Luton’s primary prevention and early intervention strategy, Flying Start, was launched at a conference at the University of Bedfordshire. It aims to deliver changes on how support is offered from pregnancy to a child’s fourth birthday. The Pre-school Learning Alliance led the initiative, with a number of organisations also involved. They have developed a variety of programmes and schemes for staff.
A key training programme, Five To Thrive, was also launched at the event. Practitioners are trained to support parents to practise five key activities with their baby – respond, cuddle, relax, play and talk. These activities help the bond between parent and child and support their brain develop. Councillor Waheed Akbar said: “At the heart of our Flying Start proposals are parents and the community, who are central to shaping and improving how we deliver services.”