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Early years

Early Help includes childcare and funding, group sessions and programmes for your child’s development as well as local information, and links to support for both parents and professionals.

Our Family hubs offer for support to all children including those that may be vulnerable or have additional needs. We offer early help for children up to 2 years to support parents and carers and to help children develop.

Due to COVID-19 groups are not currently able to run. If you need support we would encourage you to speak to your health visitor or your local family hub.

Early help groups and sessions

16+ weeks pregnant

Bump to baby – Information and support from pregnant ladies and their partners.

6+ weeks

Baby massage – Promotes bonding and attachment with parents and carers (Invite only).

After massage – Baby yoga promotes physical development, communication and language (Invite only).

0 to 7 months

Mini rhyme time – Focus on communication and language, weaning, dental health and home safety.

7 to 18 months

Midi rhyme time – Further focus on communication and language, health and development.

Walking onwards

Active play session – advice on healthy eating, active for life, exercise and dental health.

2 years onwards

Ready for Nursery Stay and Play – Focus on getting children ready for learning, support completing nursery applications, dental health and positive.

Language Through Listening – Invite only for those scoring amber on speech and language measures and grey on ASQ.

All ages

Parent drop ins – Development and health parent drop sessions are available for all children and they offer support for weaning, behaviour, diet, sleep, dental health, child development.

Maternal Wellbeing Service

Are you thinking of becoming or are pregnant, or have you recently had a baby? 

Are you over 18 and an NEL resident? 

Who are we?

Let us introduce ourselves; we are the new free Maternal Wellbeing Service of North East Lincolnshire. We are a supportive and motivational service that can support you with your Wellbeing before, during and after your pregnancy.  

We will work with you to help you set wellbeing goals along your maternal journey and will give you lots of support to achieve those goals in small, achievable steps.  Our programme will consist of up to 9 contacts throughout your pregnancy and keeping in touch with you up to your baby’s first birthday. We can also offer you support if you are planning to become pregnant.  

Maternal Wellbeing Service – LiveWell (

Speech, language and communication needs

NELC SEND Local Offer | Speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) (

Early Years Team

The Early Years team is based at the Civic Offices, Cleethorpes. We provide a service to children, their families, and early years providers when the child requires targeted or specialised support, has greater difficulty in learning than most others of the same age, or has a disability which prevents or hinders experiences which are usually available to children of the same age.

There are teams within the Early Years team who can help.

Early Years Area SENCO and Assistant Areas SENCO

  • To access support from an Area SENCo, educational settings must be following the graduated approach framework of assess, plan, do and review. If the team feel that it would be beneficial of observations to be completed, it will require signed parental permission by setting. Feedback will always be given by setting when an observation is conducted.

Portage team- for more information regarding the Portage Team click here;

If you have any concerns regarding your child (0-5) talk to your early years setting or health visitor who may then wish to contact the early years team.

Stepping Stones Triple P Group Programme (0 to 12 years)

9 week programme – Group or one to one

Stepping Stones Triple P is aimed at managing behaviours of children with a suspected or diagnosed additional need or disability, aged 0 to 12 years.

Stepping Stones Triple P aims to make parenting children with disabilities easier. ‘Developmental disability’ is a term that covers a range of conditions, all of which have an impact on development, learning and behaviour.

Stepping Stones Triple P was developed to support parents with suggestions and ideas on positive parenting to help you enjoy being a parent and help your child develop well. The first part of the group programme focuses on teaching children new skills and behaviours and the last part of the group programme focuses on managing misbehaviour. 

If you feel you need this support, you need to contact a professional known to you to complete a MARF referral form (this could be someone at nursery, a health visitor, or your child’s school).

Stepping Stones Triple P – Primary Care Light Touch (0-12 years)

4 week programme – one to one

Stepping Stones Triple P is aimed at managing behaviours of children with a suspected or diagnosed additional need or disability, aged 0 to 12 years. Stepping Stones Triple P aims to make parenting children with disabilities easier. ‘Developmental disability’ is a term that covers a range of conditions, all of which have an impact on development, learning and behaviour. Stepping Stones Triple P was developed to support parents with suggestions and ideas on positive parenting to help you enjoy being a parent and help your child develop well. The short 4 week one to one programme is aimed at covering up to two or three different topics from the list below, and is to be delivered to families who are not in need of the full group programme.

