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"What a fantastic place Cambridge Road Children’s Centre truly is! The support, care, kindness and spirit of this fantastic place is helping my children and myself in so many ways! …I personally have found good friends, a new sense of happiness and inner-confidence. It is so nice to feel supported and cared about … Thank you! Thank you so much…"

Service user, Family Action Cambridge Road Southend Children’s Centre

The core purpose of Children’s Centres is to improve outcomes for young children and their families and reduce inequalities between families in greatest need and their peers in:

  • child development and school readiness
  • parenting aspirations and parenting skills
  • child and family health and life chances.’*

*Department for Education (2013) Sure Start children’s centres statutory guidance for local authorities, commissioners of local health services and Jobcentre Plus. DfE.

"What a fantastic place Cambridge Road Children’s Centre truly is! The support, care, kindness and spirit of this fantastic place is helping my children and myself in so many ways! …I personally have found good friends, a new sense of happiness and inner-confidence. It is so nice to feel supported and cared about … Thank you! Thank you so much…"

Service user, Family Action Cambridge Road Southend Children’s Centre

Our services

Family Action runs a number of Children’s Centres across the country. The services we run in our Children’s Centres are designed to  meet the local needs of children and their families, with a particular emphasis on user involvement, volunteering, outreach services and targeting vulnerable and hard to reach families.

Our Children Centres are designed using the Early Years Foundation Stages (EYFS) with opportunities for early education through exploration and play readily available. Parents and carers are empowered to identify their role as the child’s First Teacher and are encouraged to transfer their learning to the home environment.

We offer a range of specific support and advice services:

Family Support and Parental Outreach

Family Action provides support to the most marginalised families in a flexible, non-stigmatising way. Evidence shows that the more vulnerable families are those least likely to visit centres for support. Family Action has extensive experience of reaching out successfully to marginalised families, often with complex problems including enduring mental health problems, learning disabilities, substance misuse and families recovering from domestic abuse.

Early Learning and Childcare

We enable children to access play and learning activities provided through Children’s Centres. Children’s Centres can help to support a child’s transition into school, providing information, practical advice and support.

We also work with parents to support their child’s early learning (e.g. Parents as First Teachers (PAFT) and Newpin Play Programme).

We help families to access childminding services and with childminders themselves, to support and enhance their work.

School readiness support

We understand the importance of ensuring children are ready for school at age 5 and recognise that a child’s play and learning experiences in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances.

Working closely with early years teachers, both school and centre-based, we have developed a number of joint initiatives including transition groups for 2½ year olds and/or children who are already accessing Nursery Education Grant places.

We effectively use 2-year free entitlement places to target vulnerable 2-year olds to support access into nursery and school.

Child and Family Health Services

Family Action works with health service staff to ensure that child and family health services are easy to access. Working together with service users, the wider community and health service staff, we strive to ensure that appropriate provision is available. Ante natal and post natal services are particularly key and are provided in a range of creative ways to engage a broad range of families.

Links to Job Centre Plus and Skills Development

Family Action support parents to access work and the benefits this brings to the whole family. Practical support in accessing pre-employment training , applying for jobs and interviewing as well as advising on accessing affordable childcare are just some of the services we provide.

Working with Young Families

Young parents are often reluctant to attend support services. They can feel out numbered by older parents and feel marginalised or judged. We work to ensure that all services, including home visiting, are open to young parents and that they are encouraged and supported to join in.

Working with Fathers

Fathers play a critical, and increasing, role in the care and development of their children but often feel uncomfortable or marginalised in services more geared to the needs of mothers. We support fathers to set up and run groups on a range of issues and work with them so that they can access all services on offer.

Our impact

To monitor and demonstrate Children’s Centres are making a difference and children are making progress baseline measurements are taken when children are registered with the Children’s Centre and outcomes recorded on an appropriate system such as Estart.

For families who access targeted group services we take baseline, interim and exit measurements using a soft outcomes tool such as the SOUL record and use the Family Outcome Star for cases requiring intensive family support work.

All service users data is monitored and aggregated to track changes made and highlight areas for improvement in order that we are able to target services to those most at risk of low attainment later in life such as white British boys.

In your area

We deliver services across the country. Search for a service local to you.
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Contact us

For more information about Family Action please contact us on

Email: info@family-action.org.uk
Telephone: 020 7254 6251