Welsh minister opens new Flying Start childcare centre in Caerphilly
Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty opened a new Flying Start centre in Risca, Caerphilly, yesterday as part of the Welsh Assembly Government Child Poverty strategy.
Caerphilly local authority has been awarded over £3.5 million of funding from the Welsh government to be spent on fulfilling the Flying Start programme between 2012-15.
The latest Flying Start project, based at Risca Community Comprehensive School, offers local children 48 childcare places as well as a range of other targeted services. The core programme of Flying Start centres include:
- an enhanced health programme;
- free childcare for two to three year olds before Early Years education;
- early language development support;
- and parenting/family support programmes.
The Flying Start projects are set up to help families access a wide range of services under one roof. As well as offering child-centred services supporting early years childcare and health services, the projects also aim to address the needs of parents by providing access to adult education and “problem-solving interventions”, including tailored counselling sessions to “improve family attachments and reduce family breakdown”.
Speaking at the opening of the Risca centre, Griffiths said: “Flying Start is on the Welsh government’s top priorities. We are committed to ensuring children and families living in some of our most disadvantaged communities are given support to ensure they have the best possible start in life. Our commitment can be seen right across Wales where tens of thousands of children and their families are benefiting from their local Flying Start services.”
It has been reported that over 1200 children have benefitted from the Flying Start programme across Caerphilly to date.