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Plan approved to extend Flagship Flying Start programme in Neath Port Talbot

Members of Neath Port Talbot Council's Cabinet

A proposal to expand the Welsh Government’s flagship Flying Start in Neath Port Talbot has been given the go ahead.

Members of Neath Port Talbot Council’s new coalition Cabinet approved plans to extend Flying Start to certain parts of Margam, Gwaun Cae Gurwen and Port Talbot at their meeting on July 28th.

If given final approval, it will mean an estimated 127 extra children in Neath Port Talbot will get specialist help from the programme and an additional 32 children will be supported by an expansion in capacity of the Flying Start Outreach Programme.

Flying Start is the Welsh Government’s targeted Early Years programme for families with children under four who live in some of the most disadvantaged areas of Wales.

Here in Neath Port Talbot It offers:

· Funded part-time childcare for 2-3 year olds in enhanced environments;

· An enhanced health visiting service;

· Access to parenting support and specialist midwifery services; and

· Support for speech, language and communication development.

Through a multidisciplinary team approach, which identifies all of the needs of the child and their family, Flying Start aims to ensure children are healthy and thriving, that families are capable and coping and that Flying Start children are reaching their potential.

Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Training, Cllr Nia Jenkins, said: “The expansion plan is very welcome as it is known children who attend quality early years settings benefit from spending time in a happy, nurturing environment and are then better prepared for primary education.”

Neath Port Talbot Council Leader, Cllr Steve Hunt added: “This is in line with one of the Coalition’s key priorities – giving every child the best start in life.”

Following approval of the expansion plan, programme delivery will begin in specific areas of Margam, Gwaun Cae Gurwen, and Port Talbot from September.