Best Start in Life newsletter - March 2023

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Best Start in Life superheroes

Best Start in Life News

Supporting dads in Waltham Forest

Fathers campaign

During the past half term, between 13 and 17 February, we brought our amazing superheroes to the YMCA in Walthamstow for a number of fun sessions specifically created for dads.

We want to encourage fathers, father figures and male carers to take advantage of the wealth of services and activities available for them to enjoy with their children.

Throughout half term we engaged male carers in Waltham Forest and got important feedback and insight from them to inform and improve our service offer.

The activities included meeting some incredible animals from the Hive, some African drumming, sports, storytelling and information and advice sessions.

Don’t miss your chance to get involved, there are plenty of great events for dads to enjoy with their children at your local Family Hub!

Our Best Start in Life programme

Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

Our thoughts are with all who are affected by the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. If you are feeling anxious or worried about the issues in Turkey or Syria, please don’t suffer in silence. You are not alone and there are services available for residents in Waltham Forest that can help.

More support and ways for you to help others are available online.

Turkey and Syria earthquake appeal


Please remember you can access the services above no matter your circumstances. If you're struggling with your mental health or feeling anxious and worried, please do not hesitate to reach out. You are not alone and support is available.


Do you know how to contact the Health Visiting team?

Health Visits

All parents-to-be have access to the team from pregnancy and once baby is born. The first visit at home from a Health Visitor usually happens just before baby turns two weeks old.

Through regular contacts right up until little one turns five, Health Visitors and the team support parents with advice around keeping baby safe and well, infant feeding, healthy growth and childhood immunisations.

If you’re a parent or carer, you can also see a member of the team at a child health clinic where you can review your child’s development.

Find a child health clinic

To book an appointment or to get in touch with a Health Visitor

Volunteer as an EPEC Parent Group Leader

EPEC - Alice Margoli

We are looking for volunteer Parent Group Leaders to support other parents in Waltham Forest with advice and insight.

We spoke to Alice Margaroli, one of our amazing Parent Group Leaders who said: "Volunteering is empowering, inspiring, and eye opening.

"I was interested in the Empowering Parents Empowering Communities course and wanted to contribute to making an impact on parenting in the borough.

"I trained for 10 weeks and now I am about to start delivering the course to other parents in the borough.

"It has been incredible to meet fantastic women doing the course with me. People I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise who I found very inspiring and interesting.”

Email the EPEC Team at to find out more about becoming a Parent Group Leader

Volunteer as a Parent Group Leader

Exploring the outdoors

TLPCC Article

Waltham Forest have many lovely outdoor spaces.

Taking a walk to a local park or forest can provide plenty of fun learning experiences for your little ones

Kicking leaves, jumping in puddles and spotting wildlife are just some of the fun things to do. If the weather gets colder you might spot some icy puddles or icicles.

There are leaves to collect, pinecones to find and conkers falling from horsechestnut trees, dens to build, logs to climb, birds and ducks to feed. 

If you are in the Chingford area, come and join the Lloyd Park Children Charity team outdoor session for under 5's on Thursday mornings.

Find our green spaces

Birthdays at Better Leisure Centres

Birthdays at Better Leisure

Is it your child’s birthday coming up?  

Come celebrate at one of our Better leisure centres.

Activity sessions last for one hour and this is followed by another hour in the party room for food and drinks (check in with each centre for different options).

Birthdays at Better

Top tips for talking

NELFT talking

Everyone wants their child to be able to talk and communicate well, but it’s not always easy to know the right ways to help. 

There are lots of things you can do during your everyday routines and conversations – try our Top Tips to support your child to grow into a confident communicator.

  • Talk to your child during your everyday routines, describing what is happening and what they can see
  • Use actions and gestures when you speak to help your child listen and understand
  • Limit screen time (phones, tablets, TV) – too much can affect children’s ability to listen
  • Play alongside your child, watching what they do and adding in sounds and words e.g. "choo choo”, “yum yum”, “cat”, “wet”
  • Sing songs and rhymes together, using actions to help your child join in
  • Children learn best when we give them the words they need rather than asking them what things are e.g. "Look, duck!" rather than "What's that?"
  • Share books with your child – talking about the pictures will help keep them interested even if they do not want to listen to the whole story

Watch NHS learning to talk video

Do you need help this winter? Cost of living support available at

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