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10,000 free books for children living in Wales' disadvantaged communities

It's hoped the books will highlight to parents the importance of reading Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

New funding has been announced today by the Welsh Government, to provide 10,000 free books to children in Wales' most disadvantaged areas.

Deputy Minister for Tackling Poverty Vaughan Gething has revealed children living in 'Flying Start' areas will benefit from the books to help with continued learning at home.

Each child eligible for the scheme will receive a book bag containing a bilingual and an English language book, a set of crayons and a scribble pad.

Flying Start aims to make a difference to the lives of children under the age of four and their families, in the most deprived communities.

It's hoped the extra books will highlight to parents the importance of reading with their children, to improve their language development.

The books, costing £100,000, will be available from this month.

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Study aims to improve quality of life for children in care

children in nursery
Children in care: study could lead to £5m lottery funding Credit: PA

A new study commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund today is aiming to explore and develop new ways of transforming the life chances of children and young people in care in Wales over the next 10 years.

The study could also pave the way for a new £5 million investment which could dramatically improve the outcomes of children in care in Wales. The latest figures show that there are nearly 6,000 children in care in Wales, an increase of 20% over the last five years.

Children encouraged to connect with nature

by Sarah Hibbard

How much contact do your children have with nature? Not enough, according to the RSPB.

It surveyed children across the UK to find out how connected children are with nature.

Kids in Wales scored the lowest in Britain.

The RSPB believes this generation's lack of contact with wildlife is one of the biggest threats to nature in Wales.

RSPB call for more outdoor education

The study shows children aren't getting involved with their natural surroundings and more education is needed outside the classroom to improve a child's health and wellbeing.

For the first time, we have created a baseline that we and others can use to measure just how connected to nature children really are. By adopting this new approach, we can all monitor children's connection and we are recommending that governments and local authorities take action to increase it through policy and practice decisions.

– Katie-jo Luxton, RSPB Cymru Director

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New study: Welsh children unconnected with nature

children playing outdoors
Only 1 in 8 children are connected with nature Credit: RSPB

Welsh children are less connected with nature than the rest of the UK.

A study by RSPB has found only 1 in 8 children in Wales are interested in nature and the outdoors.

Wales fall behind with only 13% of children in touch with their natural surroundings, compared to 21% of children across the UK.

Film aims to prevent parents shaking babies

New parents will be shown a DVD about the dangers of shaking babies Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A programme aimed at educating new parents about the risks of shaking babies is due to be trialed in hospitals across Wales.

The Preventing Non-Accidental Head Injury (NAHI) programme by children's charity the NSPCC involves showing new parents a short film by midwives and health professionals before they leave hospital.

It will also aim to provide them with coping mechanisms for when the pressures of parenthood get too much.

Health boards in Wales will be among the first in the UK to pilot the scheme.

The NSPCC says that when the DVD was shown in America over a five-year period the number of non-accidental head injuries decreased by 47 per cent.

For more information on the campaign visit the NSPCC website here.

Festive spike in ChildLine calls

children playing in park
ChildLine counselled more than 500 children over the festive period Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

More than 500 children in Wales contacted a children's charity over the Christmas period. 598 children were counselled by ChildLine in Wales over the 12 days between Christmas eve and January 4.

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