Dear All,

METADATA-START

I am delighted to have been asked to make a contribution to the Flying Start newsletter following my permanent appointment in December as the Luton Council Corporate Director of People. I am delighted at the opportunity to work with Flying Start in my role. I was fortunate to be able to join you and meet a number of colleagues at the Flying Start conference held last November, and was impressed by the energy and determination of everyone in the room to take the model forward using an evidence based approach. To have the support and experience of the Wave Trust and George Hosking CEO as a guest speaker gave a clear message of the importance of research, learning and broader engagement – well done to everyone.

I have worked over the border in Wales for a number of years where ‘Flying Start‘ is a key Government strategy to support early years and early intervention and prevention, so I was delighted to see a model here in Luton with some familiar components to it – clearly representing the Luton based commitment to this important area of work .

In my view the importance of prevention and early intervention including identifying needs as early as possible, and supporting families to reduce difficulties is of fundamental importance. This is particularly crucial in the earliest years of life, and when we look at the considerable demands across our ‘whole Luton children’s system‘ it is also key to improved outcomes for all children, young people and families. We have as strategic partners started to look further at what our data intelligence and evidence is telling us, and I look forward to working with Flying Start to progress this important piece of work further. This will be alongside the review of the Children’s Trust Board which is taking place in order that we can better support all of the important work programmes including Flying Start, the 0-19 agenda, the emotional health and wellbeing work. We need to build on their collective impact and ensure that the Health and Wellbeing Board has a clearer picture and plan to address the needs of children, young people and families within Luton.

I look forward to being able to visit the Flying Start Children’s Centres. These community hubs for our families are so valuable in providing information advice and guidance, as well as direct support at such a critical time in a child’s development.
I look forward to sharing some of my observations and supporting you with future developments in a future newsletter.

Kind regards Amanda