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Minister visits new Flying Start Centre

Published: 20/03/2015

Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, has visited the new Flying Start centre at Ysgol Bryn Deva in Connah’s Quay to see the fantastic childcare services and facilities it offers. The centre was opened last year, thanks to a Welsh Government capital grant of £825,000. Flying Start facilities offer eligible parents free quality childcare for two to three year olds, parenting support, an enhanced health visitor service and help for early language development. They help families to look after their children’s health and well being. Before the new provision, Flying Start services in Connah’s Quay operated from a number of locations in the town. Childcare was provided at Ysgol Bryn Deva and demand for places often exceeded availability. Working in partnership with the school and Jigsaw Playgroup, the purpose-built centre provides the full range of Flying Start services under one roof. This includes parenting programmes, health sessions for children, an early language group and crèche facilities. 48 children are now able to take up their Flying Start childcare entitlement at the centre, which means that requests for childcare places can now be fully met. Flying Start services at the school have also been extended to include baby massage courses, early language development and parenting programmes, which are delivered to parents who are able to bring their children with them to be cared for by qualified staff, in the onsite crèche. Lesley Griffiths, AM, said: “It’s been good to see the excellent facilities here in Connah’s Quay and the difference Welsh Government investment has made. Flying Start ensures that children across Wales have the best possible start in life while also offering valuable support and advice to parents. I have seen this here at Bryn Deva today, and would like to congratulate all those involved establishing the new facility here. Leader of Flintshire County Council, Cllr Aaron Shotton, who greeted the Minister, said: “It has been a pleasure to welcome the Minister to our wonderful Flying Start Centre in Connah’s Quay. I am extremely proud of this new facility which is providing local families, who are entitled to Flying Start Services, with a wonderful venue for free child care provision and parental support from our very dedicated team. This expansion would not have been possible without funding from the Welsh Government’s Flying Start Strategic Capital grant programme and the support of Ysgol Bryn Deva, so I would like to extend our thanks to the Minister and to Bryn Deva’s head teacher Tamasine Croston.” Head teacher of Ysgol Bryn Deva, Tamasine Croston, added: “We are very grateful to the Welsh Government and to Flying Start to have this excellent facility here in Connahs Quay; the building, with its state of the art facilities and environment, is an exceptional place for children and families to learn. Even in the short time that it has been open, it is already having a highly positive impact on this area, both the provision for children and classes for parents are very well attended. We are looking forward to the coming months and seeing the impact grow! Image Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, is pictured with the baby massage class at the Flying Start centre, along with Flintshire County Councillors, Council officers and representatives from Flying Start.