Flying Start app launched to connect with families
A new app has been launched in Carmarthenshire to help Flying Start families to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic.
Flying Start is a Welsh Government funded programme which supports families in disadvantaged areas of Wales to give children under the age of four a flying start in life.
Flying Start Carmarthenshire has become the first Flying Start in Wales to use a mobile app to help keep in touch with families.
The team developed the app as a way to increase engagement, and to signpost families to important information and promote events in the local areas.
The app can also be used to invite families to various baby groups and drop-in clinics with the health visitors, as well as to share photos and information with parents from the Flying Start childcare services.
However, it has been particularly useful since the coronavirus outbreak to communicate with families by using push notifications to provide COVID-19 information and to direct families to trustworthy sources.
The Flying Start Language and Play team is also using the app to carry out story time and sing-a long videos.
Mum Liz Maul from Garnant said: “The Flying Start app has been invaluable during lockdown with plenty of advice and ideas for keeping my baby Reggie occupied.”
Flying Start is active in a number of local communities including Ammanford, Carmarthen, Llanelli, Pembrey and Burry Port and Trimsaran and Carway.
Executive Board Member for Education and Children’s Services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “Although the app was being developed long before we even knew about the coronavirus, it has been very beneficial in helping the team to stay in contact and letting families know that they are still there for them during these difficult times.
“It is also a good way for families to keep updated with what’s is going on in the local area and keep up-to-date with the latest information.
“It is wonderful that they can also provide some of the baby group activities such as story time through the app, again very important at this time when we are all having to stay at home, I am sure it is bringing a lot of joy to many families.”
The app is free to download and available on both IOS and Android, just search for Flying Start in your Apple / Play Store and then choose one of the five centres closest to you.
For further information on Flying Start visit the Carmarthenshire Family Information Service website.