Set up by the council’s Family Information Service (FIS), the website - www.monfis.org.uk - is aimed at all parents, carers and families across the county and currently receives up to 6,000 visitors per month. Monmouthshire’s FIS was established nearly ten years ago and has continually expanded to provide useful information. This has been incorporated within the new website in an appealing, accessible and attractive format and is updated several times a day to ensure details are up-to-date and accurate.
Among the topics featured are parenting tips and advice, additional needs support, Welsh language development and financial support, while a Fun at Home section provides songs, recipes, stories, arts, crafts and games to keep youngsters entertained. Other subjects include how to become a childminder, downloading a childcare document, a monthly poll, signing for the service’s termly newsletter, upcoming family events, and frequently asked questions. Viewers to the website are invited to submit services they provide or events they wish to promote.
Monmouthshire’s FIS has its own Facebook page and Twitter account linked to the website and both are effective ways of keeping parents and carers in touch with the council. Almost 200 people have linked to the Facebook page and the Twitter account (@MonFamilies) has over 1,600 followers. The service also runs an advice telephone line (01633 644527).
Monmouthshire’s Chief Executive Paul Matthews said: “It’s very important that we invest in our Early Years provision and our Family Information Service website is a good example of how we aim to give a good start to youngsters in Monmouthshire.”