Our Services - Continued

This evidence-based course focuses on building a positive relationship between parents/carers and children and is designed to:

  • Promote secure attachment, to enable parents/carers to identity and understand their own objectives.
  • To learn about the age and stage of the child and how to communicate in an effective way with them.
  • To recognise how their own and their child’s feelings impact on everyone’s behaviour.
  • To learn how to promote a calmer and happier home environment for everyone.

The course explores issues such as:

  • Tuning into children
  • Explore feelings
  • Parenting styles
  • Communication – what is being communicated through a behaviour
  • Temper tantrums and what might be meant by them
  • Sleep patterns
  • Behavioural difficulties

The programme targets parents with low to moderate needs with a child under 5 years old who are would like to improve their relationship with their child.


10-week course, 2 hours per session

Parents who have particular needs often require one to one support with a lead worker whom they trust.  Parents who are reluctant to engage in a parenting programme or group support often access one to one support prior to accessing other interventions.

One to One support can provide support for parents with particular needs such as (but not limited to):

  • Parenting support
  • Supporting parent child interactions including attachment and bonding and child development
  • Relationships Really Matter (reducing parental conflict) Relationships Really Matter: | Notts Help Yourself
  • Bereavement separation and loss
  • Perinatal mental health
  • Self-esteem and confidence
  • Managing anxiety
  • Managing debt
  • Sleep support
  • Theraplay
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Support for families where a parent is in prison or due for release
  • Support for parents with children who have SEND
  • Support for parents and children with English as an Additional Language (EAL)

One to One support can also be provided by trained parent volunteers who offer the following interventions:

  • Breast Feeding Peer Support

Sleep Clinic is a targeted service for parents/carers of children aged 12 months-4yrs 11months who are struggling with their child’s sleep despite general advice - poor sleep hygiene, difficulty settling to sleep and/or night waking.

Sleep Clinics can provide more specific advice for parents of children with a particular disability or medical condition, parents who are struggling with own emotional health issues that have children with sleep issues that require intervention.

Families will receive individual plan tailored to support them to improve their child/children’s sleep; this will be reviewed with the family & will be adapted if necessary.

The programme will cover but is not limited to:

  • Increased parental knowledge of effective sleep
  • Knowledge of the right amount of sleep appropriate to their age and stage of development.
  • Understanding what makes a successful bedtime
  • Knowledge of sleep
  • Causes of sleep
  • Circadian Rhythm & its impact on
  • Understanding of positive parenting at
  • Knowledge of strategies to use to teach children to self-settle to sleep


Up to 5 contacts (Initial Assessment appointment – 60-90 minutes; up to 4 follow-up appointments either 1:1 or by phone/email)

Aimed at parents with children aged 1 to 4 years old, for children with a poor sleep pattern due to environmental factors

A full sleep assessment is completed with the family. This information is then analysed, and an individual sleep programme is written for the child. The family is then expected to follow and implement the programme consistently for a minimum of 2 weeks (as it takes 2 weeks for a child to learn a new behaviour).


Minimum of 2 weeks, following assessment with a follow-up appointment either 1:1 or by phone/email

Aimed at parents/carers of children aged from 18 months and under 5 years with behavioural and interpersonal difficulties and children and adults who have significant bonding, attachment, and relationship difficulties. 

Theraplay is a therapeutic play approach, designed to build relationships, help children to grow, develop and connect with others and their own emotions.  The goal is that children will become more at ease with adults and other children, have better attachments, better self-esteem and have less need to stay in charge and be able to experience and express feelings. The programme is carried out via activities with the Child and their Parent.

One to One Theraplay focuses on four themes:

  • Structure – to live with order
  • Nurture – to feel loved
  • Challenge – To take risks
  • Engagement – to be heard and involved


weekly session. Reviewed after 8 weeks

Length of session:

45 mins to 1 hour

Parental feedback and local knowledge states that one of the key barriers to parents/carers participating in targeted interventions such as parenting programmes and training and learning activities is the lack of appropriate and timely childcare which supports the needs of their family. Crèche provision is therefore an integral part of the services we offer in the Children’s Centre Service enabling parents to attend early support targeted interventions.

Little Learners Crèches are led and facilitated by qualified and experienced Early Years Practitioners. They are highly skilled in observing, assessing planning for and meeting the needs of all children and work to the following key principles:

  • Crèches are safe, secure, physically accessible, welcoming, culturally inclusive and non- judgmental
  • When parents first make contact, they are made to feel welcome and valued - for many parents, this will be their first experience of formal childcare and likely to be their first experience of separation from their child
  • Staff plan provision that reflects children’s interests, needs and stages of development in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage and Characteristics of Effective Learning. It is important to us that crèche provision is well planned and offers the best possible learning for the
  • Crèches use a key worker approach
  • Early Years Practitioners and course facilitators work closely together for example, where a child is having difficulty settling or may become upset, the facilitator supports the separation process, perhaps by being flexible about start times
  • Both learning for adults and care for children are integral and equally important parts of the provision.

