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Children's centres during coronavirus

Are children's centres still open?

Yes, however, following government guidance on Coronavirus, we have suspended our usual activities at children’s centres until further notice.

Essential services continue to run from 5 of our children’s centres, on an appointment only basis. If you have an antenatal or health visiting appointment your health professional will be in touch to arrange your appointment.

Children's centres

Only attend the children's centre if you have an appointment.

Please do not attend the children’s centre if you or a household member are unwell. We will ask screening questions on arrival.

 We are providing limited services at these children’s centres:

  • Chrisp Street Children’s Centre, 23-27 Market Way, Poplar, London E14 6AH

  • Isle of Dogs Children's Centre, Stebondale St, Isle of Dogs, London E14 3BX

  • John Smith Children’s Centre, 90 Stepney Way, Whitechapel, London E1 2EN

  • Meath Gardens Children's Centre,1 Smart St, Bethnal Green, London E2 0SN

  • Overland Children’s Centre, 60 Parnell Rd, Bow, London E3 2RU

To book an appointment or find out more information

Tel: 020 7364 5277 

Virtual sessions and support

We are delivering some sessions virtually. We are offering individual and virtual support to families around early speech, language and communication (Little Talkers). 

As well as families who need more individual support, including for children with social communication concerns and advice around routines (Invitation to Play).

We are also developing a library of storytelling and singing videos that will be available soon.

Play session

Virtual activities timetable

To book a place or for more information call 020 7364 5277 or email: CC.Referrals@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Along with these sessions, we also have a range of inspiration and ideas for at home activities.


 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

 9am to 3pm

Health Visitor Clinic

Isle of Dogs Children's Centre

(By appointment only)

 9.30am to 12.30pm

Pregnancy Circle

John Smith Children's Centre 

(By appointment only)

9am to 5pm

Gateway Midwifery Clinic

John Smith Children's Centre

(By appointment only)

9am to 5pm

Gateway Midwifery Clinic

Isle of Dogs Children's Centre

(By appointment only)

 9.30am to 12.30pm

Pregnancy Circle

John Smith Children's Centre 

(By appointment only)

 9am to 5pm

Vitamin collection and advice on Healthy Start Vouchers

(Call to book)

 9am to 5pm

Gateway Midwifery Clinic

John Smith Children's Centre

(By appointment only)

 9am to 5pm

Gateway Midwifery Clinic

Overland Children's Centre

(By appointment only)

 9am to 5pm

Gateway Midwifery Clinic

Crisp street Children's Centre

(By appointment only)

 9am - 3pm

Health Visitor Clinic

Chrisp Street Children's Centre

(By appointment only)

 11.30am to  12pm 

Oral Health Workshop

via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 9am to 3pm

Health Visitor Clinic

Overland Children's Centre

(By appointment only)

 9am to 3pm

Health Visitor Clinic 

Meath Gardens Children's Centre  

(By appointment only)

 9am to 3pm

Health Visitor Clinic

John Smith Children's Centre

(By appointment only

 9am to 5pm

Vitamin collection and advice on Healthy Start Vouchers

Call to book

 1.30pm to 2.30pm

Little Talkers

Via Zoom

(By invitation only)

 9am to 5pm

Vitamin collection and advice on Healthy Start Vouchers

Call to book

 9am to 5pm

Vitamin collection and advice on Healthy Start Vouchers

Call to book

 9am to 5pm

Vitamin collection and advice on Healthy Start Vouchers

Call to book

 10.30am (20 minutes)

Story and Rhyme

via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 3pm

Chat time with your playworker (for advice and support)

via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

10am to 11am 

Baby Massage

Via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 10.30am (20 minutes)

Story and Rhyme

via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 10am

Chat time with your playworker (for advice and support)

via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 10.30am to 11.30am

Invitation to Play (121)

via phone

(By invitation only)

 4pm

Story Time

via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 10am

Chat time with your playworker 

(for advice and support) via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 10.30am to 11.30am

Invitation to play via phone

(By invitation only)

 11am to 12pm

Little Talkers

via Zoom

(By invitation only)

 11.30am to 12pm

Healthy Snacks via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 

 10.30am (20 minutes)

Story and Rhyme

via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 11am to 12pm

Introduction to solids

via Zoom 

(Call or email to book)

 11am to 12pm

Baby massage

via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 1pm to 2pm

Virtual coffee Morning (Parents forum)

via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 

 2pm to 3pm

Baby Massage

via Zoom

(By Invitation only)

 2pm to 3pm

Baby Massage

via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 2.30pm (20 minutes)

Story and Rhyme

via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

 4pm

Chat time with your playworker (for advice and support)

via Zoom

(Call or email to book)

   

 4pm

Chat time with your playworker (for advice and support) 

(Call or email to book)

 2.30pm to 3.30pm

Invitation to Play (121)

via phone

(By invitation only)

 

Half Moon Theatre Live: Creative Play at Home

You can now watch much-loved Half Moon shows from the comfort of your own home for a limited period. Recommended ages 3-7 years but also suitable for younger children.

