Report outlines progress and plans for supporting children in Wales
Vaughan Gething, Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty, has welcomed yesterday’s publication of the first progress report since last year’s launch of the Welsh Government’s Building a Brighter Future: Early Years and Childcare Plan
The Plan focuses on the Welsh Government’s commitment to improve the life chances and outcomes of all children in Wales. The aim is for children, by the time they reach the age of seven, to have the right foundations for good health, be actively engaged in learning and be equipped with the skills to reach their full potential. Yesterday’s report highlights what action has been taken in the last year to fulfilling this vision. It also outlines priorities for 2014-15.
Highlights of the last past 12 months work to address child poverty include:
- Flying Start pilots to look at offering parents more flexible childcare services for two and three year olds;
- the introduction of a duty on local authorities to provide sufficient play opportunities for children; and
- Communities First, Families First and Flying Start teams working more closely together to provide better, more joined up and efficient services.
The Deputy Minister commented:
“This report provides an update for all those who lead, commission and deliver services for children and families from pregnancy up to the age of seven in Wales. As well as providing an at-a-glance overview of some of our key achievements it flags up activities we’ll be carrying out in the coming year.
“For example, in November I’ll be publishing guidance for local authorities on how we expect them to improve the delivery and monitoring of early language development for children attending our Flying Start centres. We’ll also progress our pilot studies to offer more flexible childcare services at Flying Start nurseries so parents can work or attend training courses.”
Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills commented:
“Getting the early years of a child’s life right are so very important and I very much welcome the publication of today’s report.
“No child in Wales should be disadvantaged by their background. From Flying Start to Foundation Phase, and then on throughout a young person’s education we’re making every effort to make sure children in Wales get the best possible education to give them the skills they need to succeed in life.”
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