(Please note: except in exceptional circumstances, children are unable to join a Little Learners crèche midway through a programme as the children attending will have already settled).


4 weeks up to 12 weeks


up to 2 hours weekly depending on the targeted intervention being supported.

These sessions are provided for children under 5 whose parents require a level 2 or level 3 early support intervention (according to the Pathway to Provision) where childcare creates a barrier to accessing services

Forest School a specialised outdoor pedagogical approach that sits within the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the Characteristics of Effective Learning. It complements the wider context of outdoor learning and education and fully supports the holistic growth and development of the whole child, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners. It offers children regular opportunities for children to take risks, develop self-mastery skills and achieve and develop confidence and self- esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or outdoor learning environment

The programme is adaptable /semi-structured in order to meet the needs of all children. Staff have the opportunity to plan various sessions taking into account the season, weather and environment to offer a bespoke learning experience for the children that attend.

Various activities are planned according to the age and needs of the children, and the resources and space available in the setting. These may include:

  • Den building and creating fairy gardens
  • Woodland treasure hunts
  • Exploring the outdoor environment
  • Using tools to make jewellery, bug houses
  • Outdoor cooking; making fires

The Forest School Programme is a targeted intervention aimed at the following:

  • Children where there is a risk of developmental delay and /or an additional need has been identified, including language and communication needs
  • Children who lack outdoor play opportunities and stimulation
  • Children’s whose physical gross motor and/or fine motor skills need additional support to aid development
  • Children who need support with understanding boundaries and behaviour
  • Children who need support to manage their emotions and to support their emotional health and well-being
  • Children who need support to develop their personal and social skills
  • Children who need support in developing their self-help skills


6 weeks


  • under 3’s = 1-hour session each week
  • 3 – 5 years old = 1.5-hour session each week

Let’s Play is a semi-structured outreach service delivered by qualified early years professionals which focusses on supporting parents to play and interact with their children and understand their child’s development ages and stages.

The aims of the programme:

  • To improve parental knowledge and confidence in how to play, talk and interact with their child at home to support the learning, language and development (age appropriate)
  • To support parents in making changes to their routines, activities and interactions at home to provider a better learning and play environment to help support their child’s
  • To help strengthen the bond between parent and child
  • To help develop children’s early language, communication and listening skills
  • To provide brief interventions for sleep and behaviour
  • To provide the foundation for a lifelong family learning approach
  • To support parents to access local services and support access to these services where needed

The programme includes:

  • Play ideas
  • How to play
  • A focus on the holistic developmental needs of a child
  • Where to play together out in the community
  • Low cost, no cost play ideas
  • The environment inside and outside
  • Support to access 2-year funded place
  • Low-cost play and interaction ideas to do at home

Let’s Play is a targeted intervention aimed at the following:

  • Children under 5 identified as at risk of having poor play opportunities and limited stimulation at home.
  • Children at risk of developmental delay
  • Children not accessing their 2-year funded
  • Family receiving family support but in need of support with play and development (jointly working with Children’s Centre Family Support worker)

The programmes below are available through and run by Women’s Aid and often hosted in Children’s Centres

Freedom Programme

Available from Notts Women’s Aid and Women’s Aid Integrated Services, often in partnership with Children’s Centres Services. 

The Freedom Programmes is a 12 – week programme for women who have or are currently experiencing domestic abuse. It aims to inform and empower women to recognise abusive behaviours and make better relationship choices using ‘The Dominator’ and ‘The friend’.  It is an opportunity for survivors of domestic abuse to understand male violence towards women. It helps women understand the behaviours and beliefs of their abusive partners or ex-partners, connect with other women who have had similar experiences, feel less isolated and alone and have the chance to work through their feelings and experiences in a safe way.


Hands are not for Hurting

Available from Notts Women’s aid in partnership with Children’s Centres Services.

It is a 12-week therapeutic programme for children and their mothers who have experienced domestic abuse. Separate groups are delivered for mothers and children who attend the programme. The children are grouped according to age and ability.

Any women can attend if:

  • Who have experience domestic abuse and have children aged between 4 and 16 years of age.
  • The person who was violent must have left the family home.

The aim of the programme is to create a safe space for children and provide them with the opportunity to disclose process and understand the violence and abuse that they have witnessed.

