To give baby smiles the best start in life, dental professionals launched a national campaign, two years ago, called Dental Check by 1 (DCB1).
It is recognised that too many children have experienced tooth decay, a preventable disease, in early years. DCB1 encourages families to take babies to the dentist from 6 months of age; they may not have teeth, however, families will receive age-appropriate preventative advice to ensure healthy smiles are achieved for their child. It will help babies and children become accustomed to visiting the dental team, from an early age. It is also a good time for Mums to make the most of their free NHS dental visits as they receive free treatment up until their baby is a year old.
Since the campaign started evidence is emerging that areas of higher risk of tooth decay were unexpectedly more likely to report higher dental access rates. It appears that those children who are in greatest need, are able to access a dentist.
This is good news for Luton children and is indicative of people across our communities, understanding the importance of good oral health and supporting the campaign. We are monitoring an increase in dental attendance across Luton, for expectant women, and 1, 3 and 5 year olds; however there is still more work to be done!
Luton has may NHS dental practices across the town who are ready to welcome very young children and their families. To find a dentist in your area please call NHS 111 or visit the web site www.nhs.uk
Information is also available on the 12 Top Tips for Teeth poster which is available to download from Flying Start or CDS: 12 Top Tips
There is a new campaign by NHS England and NHS Health Improvement – Midlands and Public Health England (launched Summer 2019) called A little trip to the dentist. Please check out the link for further information, resources and useful downloads. https://www.england.nhs.uk/midlands/2019/06/20/campaign-a-little-trip-to-the-dentist/
Early years settings participating in the Healthy Smiles (HS) programme are certainly supporting theses key campaigns by conducting an annual audit of their children attending a dentist (or not); this acts as a prompt for families that need a reminder and re-audits have resulted in an increase in attendance.
Settings are doing a tremendous job in delivering daily supervised tooth brushing; giving children the opportunity of an additional blob of fluoride toothpaste (NOT replacing brushing last thing at night and one other time in the day, at home). Feedback from families, settings and children have been very positive and the numbers of children participating is gaining momentum. A Role of Honour of settings names will be published, once we have all the evidence for achieving the HS Standards, later this year.
For further information please contact: Sue Jordan, Asst Director Oral Health Improvement Community Dental Services
01234 331635 email@example.com
When choosing toys for your children, whether you are buying a climbing frame, a chemistry set or a plastic car, you need assurance that the products won’t cause harm. Fortunately, consumers in the UK are well protected by legislation and the British Standard that underpins it.
It is now nearly three years since children’s centre staff moved in-house as employees of Luton Council and we took on the current model of one Flying Start Children’s Centre (FSCC) operating in four neighbourhood teams. In October we held a team day bringing together all the FSCC staff teams to reflect on our progress to date and to discuss the part FSCCs can play in achieving Luton’s ambition of ensuring no-one is living in poverty by 2040.
The four children’s centre neighbourhood teams work closely with colleagues in Cambridge Community Services NHS Trust (CCS) our health visiting service. This provides a consistent and joined up approach to supporting families in the earliest years.
Working with midwifery colleagues we also provide a range of antenatal services for families during their pregnancy which includes a three week programme of antenatal education (Bump to Babe) and a monthly pregnancy club for expectant mums.
Perinatal mental health is given a high priority and we have a specific group focusing on parent-infant attachment, with staff trained by the Anna Freud National Centre for Families and Children. Alongside the support that is offered to families on a universal level the Children’s Centre is a key deliverer of a range of evidence-based parenting interventions. These include: Family Links Nurturing Programme and Parenting Puzzle, Webber Stratton Incredible Years, Solihull Parenting, Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities and HENRY.
Our teams of FSCC Family workers provide individual support for families who need help to support their children. During 2018/19 we received 1,118 Service Request Forms (SRF) for additional support for families with emerging needs, offered alongside the programmed services and interventions.
