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Flying Start synthesis report

The Flying Start programme was launched by the Welsh Government in 2006/07. Operational across all local authorities since 2007/08, it aims to improve outcomes for children in some of the most disadvantaged areas in Wales. Flying Start, by itself, cannot address (and is not designed to address) all of the elements of disadvantage related to child poverty. Instead it focuses on the identification of need and on early interventions to improve children's language, cognitive and social and emotional development and 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. This overview summary report brings together the most recent findings from studies carried out by Ipsos MORI and SQW for the national evaluation of Flying Start. It draws on data from: In-depth case studies of Flying Start in all 22 Welsh local authorities (conducted by SQW), drawing on a thematic analysis of documentation and interview data from over 150 stakeholders, visited during the summer and autumn of 2012; A longitudinal impact survey, implemented by Ipsos MORI, drawing on the second wave of data collected from 2,116 families with children aged between two and four. Between June 2012 and January 2013 1,033 parents in Flying Start areas and 1,083 parents in selected comparison areas were surveyed about parenting, the development of their child and any family support services their family had used whilst bringing up their child. All families living in areas where the Flying Start programme was available were eligible for the survey, irrespective of whether they had actually accessed Flying Start services; Qualitative in-depth interviews, carried out by Ipsos MORI, with 60 'high need' parents in five different local authorities who had received (or were still receiving) Flying Start services. (author abstract)
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