Who we are and what we do?

Our Family Hubs and Best Start in Life offer and Youth Spaces (Space4all) provides a range of services for young people aged 0 to 19 years old, and up to the age of 25 for young people with SEND.  Our offer includes support for the parents, carers and families of young people living in Waltham Forest and this support includes the following:

  • Stay and play groups for babies, toddlers and young children
  • Activities to support children’s development
  • Information and advice to support children with learning and development delays or special educational needs (SEND)
  • Information and support to access free early education places and childcare
  • Health services, including breastfeeding support groups, baby clinics and support around healthy eating
  • Family support and outreach services
  • Advice about debt management and benefits entitlement
  • Jobs, career and training information and support
  • Space4all youth sessions for 11 plus in a variety of community settings, and junior youth spaces for 9 to 12 year olds in all 4 Family Hubs.

The Family Hubs and Best Start in Life offer is delivered by a range of Council services, namely; Family Hubs, Early Help, Early Years and Childcare, Libraries, The Hive, Parks and Leisure, Culture and Museums and the Adult Learning Service.  The Council also commissions external providers, these are: Schools and Ofsted registered childcare providers, The Lloyd Park Children’s Charity, HENRY, The Tower Hamlets GP Care Group, Citizens Advice and Greenwich Leisure Limited - our leisure service delivery partner.

Our Space4all programme currently commissions youth service providers such as: Break Tha Cycle, Creative Engagement Services, Gangs Unite, Lymore Gardens, LB Creative, Pinpoint Inc, Project Zero, Treasure Me Kids, Waltham Forest Community Hub, and Worth Unlimited.

If you have questions regarding this service or our privacy practices, you can contact us by email or in writing at the address below:


Waltham Forest Council

Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road
E17 4JF 

Please note that face-to-face meetings are by appointment only and can be arranged with the service.


Information we hold about you

When a family completes a Family Hubs and Best Start in Life registration form, the categories of child and parent or carer information that we collect, hold and share include:

this information is mandatory, that is, it must be provided to us so that we can deliver the service to you

  • name
  • address
  • postcode
  • telephone number
  • e-mail address
  • date of birth

this information is optional, that is, you do not have to provide it

  • gender
  • ethnicity
  • religion
  • language/s spoken
  • nationality 

In addition, you may be asked some further questions to help us identify any services that you may be eligible for and or any support that you may need. This will enable us to provide the appropriate information and or service to you. For example, we may ask about your relationship or employment status. You do not have to answer these questions to access Family Hubs and Best Start in Life Services, but if you do, we will record the information.

When you use a Family Hubs and Best Start in Life service we will record information relating to:

  • Your attendance
  • Information, support and advice provided where relevant

When you use a service that is part of our targeted offer, which requires a referral, we will also record information in relation to the service being received. This includes:

  • Support and information required
  • Information, support and advice provided
  • Child, children’s learning and development information and progress
  • Any special educational needs and disabilities
  • Relevant medical and health information
  • Safeguarding and welfare information
  • Social and financial information
  • Outcomes and feedback

Please note that when you provide information about household members we assume it is with their full knowledge and consent unless you tell us otherwise.

Why we need your information and how we use it?

We follow the Data Protection principles and respect people’s rights to confidentiality and privacy.

The information that we collect is used to deliver our Family Hubs and Best Start in Life offer. It is our statutory duty, as set out in the Lawful basis for processing personal data section below, to collect information on how we are making a difference to the outcomes for children under five in our borough.

We may contact you by post, email, phone or text to tell you about the services that are available or provide you with information relating to services of which you are in receipt.

We take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to:

  • Tell you about our services for you and your child
  • Provide the services you have requested from us
  • Provide information via statutory returns to the Department of Education (DfE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
  • Process for statistical purposes to inform decisions like the funding of Family Hub & Best Start in Life services
  • Assess performance and set targets for us and for the Family Hub and Best Start in Life programme

The Lawful basis for the processing

The legal basis for processing your personal data is established under Article 6(1)(e) Public Task where the “processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller”

The statutory duty to provide Children Centre Services is found in the guidance documents below:

Who your information will be shared with (if applicable)

We share your information with our other Council departments, Family Hubs, Early Help, Early Years and Childcare and Libraries, and third-party service delivery partners whom we commission to run services on our behalf: The Lloyd Park Children’s Charity, HENRY, The Tower Hamlets GP Care Group, HENRY (Health, Exercise, Nutrition in the Really Young) and NELFT (North East London NHS Foundation).

Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you can ask us for a copy of the information we hold about yourself. This is called a ‘Subject Access Request' and you can request this via the link headed ‘Your information rights and choice’ below.

Generally, any data we hold will have been supplied by you on registration forms, or when we communicate with you. However, we may also hold information provided by third parties where this is relevant to your family circumstances. This includes information from social workers and health professionals, doctors, schools and information based on our interactions with you.

We will only ask for personal information that is required to enable us to deliver our services. In accordance with the Children Act 1989; Children Act 2004 and 2006; Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009; Children and Social Work Act 2017 and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018. The latter is statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in England.

You can refuse to provide your details if you deem a request to be inappropriate. However, this may impact our ability to provide some services to you.

We are committed to keeping your personal details up to date. Please inform us of any changes so we can ensure they are accurate. To maintain the confidentiality of your personal information, we'll ask you security questions to confirm your identity when we talk to you.

How long we keep your information

We will only hold your records while we have a relationship with you and for a set period afterwards, up to age 18 or 25 years where a young person has a disability. This is so we can meet our legal obligations. It also means we can resolve any follow-up issues between us, or if you need information about the services we have provided to you.