It covers:

  • Positive Parenting
    • What is positive parenting?
    • What is developmental disability?
    • Causes of behavioural problems
    • Getting started on making a change
    • Promoting children’s development
    • Managing misbehaviour
    • Family survival tips
  • Early Learning Skills
    • Making eye contact
    • Imitation,
    • Following simple instructions
    • Teaching play skills
  • Language and Communication
    • Communication without words
    • Developing vocabulary
  • Mealtimes
    • Independent eating
    • Mealtime problems
    • Selective eating
    • Oral hypersensitivity
    • Pica: eating non-food
  • Self-Care Skills
    • Grooming and personal hygiene
    • Dressing
    • Brushing teeth
    • Morning routine
    • Bedtime problems.
  • Toileting
    • Toilet training
    • Bedwetting
    • Smearing
  • Social Skills
    • Play
    • Sharing
    • Having friends over to visit
    • Repetitive behaviour
  • Disruptive Behaviour
    • Whining and tantrums
    • Disobedience
    • Hurting and aggression
    • Interrupting
    • Swearing
  • Being Part of the Community
    • Shopping
    • Wandering
    • Travelling in the car
    • Haircuts
  • Fear and Anxiety
    • Fears
    • Separation problems
    • Medical procedures
    • Tactile defensiveness
    • Nightmares and night terrors
    • Self-injurious behaviour.
  • Family Adaptation
    • Adapting to having a child with a disability
    • Coping with stress
    • Supporting your partner
    • Helping siblings to adjust
    • Working with health professionals

If you feel you need this support, you need to contact a professional known to you to complete a MARF referral form (this could be someone at nursery, a health visitor, or your child’s school).

The group offers a friendly relaxed social arena to provide guidance and support (specific to requests when required).

A safe environment to meet up, share experiences, build friendships, ask for advice, or just watch and listen with other parents & carers in similar situations.

Contact can be made by a parent or carer prior to attending the group and a Family First Practitioner can make a home visit as an introduction and to give further group information if required.

Parents often start sharing information and supporting each other, building resilience in families and preventing social isolation.

The group provides a regular social event for parents & carers, which can be accessed as and when they wish to. Supporting family members or carers can also attend to support parents and the children attending.

A group which helps empower parents & carers to move on more confidently with reassurance to support themselves more independently.

The group with attendance from other professionals offers regular support and updates for parents and cares from pre-birth through to young adults moving through transition into adulthood.

Attendees are also encouraged to discuss any issues or concerns about everyday living, health, financial, education etc. This enables FFPs to provide focused information sharing about subjects of high importance for parents & carers.

Due to COVID19 groups are not able to run. If you need support, we would encourage you to speak to a professional known to you, such as someone at nursery, a health visitor, or your child’s school.

Available in several Family Hubs across the area, please ring the Hubs to enquire or book.

Due to COVID19 groups are not able to run. If you need support, we would encourage you to speak to a professional known to you, such as someone at nursery, a health visitor, or your child’s school.

The sessions are run in order for children to attend a specific programme to aid children’s speech development following an Amber Speech and Language measure at 2 years.

The sessions are being delivered by a trained experienced practitioner with knowledge of speech difficulties or delay. This programme can also be delivered to children who may have special educational needs. Your participation as a parent is central to the sessions.

Parents must attend with their child and they will be given strategies to use at home. Within the session parents or carers will have the experience of the practitioner role-modelling the activities with them in the Centre before they implement the activities in the home environment.

As this is a weekly programme, the practitioner can then assess how much or little the parent is doing to help the child and whether or not the parent needs to be aided with their own confidence to put the activities into practice. Often parents report that they ‘feel silly’ when they are doing the activities and do not realise the importance and value of what they are doing in order to progress their child’s speech.

According to Hagstrom (1994) “Parental involvement in speech development is essential to assessment and treatment because the talk of the child is jointly constructed with them and within home activities”. This quotation demonstrates how important the parent’s input is when the child is taking part in a programme to progress speech and language skills.

Parents can be supported by the practitioner and encouraged to continue with the strategies after the programme has ended to further the child’s development. This may be done by relationship building with the parent and encouraging the parent to attend further stay and play sessions which will further aid the child’s holistic development.

This is currently an invite only service which is accessed through your Health Visitor, or your child’s 2 year development check.

Parents require and deserve support. Asking for help should be seen as a sign of responsibility rather than a failure.

We help parents by creating support services that can give you the advice you might need to raise your children.

To support parents with behavioural issues and common childhood age and stage related development issues, for example – toileting, speech and language delay, as well as routines and boundaries in order to minimise problems before they become more difficult to deal with. 

There are many benefits of drop in sessions. You can receive face to face advice and there is a short waiting time between sessions, compared to the possible waiting time for a home visit.

The staff at our drop in sessions are all qualified to at least level three and are all skilled to help you out.