Since April 2019 our children’s centre staff have been supporting Luton’s Talking Takes Off programme ensuring there is a focus on children’s speech, language and communication development in all our universal Stay and Play group and introducing new Sing and sign sessions. We have also introduced weekly, targeted sessions for children called Talking Takes Off for Communication. This rolling programme of sessions is based on Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP) principles and any professional working with families can give parents an invitation to attend these sessions.
Our priorities for Flying Start Children’s Centres for 2019/20 are:
- Supporting the Talking Takes Off programme to narrow the word gap for children aged 5 years through a systems change and a development of an integrated pathway from universal to targeted support
- Further development of whole family working as part of the remodelling being undertaken by the Prevention and Early Intervention Transformation Programme
- Implementation (as part of a pan-Bedfordshire model) of the DWP Reducing Parental Conflict Programme
- Further development of partnership work to support children with SEND
- Achievement of UNICEF BFI Gold Accreditation in partnership with CCS
Timetables with details of all the services offered by Luton’s Flying Start Children’s Centre (FSCC) can be found on our website: https://www.flyingstartluton.com/childrenscentres/
Flying Start has been approached by Race Equality Foundation to be part of a four year national RCT research project led by University College London Together study to promote family wellbeing. The research will explore:-
- If, and by how much, does SFSC improve mental wellbeing in parents and children
- Other outcomes: parental stress, social cohesion, use or uptake of services
- Compare parents in SFSC course with parents not in SFSC (control group)
- 6 months follow-up with both sets of parents
- How, why and when does SFSC improve things for families?
- Does SFSC save costs overall in terms of escalation to other services such as social care?
Staff from Flying Start South are looking forward to completing the SFSC facilitator training in January 2020 in order to build capacity. The first course in South neighbourhood in April 2020 will be the focus of this national research. The course will run at The Mall Children’s Centre on Tuesday mornings starting 28 April 2020 and will be suitable for parents of children 3 – 16 years.
Flying Start need to recruit 26 parents for this, realistically needing to have at least 40 parents on the list for researchers to contact. The research team will:-
- introduce the trial to appropriate parents – gain informed consent (ineligible and decliners signposted for a parenting course the following term).
- undertake face-to-face structured interviews and randomisation and follow-up with a questionnaire to the 26 participants every 3 months over 9 months (x3 in total).
- The parents who are not actually on the course but part of the control group will receive additional monthly contact and be offered SFSC after the 9 month period.
- Parents are free to withdraw at any point without giving a reason.
The team would like to congratulate Hilary Cox and Lisa Bevans, family workers at Flying Start Central who recently successfully completed the facilitator training for Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities (SFSC) at the Race Equality Foundation in London. They are looking forward to delivering their course at Beech Hill Children’s Centre on Wednesdays starting after February half term 2020. This will be in addition to the already established programme alongside their colleagues Iwona Nowakowska and Yarun Chowdhury. The course is suitable for parents of children up to 11 years old. Referrals can be made either directly to Flying Start Central or to the main Flying Start office using a Flying Start children’s centre service request form (SRF).
Any queries about parenting courses, please contact Sue Bugden at Flying Start 01582 548336
As the Free to Feed campaign to support breastfeeding mums gets off the ground in Luton and Bedfordshire, Luton has been leading the way with more mums choosing to feed. The percentage of mothers breastfeeding 6-8 weeks after birth has jumped from 62% in the first quarter of 2019 to 67% in the second. This represents excellent progress for the area and leads the way in our region too, given that the figure was just 50% for the East of England last year.
Congratulations must go to Linda Masterson from Luton Community Services and Louise Morrissey from Flying Start at Luton Borough Council, who co-ordinate breastfeeding support services across Luton, as well as to all the health visiting and early years staff who support new mums every day.
This increase provides strong foundations for the ongoing #FreeToFeed campaign, which is encouraging businesses and venues throughout Luton to show their support for mums who breastfeed out and about. Find out more about the campaign and the businesses involved so far at: https://cambscommunityservices.nhs.uk/freetofeed