Parenting resources

ūüėą ūüėČ ūüėÜ

With thanks to Korkor Ceasar, liaison health visitor, for her on-going input into this section of the website.

I have found that resources for parents in the region covering such things as sleep and behaviour are quite difficult to find out about.  It is also a bit of a fluid scene with courses and drop-in groups waxing and waning, often due to funding issues.  I would like to be able to gather together a list of useful resources for you but apologise in advance if any of them no longer exist.  Perhaps you could let me know if that is the case.  Please also let me have information on other courses or services you know about.  I have listed them under age group sub-headings but some of the resources are applicable across the age groups.



Click here for a list of Waltham forest BREASTFEEDING drop-in groups (as of 2014)

The British Dietetic Association has some nice leaflets on healthy foods for children.  For a weaning advice sheet, try

Low income families may be eligible for Healthy Start vitamins and vouchers for milk, fruit and vegetables.¬† Pregnant women qualify as do families with children under 4 years old.¬† Pregnant teenagers qualify whatever their income state.¬† Click here to go to the Healthy Start website’s professionals area where you can even do a 2 hour CPD course on Healthy Start principles:¬† Application forms for parents are on the home page.

Wood Street clinic runs a “Fun and Movement” multi-agency play group for children with Down’s syndrome within the borough of Waltham Forest.¬† Call the Early Years Coordinator on 0208 430 7909 for information.¬† There is also a local Down Syndrome Parent Support Group which meets at Higham Hill Children’s Centre as well as at Wood Street.



The Royal College of Psychiatrists has some good leaflets on various issues related to emotional well being.  Try for information on lots of different sleep problems. shows where the local children’s centres are and what they¬†are supposed to be able to¬†offer families.¬† You would need to contact them individually to find out what exact services they have currently.¬† Their contact addresses and individual websites are listed at¬†¬† You can download the following documents¬†kindly sent to us by¬†Waltham Forest here:

TOPS groups (toddler drop in groups)

Free Early Education for 3-4 year olds

Day Nursery list

Parent and Toddler Groups

Family Information Service leaflet

Family Information Service referral form (for professionals wishing to refer a family for help with childcare costs, free 2 year old places)

Similar information for Redbridge is at .

There is a good directory of useful contacts for parents in West Essex at but you will find that some of the links don’t work unfortunately.

The direct link to Waltham Forest’s website on education including information on free nursery places for 2 year olds is¬† Healthcare workers can refer a 2 year old for a free nursery place (38 hours a week) if they satisfy the eligibility criteria below.¬† Places are however very limited.

Eligibility criteria for free early years education for 2 year olds in Waltham Forest is now the same as for free school meals.  Individual cases, particularly if there are special educational needs, may be considered.  See

Every Child Matters at Barclay Children Centre, Canterbury Road, Leyton E10 6EJ.  Support and advice for parents and carers and a sensory play area for children and families who may have additional special needs held on Tuesdays 0930hrs to 1100hrs.  Call 0208 518 7015 for more information.

Advice for parents on all aspects of nutrition including allergy is available from  The British Dietetic Association has a specialist paediatric group, see

Parents may like to have a look at for information on how to keep their children fit and healthy.



The Waltham Forest Community Learning and Skills Service runs a huge number of adult learning courses, including at least 20 different parenting courses (¬† Themes include “living in extended families”, “calm parent, calm children”, “anger management for parents” and “time for teenagers”.¬† For more information on course dates and fees, visit their website at¬† The parenting courses are free.

 Special Needs Information Partnership is the register for children with disabilities and special education needs in Waltham Forest. Information is available at

Waltham Forest has a new Children and Young People on line Directory covering all ages with a “what’s on” guide as well.¬† Take a look at¬† Click here for a poster on free Educational Psychologist drop in sessions in autumn 2011 in the borough.

Lots of helpful leaflets covering parenting issues right up to severe mental illness for parents of children of all ages at

Waltham Forest has provided us with the following downloadable documents relevant for this age group and current as of January 2011:

Breakfast and after school clubs

Holiday Scheme list

MEND is a national project to encourage children (and adults) into a healthier lifestyle.  They run exercise and weight control programmes for all different age groups.  Try for general information on the project, links to how to refer children and a list of the current venues around London.  It also has a BMI calculator on the home page.