Due to COVID19 groups are not able to run. If you need support, we would encourage you to speak to a professional known to you, such as someone at nursery, a health visitor, or your child’s school.

5 week programme – group or one to one

Parenting Puzzle aims to improve family relationships and children’s social, emotional and cognitive development by introducing positive, constructive relationships and calm, confident and responsive parenting.

Develops parent’s understanding of empathy, and the importance of listening and verbal and non-verbal communication. Promotes praise, play and stimulation, boundary setting and being emotionally healthy and available to your child. Promotes attachment and maternal and paternal sensitivity.

We are inviting parents to take part in the parenting puzzle who have expressed a need for some help with child development or behavioural issues. Parents have a common bond in that they will all experience similar difficulties when they raise families. This project will allow parents to form friendship groups and be supported in a safe environment. This allows trust to build and confidence and self-esteem to be raised and help to alleviate any feelings of isolation.

The parenting puzzle programme suggests the importance of emotional health for coping with the everyday stresses and strains of parenting.  The parenting puzzle aims for parents to identify what their stress triggers are and how they deal with them. Recognising this can reduce the stress in the household which therefore makes behavioural issues of the child easier to deal with. Having a listening ear from someone else can make all the difference to someone’s life and is invaluable in times of difficulty. The parenting puzzle suggests ways for parents to de-stress safely and restoratively which will have a positive effect on the child’s living environment and also enables the parent to act as a positive role model for the child, which in turn allows the child to deal more safely with their own emotions. Having emotional stability and resilience is a key factor of protecting and nurturing a child and maintenance of this is crucial to continuation of successful parenting.

If you feel you need this support, you need to contact a professional known to you to complete a MARF referral form (this could be someone at nursery, a health visitor, or your child’s school).

Parents are invited to attend a weekly session for 5 weeks in the family hub, who have expressed a need for some support around their child’s sleep. The aim of sleep tight workshop is to support parents in supporting their children to get a good night sleep, research has shown that the importance of sleep will support children’s mental, emotional and physical well-being of children.

The approach that is followed within the workshop is a behavioural approach, giving families a positive approach to bedtimes, therefore empowering families to make changes if they choose too, plus parents are experts on their own children.

Each week the programme will follow a topic these will include:

  • Sleepy foods
  • Bedroom environment
  • Sleep diaries
  • Planning a bedtime routine
  • Causes of sleep issues

Throughout the workshop active listening and empathy will take place all the way through the sessions, giving parents the chance to be listened too.

Research shows that sleep deprivation will have a negative impact on mood (Dignes and Banks, 2007), as well as maternal stress and fatigue (Meltzer and Mindell, 2007). In some cases sleep deprivation can have an impact on ability to work and financial pressures as well as social life.

By parents attending the workshop practitioners will be able to support the families in making positive changes around bedtime routines.

If you feel you need this support, you need to contact a professional known to you to complete a MARF referral form (this could be someone at nursery, a health visitor, or your child’s school).

Within Family Hubs we provide person-centred counselling for parents to access in a warm, confidential and friendly environment. This counselling is delivered by degree students in their third year at University, and parents can access this free of charge for a range of issues and topics.

This service is still available during COVID19 and is delivered virtually – please contact your local Family Hub for a referral to be made.

A young carer is a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person (of any age, except where that care is provided for payment, pursuant to a contract or as voluntary work).

The Care Act of 2014 also places emphasis on assessment and support for those young people affected by the impact of an illness from a family member, whether or not they have a direct caring role. Such cases should be assessed in the same way and support offered and provided to limit or reduce the impact of this illness on the child.

At the first point of contact, all those undertaking or receiving referrals or with responsibility for undertaking assessments will have a key role in identifying young carers. At the point of assessing the cared-for person, it is important to ask whether there are children in the same household as the person they are assessing and, if they do, to establish how much care and support is undertaken by any children through discussions with any adult who is being assessed and other family members, including the child(ren) concerned.

The impact of illness on the child also requires consideration. Practitioners responsible for assessing people with care needs should identify how it will be possible to support the person in need of care so that children and young people are not relied on to provide excessive or inappropriate care. It will be essential that the particular vulnerabilities and needs of children and young people are recognised. Practitioners responsible for assessing adults with care needs must be able to recognise and respond to risks to children’s safety and welfare. They must know how to respond where they have concerns that children are, or may be, suffering significant harm. This requires a partnership approach and for adults and children’s services to work together in the best interests of the family.

No care or support package for a parent, other adult or sibling should rely on excessive or inappropriate caring by a young carer to make it sustainable.

