Bridgend County Borough Council’s Flying Start childcare expansion programme is benefitting another local community, as all two-to-three-year-olds living in Nantymoel become eligible for funded childcare provision.

The Nantymoel community was identified as part of the Phase 2A Flying Start childcare expansion programme in the 2023-2024 financial year, as there was no existing childcare provision in the area.

£580,000 of capital funding has been secured from Welsh Government for a new build childcare facility on the site of Nantymoel Primary School. The facility is currently being designed and it is anticipated that it will open in the autumn term 2024.

In the meantime, staff have been recruited and are working in partnership with The MEM ‘Boys & Girls Club’ Nantymoel community centre to accommodate the provision at the centre.

 

The council’s Cabinet members recently met families at the new provision at The MEM.

 

The Leader, Cllr Huw David, said: ‘Flying Start is all about enabling families to be in a better position to provide more opportunities for their children. It has been fantastic to see the positive community response, we’re really pleased that this new provision and facility will offer free childcare to parents in Nantymoel.

“The provision in Nantymoel community centre has been running since September and the uptake in places clearly indicates that it’s very much welcomed by the whole community.

“The dedication and hard work of the staff and family support workers is clearly making a huge difference to children’s lives whilst continuing to help and support families in Nantymoel.”

 

Amy Hurst, mother of Evie, who attends the provision said: ‘I feel we have benefited from coming to the sessions even in just a short space of time, my daughter is saying a lot more words and finds it easier to communicate what she needs.

“Evie was born during Covid, which meant it was difficult to get out and interact with other children, so this provision has really helped, and it is lovely to see her play with children her own age. She always comes out smiling and excited.”

 

Another parent Gemma Dethridge said, “My son’s confidence has grown hugely since attending, he’s becoming more independent, and the programme will prepare him in readiness for school.”

 

The council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Wellbeing Cllr Neelo Farr, said: “With the Flying Start Programme already running in Lewistown and Blackmill for the last 10 years, it was ultimately a natural progression to expand to the Nantymoel area. The childcare expansion programme means that all two-year-olds in the Ogmore Valley area can benefit from this funded childcare provision.

 

“The Flying Start programme is a Welsh Government funded initiative that aims to provide families with better opportunities for their children.

“It was great to meet the children, staff and families, and see the fantastic support here in Nantymoel.”

 

Flying Start offers all eligible families funded childcare from the term following their second birthday to the end of the term in which they are three. The offer is for up to 12.5 hours per week for 39 weeks per year (the academic term period).

 

Flying Start is also offered in parts of Garth, Afon y Felin, Betws, Caerau, Maesteg Park, the Oakwood Estate, Plasnewydd, Sarn, Brackla, Blackmill, Lewistown, Cornelly, Wildmill, Cefn Glas, Pontycymmer and Kenfig Hill. Welsh Language Childcare is available across Flying Start in partnership with Mudiad Meithrin settings.