Starting Out 1:1 Home Visits

Helping Children’s Centres

There are two ways to use Starting Out through a Children’s Centre.  Practitioners should use professional judgement to determine whether families would benefit more from 1:1 Home Visits or Group Sessions.  It is possible that some families will benefit from both options.  There is no set way that is best for all families, some will start with Home Visits and move onto Group Sessions, whereas others will do the reverse.

Home Visits provide a very personal approach to the Starting Out programme and are an effective tool for engaging the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach families.  Families’ that may be reluctant to engage with Early Years services can utilise the Home Visits as a first step approach to Children’s Centres and other Early Years settings.  The one-to-one nature of these visits means that they are suitable to be delivered by trained staff such as Family Outreach Workers (FOWs).  Practitioners are able to tailor visits to the needs of the family, which provide an opportunity to model positive interaction with the child and build links with the family.   The visits may also include accompanying the family and child on trips out to places such as the park or library, thus also demonstrating learning opportunities outside of the home. The Children’s Centre Starting Out Practitioner’s Manual contains resources to provide the framework for each Home Visit.


  • Flexibility.

  • An opportunity to build relationship and trust with individual families.

  • Parents are encouraged to maximise their child’s development by using the home as a learning environment.

  • Increased opportunity to identify any specific family needs that would benefit from further support.

  • Practitioners can model activities for and with parents (e.g. doing a messy play activity with the family).

  • Practitioners can provide support for the family by organising specific trips out to try new activities (e.g. joining a library).

  • Easy-to-use tools for tracking.

Other Starting Out components

Click any of the other three components below for specific information.

Offered through an Early Years provider as a universal provision.  Workshops can be offered to provide information on child development.

Offered through a local Children’s Centre as an invitation-only targeted service.

Offered though a reception class at school as a universal provision.  Workshops can be offered to provide information on child development.