The outreach element of Flying Start requiring Local Authorities to identify children living outside defined Flying Start areas who would benefit from Flying Start services.

Ceredigion is a rural area with pockets of deprivation dotted across the county. The Welsh indices of Multiple Deprivation do not lend themselves well to measuring poverty in rural areas such as Ceredigion. For this reason a range of data and consultations were used to choose both the original and expansion Flying Start areas. Welsh Government helpfully provided Income Benefit Household data for families with children aged 3 and under at LSOA level to assist with decisions regarding expansion. We are confident that Flying Start (FS) is located in the 5 areas across the county with the greatest concentrations of deprivation but at the same time are conscious that there are many families living outside of these areas who would also benefit from the programme.

Ceredigion welcomed the opportunity to provide some outreach services. Our budget is very small – just £13,000. Approximately half of this is spent on ‘Communities of Interest’ – Homeless Hostels and Refuges that are within FS areas.

The other half of the funding is used to support families who are referred for outreach via a range of agencies (mainly generic Health Visitors) or families moving out of Flying Start who have ongoing needs. Families must score at least 40 points on Ceredigion Families First’s Joint Assessment Framework in order to be considered for outreach support. In order to achieve this they must need ongoing support from more than one agency for a range of issues. This system has worked well to date. For families living within 5km of a Flying Start area the whole programme with all 4 entitlements can be offered. For those living more than 5km away, the family can be referred to Families First for support with Flying Start providing targeted services such as funded childcare.

This year Ceredigion committed all its Outreach funding within the first quarter. Welsh Government have given permission to use any underspend to support further children.

The extent to which sufficient Flying Start funding is provided to reflect the outreach element of Flying Start delivery plans and whether the workforce capacity is sufficient to deliver the programme and its outreach elements.

Ceredigion funding is quite small as stated but Welsh Government have given their permission to use any identified saving / underspend to support this aspect of the programme. All Flying Start programmes across Wales have had a stand still budget for the last two years and are awaiting information on budgets for the next two years.  There is less underspend than in previous years for this reason and should there be a standstill budget next year then the programme will have to consider ways in which to find £55,000 in savings. The capacity to find additional funding for outreach will inevitably be reduced by this.

The evidence on outcomes for parents and children in Flying Start areas compared to the outcomes for parents and children in areas that are most similar in terms of deprivation levels but are not Flying Start areas.

Please see the data presented below


Rhian Rees

Flying Start Manager