A Problem Shared: Why Isn’t Flying Start Available Where I Live?

A Problem Shared Childcare | by | 7th Jul 2017

Child playing with blocks for Flying Start article

Free childcare is one part of Welsh Government’s Flying Start programme. However it only operates in certain areas in Wales. One young mum in Newport is asking why?

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Just a bit curious as to why the whole of Newport are eligible for Flying Start, apart from Caerleon? Having lived in Caerleon for my whole life, I can tell you for a fact the two areas are no different. Both have extremely disadvantaged areas and both have families on low incomes.

I’m a single mum, 19, with a two year old and 8 month old trying to go to college. They will only fund one child. Therefore I’m stuck in a situation where I am going to end up having to somehow pay for my other child. This will leave me with nothing to pursue my career.

Our FamilyPoint response on Flying Start eligibility

Hi, thank you for contacting FamilyPoint regarding being eligible for Flying Start.

I contacted Newport Flying Start and spoke to Rachel on your behalf regarding childcare. They confirmed that they do not cover Caerleon. However they did suggest that it would be worth asking the college about their childcare system as many offer this.

I also contacted Newport Family Information Service for you, but for them to be able to find what is available for you they would need to speak to you direct. This is because they would need to know which, if any, benefits you may be receiving. This would make a difference to what could be found to help towards childcare for you.

Newport Family Information Service logo for Flying Start article

I also contacted Communities First and Families First in Newport on your behalf and they also signposted back to Family Information Service.

I am sorry if at the moment this may not sound too positive for you, but I do think it would be a good idea to contact Newport Family Information service as well as the college to see what may be available to you. If you would like to contact FamilyPoint by phone we could assist you in doing this.

Newport Family Information Service can be reached on 08003288483 and via Facebook.

Welsh Government response

“Flying Start funding is finite, and has to be targeted at those areas most in need to ensure that it is having the maximum impact. Local authorities are responsible for decisions on the areas for inclusion within the criteria set by Welsh Government. The current targeting regime requires authorities to consider those areas with the highest concentrations of Income Benefit recipients with young children. It is certainly not the case that the whole of Newport is eligible for Flying Start, far from it.

“We would refer any enquiries of this nature to the relevant local authority, as the Welsh Government is unable to advise on local matters such as this.

“In terms of Flying Start providing funding for only one child, I suspect this is about childcare provision, which is only provided on a part time basis to children aged 2-3yrs. Additional siblings falling outside of this age range will not be supported with childcare costs.”

FamilyPoint Helpline

If you would like further information on national or local support services, then you can contact us at FamilyPoint Cymru via phone 0300 222 57 57, text 07860 052 905, or IM/Chat. We are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

The FamilyPoint Team

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