Welsh Government
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146 new projects to help Wales’ most vulnerable families to be created

The Welsh Government is to create a further 146 projects that support families in some of Wales’ most deprived areas, Communities and Tackling Poverty Minister Huw Lewis announced yesterday.

The new Flying Start facilities will allow parents access to the help and support they need to cope with the pressures of poverty. The extension is being supported with £19 million of extra capital funding that will provide a boost for construction jobs. The Flying Start programme helps families with children up to four years old that are living in some of Wales’ most disadvantaged communities.

The scheme currently supports 18,000 children and the Welsh Government wants to expand this to cover 36,000 children and their families. There are currently 140 locations in all parts of Wales where parents can access Flying Start support, and this will be expanded with a further 146 projects. Ministers are providing a total of £74 million in 2013/14 to achieve this target.

Flying Start gives eligible parents free part-time childcare for 2-3 year olds, parenting support, an enhanced health visitor service and help for early language development. It supports families to look after their children’s health and well being, working in partnership with primary and community healthcare.

He said:

“Flying Start is a flagship policy of the Welsh Government that helps families in some of our most deprived communities. This is about providing superb quality child care and support to those who most need it to the benefit of the whole family, and importantly to allow parents the opportunity to gain new skills and look for work.”

“Our efforts to prevent poverty start with targeting investment to give children the best possible start in life with early intervention to make sure that children have the opportunity to learn, develop and play.

“It is our ambition to double the number of children benefiting from the package of services that the Flying Start Programme offers and that is why we will be funding the creation of 146 new facilities to provide the service.

“Given the ongoing problems of the economy, combined with the impact of the UK Government’s changes to welfare that will squeeze the some of the most vulnerable, we will expand Flying Start over the next few years to target specific communities where there are high concentrations of children living in income benefit households. We want to provide the best start in life possible for all our children. This is a key part of our efforts to help the most vulnerable our society.”

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