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Being a parent

It is a challenging, and rewarding,  process for anybody to become a parent. We want you to know that there are a number of services and activities available to support and guide you from pregnancy all the way through to your child starting school and beyond.


Children's Centres

We have Children’s Centres located across Havering where staff can provide you with advice, guidance and support throughout the early years of your child’s life. The midwives and health visitors are also based at some of the Children’s Centres so you will likely to be attending appointments here. Why not say hello to a member of children’s centre staff next time you visit, or ask your health visitor or midwife to introduce you.

There is also lots of information on the Children’s Centre page on this website  


Mental Health support for new parents and parents to be 

 Mellow Bumps and Mellow Babies

These are free courses for young parents (under 25) that are taken either during pregnancy (Mellow Bumps) or when you have a child under five (Mellow Babies). The course takes place at Hilldene Children’s Centre one day a week for 14 weeks. The purpose is to provide support/knowledge around child development, routines, child behaviour as well as helping you explore past relationships and experiences which may influence you as a parent.

For more information or to register interest in attending please email;


Incredible Years Babies Course

This is a free six week programme for parents of babies aged 0-12 months. The course focuses on supporting you to communicate and bond with your baby. The sessions are once a week for two hours and you will attend with your baby to ensure you both get the most out of the course.

For more information or to register interest in attending please email;

Infant Feeding Café

We also have an Infant Feeding Café running every Wednesday from 1.30pm to 2.10pm where parents can speak to one of our infant feeding advisors who are able to provide support and information on breastfeeding, bottle feeding, expressing, formula feeding your baby. Telephone one to one tailored support is available alongside the weekly Café. 

We also have practitioners who are trained to deliver the HENRY (Health, Exercise & Nutrition for the Really Young) Healthy Families Programme This is usually delivered as an 8-week programme, which supports families in achieving healthy lifestyle goals. Whilst face to face interactions are being halted in the short term in response to Covid 19, we continue to provide a remote service to maintain contact with families. Currently, advice and support around fussy eating, increasing physical exercise and family lifestyle habits can be offered virtually on a one to one basis with an early years practitioner. 

To find out more about all of the above or to make a referral, please e-mail :

Starting Solids Workshop

We are pleased to let you know the Children’s Centres are offering a weekly Starting Solids Workshop which is aimed at parents with babies aged between 4 & 6 months. The workshop helps parents decide on a number of key questions, including; When is a baby ready to try solid food? What foods should they start with? When is a baby hungry and when have they had enough? How can you make meal times an enjoyable experience for both parent & baby?

The 1 ½ hr workshops are being run by the early years practitioners and are delivered virtually via Zoom every WEDNESDAY from 10am-11.30am. Parents are given useful web links where they can download resources including Start4Life’s‘Introducing solid foods’ which you can find here and First Steps Nutrition’s ‘Eating well: the first year’ which you can find here

Empowering Parents, Empowering Communities (EPEC)

Our Being a Parent Course is for parents of children aged 2 – 11. The course is run over 8 weeks and is free. Local parents who have completed the Parent Group Leader training co-deliver the course. You will also receive a Level 2 AQA Certificate in Early Years Learning and Development. Visit our EPEC Hub Page for more information.

Childcare and Early Education

 Some children are entitled to 15 hours a week free childcare or early education from the age of two. This depends on the parents income and what benefits they claim or if the child has a disability. You can find out more by watching the short video below and visiting our 2 year old funding page and/or contact


All children are entitled to 15 hours free children or early education from the age of three. If you are claiming 2 year old funding then this can be extended to 30 hours the term after your child’s third birthday. For more information please watch the short video below and visit our 3 and 4 year old funding page and/or contact

Family Rights Group for care leavers who are parents and their child has a social worker

The Young Parents Advice website has been developed by the Family Rights Group to share legal and practical information to help more young mothers and fathers and young parents-to-be to keep their children safely with them.

This website also contains a section on advice for dads – click here

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