When carrying out a young carer’s needs assessment we will work to determine:

  • the amount, nature and type of care which the young carer provides;
  • the impact of the caring role on the young carer’s wellbeing, education and personal and emotional development;
  • whether any of the caring tasks the young carer is performing are excessive or inappropriate having regard to all the circumstances
  • whether a needs assessment of the cared for person (be they a child or adult) has been carried out, and if not, to request one;
  • whether any of the young carer’s needs for support could be met by providing support or services to:
    • the person cared for [by the young carer]; or
    • another member of the young carer’s family.
  • what the young carer’s needs for support would be likely to be if he or she were relieved of part or all of his or her caring role and whether the young carer has any remaining unmet needs.

When carrying out a young carer’s needs assessment, we will:

  • ensure that the assessment is carried out in a manner which is appropriate and proportionate (in the light of the young carer’s age, needs and wishes and feelings;
  • adopt a whole family approach;
  • ensure that any person who is to carry out a young carer’s needs assessment has sufficient competence, knowledge, skills and training to be able to carry out that assessment and be an appropriate person to carry out the assessment in the light of the young carer’s age, sex and understanding
  • where considered appropriate or necessary to do so, consult persons with expertise and knowledge relevant to the young carer; and also to consult any person the young carer or their parent wishes to involve
  • ensure that the young carer, the person cared for and, if different, the parents of the young carer are informed about the assessment process, usually prior to the assessment, and are helped to be able to participate in the process as effectively as possible.
  • We will provide young carers, their parents and any person at the request of the young carer or their parent with a copy of the assessment with information about the actions to be taken including whether the young carer has been assessed as a “child in need” and confirming arrangements for review.

Where a young carer a “child in need” needing protection and support or needs early help support, adult workers will discuss the case with the Children’s Services to decide if further action is needed. Further action might include:

  • a referral to an independent Young Carers’ service;
  • accessing preventative support through the “Early Help Network”
  • a joint assessment where appropriate (there is provision in the Care Act Guidance and in Section 17 of the Children Act to combine a young carers assessment with that of the adult); or
  • further investigation by Children’s Services about safeguarding concerns if there is a likelihood of significant harm to the child.

Where there are any aspects of a situation that indicates there are concerns about children’s and/or vulnerable adults’ safety and they require protection from harm these will be responded to swiftly and in line with local safeguarding procedures. Typically, children’s services will undertake the provision of services or support to children in need and adult social services will undertake services and support to the adult. These may be directly provided or commissioned from other providers.

Two, three and four year old funding

If you want to find childcare or early years education for your child you can access two, three and four year old funding and search our list of providers.

You will need to contact your chosen childcare provider to discuss availability of places and your child’s individual needs.

Special educational needs or disabilities

Early years and childcare providers must have arrangements in place to support children with SEN or disabilities.

Maintained schools and maintained nursery schools must identify a member of staff to act as Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and other providers (in group provision) are expected to identify a SENCO.

Childminders are encouraged to identify a person to act as a SENCO and childminders who are registered with a childminder agency or who are part of a network may wish to share the role between them.

Childcare and funding

If you have a 2, 3 or 4 year old in receipt of Disability Living Allowance you could be eligible for additional support for your child’s early learning.

A 2 year old who gets Disability Living Allowance is eligible for up to 15 hours free childcare.

3 and 4 year olds who get Disability Living Allowance and attend a setting for their 15 hours free childcare can get an extra £615 a year to support their early learning. This is not available to those in reception classes.

For more information about early years education, childcare and funding opportunities available for parents and carers in North East Lincolnshire go to our Childcare and funding pages.

If you are looking for settings for your child you can search for Childcare providers.

Ask Families First for more details 01472 326292 option 1.

Early Years’ Inclusion Funding support in early years

All early years’ providers need to have arrangements in place to identify and support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and to promote equality of opportunity for children in their care.

North East Lincolnshire Council gives Early Years Inclusion Funding to help to make this happen through ‘top up’ funding for children who may need additional provision to that which is available in an early year’s setting or school. If your child is attending an early years setting or nursery class, they can give you further information on this funding.

Parents and carers need to give consent for funding to be requested and their views on their child’s needs are fully considered. 

The Early Years Inclusion Funding is not intended as an alternative for children who may need an Education, Health and Care Plan. Early years settings and schools can still apply for Early Years Inclusion Funding before an Education, Health and Care Plan is finally agreed.

Local updates

The Families First social media posts updates about local childcare providers, help with costs, and more.

Follow them on Facebook- Families First | Cleethorpes | Facebook

Get in touch

To discuss early help contact your local Family hub.