National evaluation of Flying Start: Area case study synthesis report
The Flying Start programme, launched by the Welsh Government in 2006/07 with the explicit aim of making 'a decisive difference to the life chances of children aged under 4 in the areas in which it runs', has been operational across all local authorities since 2007/08. Flying Start delivers targeted investment for children from birth to under four years old in the most disadvantaged communities in Wales. The programme intends 'to provide both early years care and education to develop a strong partnership with families and other services that cater for young children?'. It focuses on the identification of need (including the earlier identification of children and families with high need) and on early interventions to improve children's language, cognitive and social and emotional development, as well as their physical health. The main elements of the provision are: an enhanced health visiting service; free, high quality, part-time childcare; evidence-based parenting support programmes; support for early language development. Alongside these elements is an intention to improve information sharing and referral between all practitioners within Flying Start. This report, which provides a snapshot of Flying Start programmes in 2012/13, is part of a series produced by SQW and Ipsos MORI for the national evaluation of Flying Start. The principal sources of evidence for this report are 22 in-depth Flying Start case studies conducted by SQW in each local authority in Wales. The fieldwork for the case studies involved consultation with over 150 stakeholders and was conducted over the summer and autumn of 2012. The research for the study involved the following steps: initial contact with the Flying Start team and a review of background material from previous rounds of case study visits (up to and including 2009) and information provided by the Welsh Government; meetings and in-depth interviews with the Flying Start Manager/lead and individual leads of the Flying Start core entitlements in each of the 22 local authorities; collation and analysis of additional documentation and data (at local and national level); the completion of written case-study reports for each of the 22 local authorities (these were agreed and signed off by the Flying Start leads before incorporation into the case-study report); a synthesis of all case-study data, incorporating national statistics collated by the Welsh Government from the 22 local authorities. (author abstract)
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National evaluation of Flying Start: Area case study synthesis report [Executive summary]