Volunteer training is available to all parents and other groups who can then choose to specialise in a particular activity which required additional training.

Priority groups include:

  • Low income / workless families with young children
  • Parents with children aged under 5 who are looking at getting into employment or careers in early years, health and social care.
  • Grandparents with less caring responsibilities
  • Students aged 17 - 19 interested in progressing career working with
  • Young People who are Not in Education Training or Education (NEET)
  • Care Leavers

Core Volunteer Modules include:

  • Welcome Week: Crèche induction/Intro to volunteering
  • Week 1: Equality & Diversity/ Health & Safety
  • Week 2: Think Family
  • Week 3: Communication skills and group facilitation
  • Week 4: Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Week 5: Children’s Centre Core offer & Signposting to targeted interventions

Following completion of course each volunteer will be assigned a mentor who will have undertaken mentoring courses.


5 x 2-hour sessions per week plus 1 x welcome week

More information about volunteering is available here Volunteering | Nottinghamshire County Council

Peer support is provided through trained parent volunteers who facilitate BABES breastfeeding groups.

Parent volunteers receive the core volunteering training and additional training which includes:

  • Welcome week/Introduction week
  • Week 1: Breastfeeding support in Notts
  • Week 2: Antenatal conversations:
  • Week 3: Management of breastfeeding
  • Week 4: Practical skills
  • Week 5: Barriers to breastfeeding, UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) and workbook support
  • Week 6: Communication skills
  • Week 7: Effective group work skills
  • Week 8: Breastfeeding in public
  • Week 9: Practical Assessments:

Following completion of course each volunteer will be assigned a mentor.


9 x 2-hour sessions per week + Welcome week/crèche induction

Opening Doors with Confidence is a 6-week course to help increase parent’s confidence using a range of tools and activities to help learners identify their own reasons for their lack of confidence, increase their self-awareness and provide them with the strategies necessary to make a positive change in behaviour. This will have a positive impact on the whole family whilst improving a better outcome for the child.

The course includes the following topics:

  • Week 1 – Introduction & where are we now?
  • Week 2 - How is Confidence influenced by previous experiences
  • Week 3 – How we put others needs above our own
  • Week 4 – Thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • Week 5 – How past criticism influences thoughts
  • Week 6 – Setting achievable goals

The course is targeted to:

  • Low income/workless households
  • Parents with low mood/anxiety – particularly those who may not have accessed the Children’s Centre Service before
  • Parents who need to start looking for work as part of Universal Credit
  • Parents with low self-esteem and lack confidence in themselves / their abilities
  • Parents accessing PHEW groups
  • Parents being discharged from Footsteps Perinatal
  • Lone parents
  • Parents who need to start looking for work as part of Universal Credit
  • Parents receiving family support, particularly those who meet the criteria for Troubled Families and are out of work / in receipt of benefits


6 weekly sessions x 2-hour sessions

This is a 6-week programme designed to support parents in returning to work.

The programme is led by Community Development Workers and includes:

  • Week 1 – Welcome, Active Listening Skills, Relaxation Techniques.
  • Week 2 – Skills as Parents, Where do you want to be? Positive and Negative Cycle
  • Week 3 – Change the thought -Change the Feeling, Action Planning, Accessing Further Education, Training.
  • Week 4 – Writing CV’s, Completing Application Forms.
  • Week 5 – Interview Skills – Practice and Practical.
  • Week 6 – STAR Competencies, Evaluation and Graduation.

Key elements include:

  • Online Job search
  • STAR approach & Competencies in job Interviews
  • Work search in the Digital age, Linked In, Facebook, Agencies, Privacy settings


6 weekly sessions x 1.5 - hour sessions This programme may not be delivered in all areas.

Little Talkers delivers language focused and fun sessions for families and their children to participate in together.

The groups will focus on:

  • developing children’s speech, language and communication by sharing positive interactions strategies with parents/carers.
  • adopting a family learning approach - parent/carer and child to attend together.
  • providing language focused groups for families and children 0-3½ years in priority groups.
  • providing an additional language-learning opportunity for children and families waiting for Home Talk or children and families who have completed the programme but who need further consolidation.
  • Supporting children and families who are about to start in a school-based nursery provision.

Little Talkers is a targeted programme for children and families from priority groups whose children are aged under 3 ½ where there are concerns in relation to the risk of language delay and/or require positive interactions and social opportunities to support their development.

Little Talkers is not intended for children with suspected autistic spectrum disorder or similar needs.


5/6 weeks


babies 30 mins + social, toddlers 45 mins, 2.5 – 3.5 (ready for nursery 45 Mins to 1 hour) 

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