Discrimination by Flying Start Wales

Discrimination by Flying Start Wales

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Aelonwy merch Rose Cadwallader started this petition to Welsh Government and

“Flying Start is a Welsh Government programme to provide a range of services helping children get the best start in life” - if you live in the ‘right’ postcode.

Flying Start offers 

- quality part-time childcare for 2-3 year olds
- an enhanced Health Visiting service
- access to parenting support
- support for your child’s speech, language and communication;

if your child is 4 and under, and lives in a certain postcode. However, this postcode lottery system is not means tested, and based more upon what the public see as deprived areas. If you are a postcode winner, you get extra health visitor checks, support with weaning, access to trips out; for example, to the beach, forests, picnics and so on. These events are often Flying Start only, although sometimes they can be Flying Start priority, with the option for unused spaces to be opened to the public. At other times, unused spaces simply go unused, without being offered to non Fkying Start families. These trips can be cancelled due to low attendance or no interest, despite non Flying Start families being desperate to go.

This extra support provided can be invaluable to any family, eligible postcode or not. Any parent may benefit from extra health support, the help to socialise their children and to give them access to a variety of life’s opportunities. 

By only giving some families access to this support, and by deciding on who they are by where they live, the system is discriminating. Discrimination is defined as 

“to single out a type of person or thing for special negative treatment or denial of equal treatment; to act in a prejudicial manner against someone or something”

Flying Start denies equal treatment, based on their postcode system. They could also be said to be acting in a prejudicial manner by pre judging families on what their needs are, based on their postcode.

I wholeheartedly believe that the work that Flying Start do is invaluable and an amazing lifeline to families. However, I feel that it should be means tested, rather than on a postcode system. 

I could go on, but I’ll leave you to make up your own mind - here is the website detailing and explaining Flying Start: https://familypoint.cymru/flying-start-wales/

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