly and be understood.
Every Flying Start child can access an Early Language group to develop their language skills through stories, rhymes, craft activities and lots more.
We offer a range of programmes including:
- Little Stars (Newborn - 3 months)
- Let’s Talk with your baby (3-6 months)
- Your baby is amazing (6-24 months)
- Little Explorers (9-15 months)
- Rhythm & Rhyme (15-24 months)
All children within Flying Start are screened using the WellComm Speech and Language toolkit at 20 months, 2 years and 3 years of age. This allows parents and professionals to better understand and support children's speech, language and communication needs.
The Flying Start Speech and Language Therapist assesses children with identified speech and language delay and provides a comprehensive care programme to improve speech and language development.
Family Support Workers
The Family Support Workers will listen and provide support, this may include going along with families to appointments or initial meetings, assisting with the completion of forms or generally offering to help the families with day to day life, at a time when they need it most.
Many things can be obstacles to accessing services including, lack of confidence, literacy, or worries about housing, relationships or money.
Family support can prevent families getting into a crisis and assist with issues such as accessing support for housing, benefits, grant aid and other issues, which may affect the family leading and happy and healthy life.
How can I access Flying Start?
If you live in a Flying Start area your Health Visitor will let you know about the services available to you; alternatively you can call the Flying Start office on 01685 725000.
Where can I find Flying Start Services?
In each of the Flying Start areas there is / will be a Flying Start Pre-school. This facility may also have other services such as Parenting classes, Language and Play Programmes and Health activities such as breastfeeding groups.
Your Health Visitor will be based in your Flying Start area and will be readily accessible for support and guidance.
Your Flying Start Pre School will have information about the Flying Start services available in your area.
To find out about the Flying Start Programme
Telephone: 01685 725000
E mail: Flyingstart@merthyr.gov.uk
Facebook: Flying Start Merthyr Tydfil
Cwm Golau Integrated Children’s Centre