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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 22 April 2013

 

Report of the Leader

 

Flying Start External Funding Applications

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform Cabinet of external funding applications submitted/allocated to maximise the amount of external funding sought/utilised to support the delivery of corporate objectives. 

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet endorse the role of the Council as lead body for the Flying Start grant available to the Children and Young People's Partnership.

2.         That Cabinet authorise the acceptance of the revenue grant of £2,005,184 allocated for 2013/14 and £2,345,122 allocated for 2014/15.

3.         That Cabinet approve the re-structuring and expansion of the Flying Start service in order to meet the increased statutory requirements and to ensure the delivery of a quality service in the Vale of Glamorgan.

4.         That Cabinet authorises the acquisition of a legal estate or interest for Flying Start childcare accommodation at Castleland Community Centre and Holm View Leisure Centre or such other property that may be necessary and gives specific delegated authority to the Director of Resources in consultation with the Director of Social Services to negotiate and agree the heads of terms thereof and further gives specific delegated authority to the Head of Legal Services to negotiate, settle and execute requisite legal documentation to achieve this objective.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To recognise the ongoing responsibilities of the Council as lead body for the Flying Start grant.

2.         To ensure the acceptance and utilisation of revenue grant funding and to secure the support and delivery of corporate objectives; the Capital funding having been secured in July 2012 in accordance with minute C.1794.

3.         To endorse the re-structuring and expansion of the Flying Start service.  

4.         To authorise the negotiation settlement and execution of all documentation required to acquire appropriate property, estates or interests in land and/or buildings for the provision of Flying Start childcare accommodation     

 

Background

2.         Corporate Management Team previously agreed new procedures to improve the way in which the Council assess and co-ordinates its bids for external funding.

3.         An 'External Funding Framework' covers the practicalities of maximising external funding opportunities to meet corporate objectives. The framework highlights the criteria that potential applicants must address and those applying for external funding to minimise risk to the Council.  

Relevant Issues and Options

Flying Start

4.         Flying Start is a Welsh Government (WG) grant for children aged 0-4 years in a specific geographical area. The primary aim of Flying Start is to improve outcomes for children in the most deprived communities across Wales. Targeted investment is dedicated to offer free part time, quality childcare for two to three year olds, enhanced Health visitor support, parenting programmes and basic skills including the language and play programme.

5.         Flying Start was initiated in 2007 and the second phase of the grant scheme began in April 2012. The first phase of the Flying Start project in the Vale of Glamorgan was based in the three wards of Cadoc, Gibbonsdown and Court. These areas were determined by the schools in the Vale with the highest rates of free school meal provision i.e. Oakfield, Jenner Park and Cadoxton Primary Schools. These Ward areas include the largest area of social housing in the Vale of Glamorgan and account for half of the referrals received by Children and Young People Services.   

6.         The second phase of the project is expansion into the wards of Castleland. In line with the criteria, these areas were selected on scales of deprivation including Benefit data, child protection rates and housing information. The Welsh Government has announced a commitment to the scheme and announced indicative funding until 2015. The number of children within the scheme will increase from the current CAP of 659 to 1200.

7.         Flying start is delivered across the following five strands:

·           Free high quality, part time childcare for 2-3 year olds. This is offered by specified playgroups, day care nurseries, childminders who have contracts with Flying Start.

·           Intensive health visiting and midwifery services. The health visitors have a case load of no more than 110 children each and provide a minimum of 15 visits in the first 18 months. The speech and language therapist will encourage good speech and language development as well as healthy eating from an early stage.

·           Parenting support: A variety of parenting programmes and support services are available through small groups or in the home, providing advice and support to deal with the everyday practicalities of being a parent. Creches are provided for children who are not in school.

·           Early Years including improving a child's development through play. This is offered one to one in the home and in groups through out the area.

·           Outreach provision allows the provision of Flying Start to a small number of children living outside the geographical Ward areas prescribed by Welsh Government. The level of outreach is prescribed by Welsh Government at 2.5% of the additional allocation awarded through the expansion. This equates to an additional 12 families in the Vale of Glamorgan.   

·           Cabinet authorised the acceptance of the revenue Flying Start grant of £1,422,434 allocated for 2012/13 on 30th July 2012 and that the Council continue to act as lead body. (Min C1794).  The Cabinet report highlighted an indicative revenue allocation of £2,005,184 in 2013/14.

8.         Following the previous report to Cabinet work has subsequently been undertaken to consider the additional staffing required, to deliver the services required from the current CAP of 657 children to 1,200.

9.         It is proposed the Management Structure to deliver the extended Flying Start provision remains unchanged but each job description and person specification be amended to take account of the additional responsibilities. One additional post be established at support function level, an Evaluation and Monitoring Officer Administrative role.    

10.      Within the Childcare element a new role of Childcare Manager will be established together with the additional posts of 2 WTE Childcare Leaders, 9 WTE Childcare Workers and 2 part-time Creche Workers.     

11.      Within the parenting element, 1 WTE Parenting Worker, 4 WTE Parenting Support Workers and 1 Food and Nutrition Support Worker.

12.      Within the Health element 1 Deputy Health Element and three Health Visitors. Posts to be employed by Cardiff and Vale UHB and seconded into Flying Start.

