Flintshire Flying Start – helping children and supporting childminders
Flintshire’s Flying Start team is passionate about creating the best possible opportunities for young children.
Flying Start is a Welsh Government funded Programme and is available in targeted areas supporting all families to give 0-3 year olds a Flying Start in life. The scheme aims to provide intensive support services for children aged 0-3 years old and their families.
Sue Formstone has been a registered childminder for nearly twelve years and has been working with babies and pre-school children for over 23 years. She is one of the childminders registered with the Flying Start programme in Flintshire. Here’s what she has got to say:
“I have provided Flying Start childcare for two to three year olds for several years now. It is a pleasure to be involved with Flying Start. The children may only be with me for a few terms but in my opinion, it is a really crucial time in a child’s development. I get to see them develop in all areas, including socially, physically, emotionally and creatively and all in such a short space of time. I am also supported by my Flying Start Advisor, Jenny Cooper, who visits me and the children in my setting regularly to offer me support and advice.
“I was awarded a grant earlier this year from Flintshire’s 3-4 Year Old Small Capital Grant with which I bought a playhouse, and it really has made a big difference to the children I look after.
“When lockdown happened, I became very concerned for the future of my business. However, I have remained open throughout this period, as the children I had were being supported through Flying Start, and even though Jenny has been unable to visit my setting during lockdown, she has always been at the other end of the phone through these uncertain times, so I have never felt alone.
“Flying Start covers a big part of childcare provision in Flintshire. I am only a very small part of it. But, it is like a big jigsaw puzzle and every piece is important to the well-being of the child, and even though I work alone, we all work together, with the child at the heart of it.
“We are all having to find ways to adapt to a ‘new’ normal. But I feel proud that not only have I supported those children who have needed it the most and helped key workers to be able to carry on working by caring for their little ones, but throughout this lockdown the children have played, laughed and had fun! It really is the best job!”
The Flintshire Flying Start team offers support to families with young children in designated areas of Flintshire. For more information please contact the Family Information Service Flintshire: Email email@example.com or search for the team on social media.