These videos accompany the performances of Butterflies and When Spring Comes and help you to think of creative play activities you can do together with your child after you’ve seen each show.

Follow the activities with the Half Moon drama practitioner, Madeleine, and then create your own creative play activities. You can even access some of the music from both shows to listen to whilst you play together!

Family support

Family Support workers will continue to provide support and information to families via telephone. They work with other agencies, and make referrals to specialist services when required.

They are trained to provide advice, support and guidance on a range of areas including oral health, introduction to solids and general health and wellbeing.

For information on how to access this service please call the children's centre

FS

Healthy Start vitamins and vouchers

Free Healthy Start vitamins

Good nutrition in pregnancy and early childhood leads to better long-term health.  It can be difficult to get all the nutrients you need from your diet alone.

Healthy Start vitamins are available at:

  • antenatal sessions,

  • health visitor appointments,

  • health centres

  • and children’s centres.

Some children’s centres open on specific days for vitamin collection.

If you have already or will soon run out of vitamins, please call to book a time to safely collect them.

If you are unable to collect your vitamins, please give us a call and we can arrange to get some posted out to you.

If you are at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4 years old, or you are under 18 and pregnant you could qualify.  Your children’s centre can advise you if you are eligible and can help you apply.

HS

Healthy Start vouchers

With Healthy Start vouchers you get free vouchers to spend on:

  • milk,

  • fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables,

  • and infant formula milk.

If you qualify, your children’s centre can help you apply.

Where can I use the vouchers?

You can use the vouchers at local shops and greengrocers as well as supermarkets.  Find your nearest participating shops or call the Healthy Start helpline

Tel: 0345 607 6823

Bookstart baby packs

You can now collect your free Bookstart baby pack from your nearest open children’s centre. It has 2 free books for you to share with your baby. It’s never too early to enjoy books together and to help your baby to love books right from the start. 

Call to make an appointment to collect your pack from your nearest open children’s centre. 

Read together

Free education and childcare for 2 year olds

Your child could take up their free place from the term after they turn two.

How to apply

  • First check if your family is eligible.

  • Choose a provider

    • Contact the children’s centre to find out about your local early education provider
    • or you can speak to your local early education provider yourself.
  • Complete application form

    • Pick up an application form from your local early education provider or children’s centre
    • or complete the online application
  • Arrange a start date

    • Your early education provider will contact you to agree a start date for your child. 

For more information contact the children’s centre or Email: early.learning@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Parenting and Adult Education

The Parenting Adult Education Coordinators continue to provide support and information to families via telephone. They are working with other partners and stakeholders including Workers Educational Association (WEA) and Learning Curve. Who offer a mix of accredited online virtual learning courses to eligible Tower Hamlets residents.

Adult learning APCC

The Parenting Adult Education Coordinators team are trained to provide advice, support and guidance on a range of areas in relation to Parenting, Adult Education and Employment Support. For more information on how to access the service, see what options are available and if you are eligible, please see the the Parenting Adult Education Summer Term Directory.  

 Some of the courses available include:

  • Business Admin

  • Caring for Children and Young People

  • Customer Service

  • Health and Social Care

  • Digital Skills

  • Safeguarding

  • English and Maths Digital Courses

  • Family and Community Courses

You will find a full list of courses and how to apply on the Learning Curve and Workers Educational Associtaion websites.

To discuss options or for more information, please call the Parenting Adult Education Team

Tel: 0207 364 0421or 020 7364 2240

Activity ideas to explore together at home

Children learn and develop through playing, exploring, being active, creative and being asked questions to help their thinking.

Here are some home learning activities that you can do together as a family.
Remember to give your day a rhythm of learning and rest, of interaction and chill time and be flexible.

  • Read and look at books together

  • Draw and make marks together

  • Practical maths-making playdough, cooking together, setting the table

  • Playing with numbers

  • Playing with letters

  • Building with Lego, bricks -and cardboard boxes

  • Imaginative play-let your child take the lead!

  • Build a den with a sheet and two chairs

  • Music and singing together - you can use ordinary household objects to make sounds

  • Physical exercise

  • Time away from screens every day

Stay at home resources

 We've got a large selection of Stay at Home Resources:

  • fun family activities (education, creativity, stories, cooking)

  • physical and mental health resources (for children and adults who may be feeling stressed or anxious)

  • entertainment and culture resources (live zoo and farm animal webcams, world renowned theatre performances and virtual international museum tours).

Draw together

Child development information

For parents, carers and families

  • The Communication Trust has produced "Universally Speaking" which outlines stages of language development for children aged from birth to 5. It includes practical tips for families on how to support their child’s language development. It also includes chapters for children with English as an additional language (EAL) and children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

  • Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is a non-statutory guidance material supports practitioners in implementing the statutory requirements of the EYFS.

  • What to expect, when?- Foundation Years has produced an online document supporting parents with what to expect when from birth to five years. It also includes some easy tips on how to support and extend your child’s learning.

  • The Department for Education has produced guidance on how to support learning at home for children aged 2 to 4 years old.

For practitioners