13.      Within the Early Years element, 1 FTE Senior Early Years Practitioner, 2 WTE Early Years Practitioners and 1 Safety Officer.   

14.       An application for a capital grant of £663,985 was agreed by Welsh Government on 18th October 2012. This will enable five projects to increase childcare provision and the required collation of staff. Plans for the Capital programme were approved by Cabinet on 30th July 2012.

15.      Agreement has been made for Flying Start to take occupation of a proportion of Holm View for the purposes of providing Parenting Classes and an associated Creche. The service will be taking occupation once the required documentation has been completed and for as long as the requisite Licence from Parkwood Leisure Limited subsists will be on the basis of a rolling option to determine occupation on an annual basis dependant on future funding being available. Some internal refurbishment works will be necessary.

16.      Flying Start require a building where they can provide 2.5 hours per session 39 weeks per annum for 40+ children. Flying Start has explored childcare settings within the Castleland area i.e. Church Halls, Scout Groups, vacant buildings etc. and none were deemed suitable. Flying Start are currently exploring interim arrangements to provide the required increase in childcare provision by April 2013 on the basis of providing a more permanent solution by September 2013. If Flying Start cannot fund suitable accommodation before April 2013 it will not be able to provide sufficient childcare to conform with the grant conditions of the Flying start grant.     

17.      In order to facilitate the need to acquire accommodation, the Estates section have been undertaking a search for suitable land/property with permission sought to enter into negotiations with the land/property owners as appropriate for the acquisition of the same.

18.      At a meeting with Welsh Government on 21st November they were informed of the issues and suggested that if property or land (including refurbishment /building costs) could be acquired they would look favourably upon extending or adjusting the capital allocation currently available to the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

19.      Recent investigation has revealed the possibility of utilising Castleland Community Centre. The Community Centre is owned by the Vale of Glamorgan Council but is subject to a 28 year lease from 2004 to the Holding Trustees of Castleland Community Hall Association. Refurbishment of the Community Centre is now being costed by the Property Services Department within the Council. Substantial changes would be needed to the current building to make it suitable for CSSIW registration for childcare.   

20.      The option of utilising land adjoining Castleland Community Centre as an outdoor space is currently being explored as a Flying Start Childcare setting requires an outdoor area.    

21.      Improvements to Castleland Community Centre would result in increased footfall for the centre and an improved presence in the local community.                                            

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

22.      Welsh Government provided 100% revenue grant funding towards eligible costs for delivering Flying Start. The proposed staffing structure has been approved by Job Evaluation and will be funded from the external grant. This amounts to £1,422,434 in the current financial year, £2,005,184 in 2013/14, increasing to £2,345,122 in 2014/15.

23.      An application for a capital grant of £663,985 was agreed by Welsh Government on 18th October 2012. This will enable five projects to increase childcare provision and the required collocation of staff. Plans for the Capital programme were approved by Cabinet on 30th July 2012.

24.      Due to the changes to the venues available to the Capital programme amendments to the programme have been made. These have all been agreed in principal by Welsh Government and procedures have been followed through the Councils Estates Department and legal officers.    

25.      The costs of surveys and legal costs associated with the purchases or refurbishments are all within the remit of the Capital Grant costs that Flying Start has already agreed. Revenue running costs in terms of the premises being used by Flying Start can be recovered from the Flying Start revenue grant.       

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

26.      Expansion of the Flying Start programme will support the sustainable development of deprived communities in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

27.      A contractual agreement is in place with Voluntary Sector Childcare settings to provide childcare and with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board regarding the secondment of health personnel to support the delivery of Flying Start. All the other staff deployed to deliver Flying start are employed by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

28.      Legal documents will be required to be completed in relation to any property interest or estate acquired or granted to support the provision of Flying Start.   

29.      Repayment of all or part of the Welsh Government Capital Grant is required in respect of any building, facility or equipment acquired and subsequently disposed of or ceases to be used for or available for use as part of the Flying Start Programme within a period of five years after the final payment of Funding.          

Crime and Disorder Implications

30.      The expansion of the Flying Start programme will help improve opportunities for children with the greatest need in the Vale. 

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

31.      Flying Start will provide a range of support to help families give children a better start in life including childcare and a speech and language therapist.  

Corporate/Service Objectives

32.      The Flying Start grant supports the Council address a number of corporate objectives, for example Improvement Objective 4 "to ensure every child has a flying start in life'.

Policy Framework and Budget

33.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

34.      Officers within the Council, the Children and Young People's Partnership, Vale Centre for Voluntary Services, Communities First and the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board were involved in the scoping and planning of both the capital and revenue submissions to Welsh Government.

35.      The Castleland Ward Member is the Cabinet Member for Children's Services. The Member has been engaged in the search for accommodation for Flying Start both in his role as Cabinet Member for Children's Services and as a Ward Member for Castleland.        

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

36.      Corporate resources

Background Papers

External Funding Proforma: Flying Start

 

Contact Officer

Mike Jones, Business Manager (Partnerships)

 

Officers Consulted

Antonia Bridges, Flying Start Programme Expansion Manager

Laura Davis, Senior Accountant

Carolyn Michael, Senior Group Accountant

Operational Manager, Legal Services

Gareth Jenkins, Head of Children and Young People Services

Lorna Cross, Group Estates Officer

 

Responsible Officer:

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development

 

 

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