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Flying Start

Flying Start is a Welsh Government funded programme targeted at children aged

0-3 years and their families, living in identified postcodes in the Bridgend area.

The programme aims to improve outcomes for children and give them a 'Flying Start' in readiness for when they commence school.

The full programme includes:​

  • high quality, part-time childcare for 2–3-year-olds
  • intensive health visiting service
  • access to parenting support
  • early language development

Childcare Provision

All children living in a Flying Start Area are entitled to a funded childcare place from the term following their second birthday up until the end of the term that they turn three and are eligible for school.

These children are entitled to a 2.5-hour session per day, 5 days a week, term time only.

Regular part-time attendance at high quality childcare has shown to significantly improve outcomes for children. If you live in a Flying Start area, we encourage you to take up your childcare place.

Check if you live in an eligible area

We have recently expanded the areas that are eligible to receive Flying Start Childcare, if you haven’t done so already, please enter your postcode below to see if you’re eligible:

All children living in a Flying Start Area are entitled to a funded childcare place from the term following their second birthday up until the end of the term that they turn three and are eligible for school.

Answer. Welsh Government are committed to delivering a phased expansion of early years provision to include all two-year-olds. Phase 1 of the expansion of Flying Start, was launched in September 2022 and included all four elements of the Flying Start programme, enhanced Health Visiting, support for speech, language and communication, parenting support, and high-quality childcare.

Phase 2, from April 2023, focuses on a phased roll out of the part-time, high-quality childcare element of Flying Start to 2–3-year-olds. Phase 3 will scope what may be required to move to universal Flying Start for all children across Wales. Welsh Government have not yet confirmed when this is likely to commence.

Flying Start Childcare is a maximum of 12.5 hours per week, during term-time only.

High quality part time Flying Start childcare sessions focus on improving the outcomes for children and to support their transition into early education and beyond. To achieve maximum benefit, sessions should be 2½ hours per day up to 5 days a week.

In order to claim the Flying Start funding, your child must attend for at least three sessions per week. 

The funded childcare is only available at approved Flying Start childcare settings who have met the required quality criteria.

If you are using, or wish to use, a childcare provider who is not contracted by us to provide Flying Start childcare, you must decide whether to continue with that provider and not receive the funding or to use an alternative provider that is contracted to provide Flying Start.

Five reasons to enrol your child

Experts agree that children begin to develop important social skills between the ages of one to three.

In a Flying Start childcare setting, children get to meet and play with friends their own age, whilst being supported to learn and negotiate with others, take turns, share, and resolve conflict

From the time a child starts to become mobile, keeping them entertained can be difficult.

Flying Start childcare provides well thought out, age-appropriate activities for your child that focus on developing their gross and fine motor skills.

The use of indoor and outdoor spaces offers opportunities for running, jumping and climbing alongside cutting, gluing, painting and moulding.

These are strength-building skills that are important stepping stones in your child’s journey to becoming a competent writer when they start school.

Eighty percent of all brain development occurs in the first few years of life and exposure to varied and creative experiences significantly enhances your little one’s development.

Having the opportunity to play using open-ended resources allows children to think creatively, develop their own ideas and solve problems – all vital skills for their future success.

Interactions with staff during exploratory and imaginative play also supports speech and vocabulary development.

Attending Flying Start childcare helps your child to cope with new situations and adapt to change. Research shows that separation from a parent or main caregiver can cause a child stress.

At childcare, children get to test separation from their parent over time, whilst being supported by more favourable adult to child ratios than is possible in a school environment.

Improved emotional development will help your child better manage the transition to Primary school.

The routines and activities on offer at Flying Start childcare are deliberately designed to encourage independence and help build confidence and self-esteem

Spending time at childcare strengthens the relationship between you and your child because it creates a shared experience.

You will enjoy seeing your child grow and develop more in confidence as they become more familiar in the Flying Start setting and there will be opportunities for you to get involved in their learning journey.

Our childcare settings are also fantastic places for you to meet other parents. To know you are not alone, having a network of people to talk to, ask advice of and make friends with can be hugely supportive.

Intensive Health Visiting

The Flying Start Health team will be able to offer you and your baby extra support throughout pregnancy and the early years. This may be through your Flying Start Midwife, Health Visitor or Early Years Advisor.

Flying Start health visitors work more closely with Flying Start families to promote health, wellbeing and to provide advice and support.

If you live in a Flying Start area, the health visiting team will be able to offer help and support on a range of topics such as:

  • Caring for your new baby
  • Breastfeeding advice
  • Weaning and healthy eating for you and your baby
  • Sleep routines
  • Potty training
  • Behaviour
  • Home safety to make sure that your home is baby and toddler friendly
  • Baby groups such as Baby Massage and Hello Baby
  • Immunisations and health screening

Breastfeeding advice | Every Child Wales website | Lullaby Trust

Parenting Support

Being a parent can bring so much enjoyment, but it can also be very challenging.

The Flying Start programme benefits from a team of Parenting and Family Support Workers, who are part of the wider Early Help Team.

They work specifically in Flying Start areas and provide direct support and advice to children and their families. 

They deliver evidence-based parenting programmes within group settings and on a 1:1 basis.  The team can help with positive parenting skills, building relationships and resilience, family well-being and supporting child development.

Welsh Government - Give it time | Grobrain | Nurture Programme

Early Language Development

Speech, language and communication will help your child to get the best start in life.  The Speech and Language team will work with the wider Flying Start team to support you and your child.  We can offer you and your family:

  • support for your child within their childcare settings through intervention programmes
  • help for you and your family in supporting your child at home with communication
  • referring and supporting children with long term speech, language and communication needs to other intervention services.

There is also a Flying Start Language and Play team who provide interactive sessions for families.  Parents/carers and young children are invited along to the stay and play sessions.  These sessions provide opportunities for playing in a safe and friendly environment.

The sessions are delivered by qualified and experienced staff in and around Flying Start settings across Bridgend. Our staff work in partnership with parents to encourage and support early speech, language and communication through fun, age-appropriate activities.​

Talk with meI CANs Ages and StagesNHS Play and Learning | Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board | Tiny Happy People

Flying Start Childcare only Programme Expansion

In November 2021, Welsh Government announced that funded childcare provision would be made available for all two-year-olds in Wales, in a phased approach.  In March 2022, Welsh Government advised that this funded childcare provision would be delivered through the Flying Start programme. 

The programme has successfully expanded into identified areas as part of phase one and two of the expansion programme. 

To be eligible for funding, your child must be living in a Flying Start postcode. This should be the child’s main home address, the address to which their Child Benefit is paid and is the address registered with the child’s Health Visitor.  

Please note, the entitlement in the Flying Start expansion areas is for the childcare provision only. 


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