Wrexham Flying Start is a Welsh Government funded programme for children aged from 0 years up until their 4th birthday and their parents/carers, who live in certain parts of Wrexham.
The aim of the programme is to help children to have the best possible start in life for their future growth and development. Parents/carers are given support to help them provide the most positive environment for their children’s wellbeing during their early years.
All Flying Start services are free to families.
Flying Start families are offered:
- home visiting from the Health and Parenting Team including an enhanced health visiting service
- access to parenting support and parenting groups
- funded quality part-time childcare for 2-3 year olds
- support for early language and communication development
More about the support Flying Start can provide
Enhanced health visiting service
All children in the UK, age 0-4 yrs have a health visitor. As part of Flying Start we provide an intensive health visiting service, with the offer of frequent contact with parents and children. This means we can offer extra support and advice throughout pregnancy and the first four years of your child’s life.
We deliver parent programmes and advice on all aspects of child development, health and wellbeing, including safety, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, nutrition, immunisations, childhood illnesses, sleep and behaviour.
We perform health and developmental reviews of each child, at approximately 6 weeks, 6 months, 15 months, 24-27 months, and 3 ½ years of age.
We also support parental/carer health and wellbeing, and work in partnership with families to identify their needs and to tailor health plans to meet their needs.
We make contact with parents to be during the antenatal period, and continue to visit as necessary, until the child reaches school age.
Parenting support is available in a group or 1 to 1 basis to help parents to further develop their parenting skills. These skills include managing and understanding their children’s behaviour, setting boundaries, establishing household routines, playing and interacting with their children and providing healthy nutrition. By developing these skills this helps to build parents’ confidence and self-esteem.
We are also able to offer intensive support within the home to support with difficulties parent/carer’s may experience, such as toileting, behaviour, safety, mealtimes and sleep.
We are able to offer a range of group programmes including
- Solihull Understanding Your Child’s Behaviour
- Solihull Antenatal Programme
- Family Links Antenatal Programme
- Family Links Nurturing Programme
- Family Links Workshops
- Baby Massage
- Baby Yoga
- Student Assistance Programme
- Come Cook
The Flying Start social worker works within the Health and Parenting Team offering support to families who may be facing challenges, such as: relationship difficulties, parenting problems, financial and housing issues. Often this support can be in the form of advice and information. The social worker can help families to develop their own solutions, in order to prevent problems from escalating.
The Flying Start social worker also provides group and 1 to 1 Freedom Programme and Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit - for those who have experienced, or are experiencing, domestic abuse.
Primary mental health practitioners
Positive emotional wellbeing and mental health support is available within the service. Primary mental health practitioners will provide a full clinical assessment of a parent’s mental health and wellbeing. The practitioners can offer advice and support to help the parent develop and maintain coping strategies to manage their needs. We are also able to offer support via the ‘Living Life to the Full’ group programme.
Childcare is available for children from the term after their second birthday, until the term after their third birthday. Children are entitled to five morning or afternoon sessions a week, over 39 weeks of the year. Sessions at Flying Start childcare settings last for 2.5 hours each and are free to families. There is at least one Flying Start childcare setting in each Flying Start area.
The childcare can be accessed at an English or Welsh medium setting. Attending a Flying Start childcare setting can support what parents/carers already do at home to help their children learn and develop.
Early language and communication support
Support for early language and communication development is available for children from 0-4 years. This support is provided through the speech and language therapist, the enhanced health visiting service, the Language and Play Team and childcare.
The ‘Language and Play’ programme is available to all parents and children in Flying Start. The programme helps to develop children’s speaking and listening skills through songs, rhymes, stories and play. Parents/carers can access language and play sessions through childcare, Chatterbox groups and Let’s Talk With Your Baby groups within the community or at home.
Parents/carers that have taken part in Language and Play sessions have reported that it helps them to play with their child in ways that help their child to learn. Parent/carers said they are now enjoying playing with their child more, sharing stories, singing songs and rhymes, talking to the child and counting things together.
Every child will receive a range of ‘Bookstart’ bags at 6 months and 27 months. Each bag contains books and information specific to these ages.
Each child will also receive a Flying Start Book Bag at 15 months, containing a variety of books and activities. Children in childcare will also receive a ‘story bag’ and be able to take a different book home each week to enjoy.