Outer North East London community dieticians run similar groups for children called “Go for it” and “Teen Why Weight” which I have found, for some reason, impossible to find on the internet.¬† Children in Waltham Forest can be referred using the usual community dietician referral form.¬† Criteria for referral to a dietician in Redbridge are at





Invaluable information for parents on understanding and surviving their children’s adolescence:

Young people get much of their information from the internet.¬† Sites with “nhs” or “” in them are generally sensible sites.¬† Great Ormond Street Hospital has a good site,,¬†on teen health written for teenagers and it links to other vetted sites too.

Try for information on periods which is a bit dry and medical but links to some more accessible FAQ pages which would be a good start for pubertal girls worried about when and how their periods are going to start. is a popular site put together by 2 doctors and seems to cover most things that play on teenagers’ minds! One of the authors has now put together lesson plans on sex and relationships and health and weight on a second website worth looking at:

The council has a Youth Support Service which includes the “teenage pregnancy service, information, advice and guidance services (formerly delivered on behalf of the borough by Connexions North East and the Futures Careers Management)…¬† The youth support service‚Äôs primary aim is to improve outcomes for young people 13-19 years and up to 25 for people with disabilities, broadening the range and quality of experiences available to them”.¬† Take a look at and some of the sites that it provides links to.¬† I am not quite sure whether this service has taken over from the local Connexions service, see¬† Connexions is a national organisation, with¬†advisors placed¬†in many secondary schools,¬†so if you are accessing this page from a different borough you may like to search for Connexions in your area.¬†¬† West Essex’s connexions service has its own website –¬† – and they say they offer impartial information and advice and guidance on 13-19 year olds’ life choices.¬† They¬†have a number of centres in Essex that are not based in schools which some teenagers prefer.

Haven House is a children’s hospice providing services for children 0-19 years old who have life-limiting conditions and who are unlikely to reach adulthood. Find out more on eligibility and the services they offer at¬† There is a youth club for 11-19 year olds in Walthamstow which sometimes gets extended into a teenage sleepover¬†package at the hospice.¬† There is also a monthly coffee morning for parents and carers to share experiences and get support.¬†¬†They have a support group for siblings and a toy library which loans (free) specialist toys and equipment for children with additional needs to use in their own home. runs workshops for young people aged 12 ‚Äď 18 years, living with a long-term condition (eg. sickle cell disease, diabetes, thalassaemia).¬† They are delivered by teams of 3 trained facilitators aged between 15 and 25 years, all of whom have a long-term condition.¬† A trained ‚Äėresponsible adult‚Äô is present at the workshops to support their delivery. Staying positive are currently recruiting 15-25 year olds with a chronic illness to train as facilitators.¬† Click here for further information.¬† They are running a course in Reading over the February 2011 half term and still have places on it. provides “a confidential support service for young people aged between 11-21 in the Waltham Forest area for issues such as sexual health, contraception and pregnancy testing, and drugs and alcohol problems. We also offer a free counselling service and housing advice.”¬† They are based in Leyton.
The equivalent service in Redbridge is
And I think a West Essex equivalent is the Young Concern Trust based in Waltham Abbey Health Centre.¬† This is for 11-25 years to discuss any issues that concern them but their website was last updated in 2010 and the Home page doesn’t work very well (try as a way in to the site by-passing the Home page) so I am not sure how functional they are as a group.¬† Phone number is 01279 414090. has lots of information for parents of all aged children in Essex. is the direct link to a list of useful resources but watch out – some of the links are defunct. has some very nice factsheets for parents and schools on various mental health issues as part of their “focus” series.¬† is a charitable organisation committed to supporting the emotional well being of young people and this site is aimed at secondary school aged children. is a site on healthy foods aimed at teenagers.¬† It’s put together by the British Dietetic Association and will answer most of their questions on what to eat.¬† Could also try which has some quizzes on your relationship with food, healthiness of your diet etc.

Information on food allergies and intolerances is available at

Page last updated: 17th July 2014

2 thoughts on “Parenting resources

  1. Hello Julia,
    This is really useful will talk to other Liaison Health Visitors to find out what other reources are available in East London. I think this is a very good start. Well done !
    Kind regards,
    Korkor Ceasar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.