Children's centres are places where all families with children under five, and expectant mothers and fathers, can go to help their children to get the best start in life. The facilities and activities are designed for young children and their families.
All children's centres will offer informal support for parents and a place for your child to play and learn.
Children's centres work with a wide range of partners to ensure that we can help families in whatever area they need.
Services in children's centres include:
- child and family health services
- information for families and carers
- early education and information about childcare
- support for children with special needs
- outreach and support to families in need
- adult education classes with crèche facilities
- helping parents find training and employment
Check the children's centre timetables if you think that your child would benefit from attending sessions that are specifically for families with children with special needs or a disability. These sessions are listed below.
Little Stars and Little Stars Plus
This is a 5 week programme with new sessions starting every half term at Kingstons Children's Centres.
Sharing books, songs and play to support your child's language development.
Suitable for children who have a speech delay but are not already on a Speech and Language Therapy pathway. Sessions are for Kingston families.
Recommended age 18 to 36 months.
Or contact Sophie Hodges 07849 305143 or Siobhan Meacher 07784 006661 for more information.
It is a small group play session for children under the age of 5 who need a calm environment.
Sometimes various practitioners visit to support parents with questions they may have.
Attendance is by invitation only. Families from Richmond can also attend but they must have been referred or have had a discussion with the Lead Practitioner running the session.
Runs on Mondays from 1:30pm to 2:45pm at Old Malden Children's Centre.
If you have concerns about your child’s social and communication development or would like to know more about Let's Nurture groups, please call the team on Phone: 020 8241 0837.
Little Explorers are creative, fun and stimulating play sessions for parents/carers and children up to 5 years. They are for children who prefer quieter sessions and for staff to offer extra support. Attendance is by invitation only.
Tangley Park Children's Centre - Wednesday 9.30am to 11.15am
Heathfield Children's Centre - Wednesday 9.30am to 11.15am
Ham Children's Centre - Wednesday 1pm to 2.30pm
Barnes Children's Centre - Friday 10am to 11am
Please contact your local Children’s Centre for more information.
RUILS parent wellbeing course
This course is for parents of children who may have special educational needs or who require some additional support.
Where: Ham Children's Centre
A 5 week parent wellbeing course at Ham Children’s Centre delivered in partnership with RUILS. This course will focus on parenting strategies and techniques, advice and guidance, how to access support - and understanding your child's development and behaviour. There will also be a strong focus on wellbeing for parents.
Please call 020 8734 3400 for more information.
Music Fun with Otakar Kraus
Music therapy for young children provides early therapeutic intervention which can prevent crises, and we aim to provide sessions for children and parents to improve parent/child interactions.
Music therapy can help children grow towards milestones in child development such as babbling, experimenting with voice, develop verbal and non-verbal communication skills. It can help children to learn to play spontaneously and creatively, develop awareness of self and others, make eye contact and interact with others and have improved focus and listening skills. Children learn to take turns, have reduced anxiety and have improved confidence and mental well-being.
Age: 0 to 5 Years
- Norman Jackson Children's Centre - Thursday from 9.30 to 10.15am
- Barnes Children's Centre - 11.15am to 12pm
Please call Norman Jackson on 020 8941 6843 or Barnes on 07904 556423 for more information.
EarlyBird parenting at Barnes Children's Centre
For parents/carers who have a pre-school age child with Autism (or on the pathway to diagnosis).
When: Tuesday mornings 9.30am to 12pm in term time.
EarlyBird is a 10 week support programme for parents/carers who have a pre-school age child with Autism (or on the pathway to diagnosis).
We can also offer this programme to families in linked boroughs but they must be registered with a GP in Richmond.
Families can self-refer for this programme.
Please email Beth Hitchens [email protected] to express your interest in this programme.
1 - 2 - 3 Magic - ADHD or challenging behaviour.
For parents and carers of children aged 2 to 7 years diagnosed with ADHD or who display challenging behaviour.
Where: Tangley Park Children's Centre
When: Wednesday 21 Feb – 20 March 12.30 to 2.30pm
1 - 2 - 3 Magic is a behaviour management course for parents and carers of children aged 2 to 7 years diagnosed with ADHD or who display challenging behaviour.
The course provides simple tools for parents to:
- Control unwanted behaviour
- Encourage appropriate behaviour
- Strengthen your relationship
- Build self-esteem
This course will include information on ‘What is ADHD’
For more information and to book a place, please contact Karen Williams 020 8547 6965 or 07771 974388.
Stay and Play Sessions at the Moor Lane Centre
Wednesday morning from 10am to 12pm during term time.
Activity and support group for pre-school children with disabilities and their parents (siblings welcome).
Come and enjoy a morning of fun and activities for your child and a chat and coffee for you to meet other families.
For more information contact the Kingston Short Breaks Team on [email protected]
The Moor Lane Centre
Moor Lane, Chessington KT9 2AA
Sunshine Sensory Playgroup - for hearing impaired pre school babies and toddlers (under two years)
When: The first Tuesday in term time, 10 30am to 12pm.
Where: New Malden Methodist Church Hall which is behind the Church on Cambridge Avenue. Look out for the green
Parking: Waitrose is opposite and parking is free for 2 hours.
Buses: The K1 and 213 buses stop on the High Street.
Trains: New Malden Station is a 3 min walk away
What to expect: Music, songs, Baby Beats, toys, arts and crafts, story time, free coffee and tea, snacks for the children, lots of fun.
Groups run by the voluntary sector
S21&Co is a registered charity run by parents, offering help and support to children with Down's syndrome and their families in South West London, Surrey and surrounding areas. They run preschool speech and language classes and Stay and Play sessions for under 5's. Visit 21&Co website for more details.
↵Buds@Express is a small structured Parent/Carer and Child group for autistic preschoolers, including those who may not yet have a diagnosis. Activities are based on the highly-regarded Attention Autism programme, focusing on attention, communication and play development through clear structure, engaging activities and plenty of sparkle!
The group is led by Sue Goldman, an experienced Specialist Teacher (Autism) and Early Years Professional.
Sessions run for 1 hour on Wednesday mornings at Express for blocks of 5 weeks each half-term and continue throughout the school year. Express CIC support this project and have donated the space to help lower ticket costs for attendees.
For more information, details of cost and to book please contact Sue via www.suegoldman.co.uk
Small Steps provides specialist help and support to parents with physically disabled children. At Small Steps, pre-school children work on all areas of their development, using the principles of conductive education. Children attending Small Steps sessions have cerebral palsy, other forms of motor impairment, syndromes or sensory impairment.
Skylarks is an independent parent-led charity covering the Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames and surrounding areas, which aims to help children and young people with additional needs and their families.
They welcome children any additional needs and disabilities including autistic spectrum disorder, Down’s syndrome, hearing or visual impairment, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, ADHD and rare or undiagnosed syndromes.
Yorda Playhouse run Forest School, Stay and Play and family sessions for families who have a child with SEND age 0 to 5 years.
Age Range : 0 to 15 years
Running every Saturday morning throughout the year, the Inclusive Play Project offers children with disabilities or additional needs time to explore the Adventure Playground with their families. No bookings are required and the sessions are completely free.