Last updated: 9 December 2022
Next review: 9 December 2023
Support for Families with Early Years Children
As a parent or carer of a child with learning and development delay, there is a range of family support available in Waltham Forest and Nationwide.
You will find information on connecting with other parents and carers in the local community, accessing information and advice and everyday parenting matters.
Connecting with other parents in the local community
- Waltham Forest Parent’s Forum a friendly, voluntary group of parent and carers of children and young people with special educational needs and or disabilities aged 0 to 25 in Waltham Forest. You can join the forum through their website and find out more about their regular support groups.
- Waltham Forest Carers First works directly with and for carers to provide personalised information and advice. Making it easier for those caring for someone else to continue living their lives to the fullest. In Waltham Forest, they offer 1 to 1 support and a weekly borough wide Parent's Talk Time group where parents get the chance to talk, share useful information and support each other in a safe environment.
- The Together Space A place where children and families with and without learning disabilities can comfortably socialise, learn and play together. They have monthly events you and your child can join.
- Walthamstow Toy Library have sites in both, Walthamstow and Leytonstone. They run inclusive play sessions, led by experienced play workers, with plenty of toys and books, and activities such as messy play, music makers and physical fun. All their sessions include a healthy snack, singing and story telling time. They also provide a toy loaning service with a wide variety of high quality, fun toys you can borrow. For more information, visit the Walthamstow Toy Library website.
Specific Parent Support
- Good Beginnings courses are available to randomly selected groups of parents and carers of children waiting for assessment on the Social and Communication Clinic (SACC). If you would like to find out more about this, you can watch the online videos or speak to your child’s Speech and Language Therapist to find out more.
- Haven House supports local children and families, from birth, who are seriously ill and have life limiting or life threatening conditions. You can ask a health professional who is working with your child to make a referral to access respite, yoga, music therapy and play sessions.
- Downright Excellent! works with children, their families and their schools, combining fun learning activities, training, specialist therapies, peer support and socialising to form a circle of support around each child and family to support, empower and inspire. Find out more about their weekly 0 to 5 play sessions.
- If you want to find out more information about your child’s condition, the charity, Contact, have a useful A to Z of conditions which provides helpful information and links to condition specific support groups.
Accessing information and advice
- Citizens Advice Waltham Forest provide free, confidential and impartial advice. Their aim is to help everyone find a way forward, whatever problem they face. They will advise on benefits available to you as a parent or carer of a child with SEND. Also, they can advise on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children and help with filling in the DLA form for your child.
- SENDIASS Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) for children, young people, parents and carers within the Waltham Forest area. They have information, advice and guidance on education, health and social care and EHC plans based on local and national law and guidance.
- Early Help works in partnership with other professionals, parents and carers to intervene early when families need more support. The aim is to address problems at the earliest opportunity before they can escalate and to enable families to support their children to reach their full potential. You can self refer or agree with a professional who is working with your family to make a referral.
Everyday parenting matters
- Triple P Stepping Stones For parents and carers of children with an intellectual or physical disability. It helps you manage problem behaviour and developmental issues common in children with disability. It also helps encourage behaviour you like, cope with stress, develop a close relationship with your child and teach your child new skills. You can self-refer and contact the team if you would like to access this programme.
- Waltham Forest Educational Psychology Service offer free monthly parent and carer consultation sessions for families living in Waltham Forest. They are qualified specialist in child psychology and child development. They specialise in supporting children and young people with special educational needs, learning difficulties and social, emotional and behaviour difficulties. You can find out more and book a 30 minute consultation by contacting the team on 0208 496 1732 or email Waltham Forest EducationalPsychologyService
- Scope Sleep Right Sleep Right is a free online, and telephone support service, that helps parents and carers of disabled children to improve their child's sleep.
- Cerebra Sleep Advice Service understand that if you have one child that doesn’t sleep, the whole family suffers. They have a range of sleep services to help your child (and everyone in your family) get a good night’s sleep. Join their sleep seminars or contact their sleep advice service for further support.
Contact offer free virtual Brighter Beginnings Workshops covering a range of topics around caring for your child in the early years. Click on the following workshop links to find out more: