Our Lady and St Anselm'sRoman Catholic Primary School

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Parent Support

What is early help?

‘Early help’ describes any service that supports children and families as soon as problems emerge.

What is early help?

Examples of early help services include:

  • Parenting support
  • Play and activity groups
  • Emotional health and wellbeing support
  • Communication and language support

Early help services are provided by local authorities. The type of support on offer can vary a lot. Many services will provide information and advice to support families. This can be offered in a one-to-one setting or as part of a group. They may also help families find solutions to specific problems.

Who is early help for?

There are early help services for parents, children or whole families. All early help is voluntary – families do not have to participate if they don’t want to.

Early help could provide support at any stage in a child or young person’s life. Some are more likely to need this support than others, such as:

  • Children in or leaving care
  • Children with disabilities
  • Young parents
  • Families facing abuse and conflict
  • Low-income families

Children and families can access early help services in their local area. These may be at schools, health centres or through charities and voluntary organisations.

Why is early help important?

Early help can prevent children from coming to harm. When families face problems, getting the right support, at the right time, is essential. It can be what stops a minor problem becoming a crisis.

Unfortunately, we’re not providing enough early help in the UK. The system is focused instead on helping children only once they are in crisis. This doesn’t make sense. You wouldn’t wait for a health emergency before seeing your doctor.

Stepping in as soon as problems arise helps provide safe and happy childhoods. It helps keep families together. And it means children and young people are better prepared as they enter adulthood.

Does early help work?

Early help has lots of positive social, health and behavioural outcomes for children and families.

Evidence shows that investing in early help services leads to fewer young people going into care or needing intensive social work.

More than 30,000 children go into care each year in the UK – that’s one every 17 minutes. Many of these children might have stayed with their families had they accessed early help.

Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially.


Anyone can be a missed pay-cheque, illness or bereavement away from a real financial crisis, which is why Turn2us can help you find the support you need to get back on track.

The Benefits Calculator takes less than 10 minutes to complete and it will tell you which means-tested benefits you may be entitled to, including tax credits.

The Grants Search can help you look for funds that might be able to give you a grant or other types of help.