Starting Out Group Sessions

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.

The Group Sessions programme provides a framework for six sessions, designed to engage targeted families, with the objective of improving educational attainment for children. Resources are available in the Practitioner’s Manual offering guidelines for leading each of the six sessions.

The sessions, for invited families only, offer a structured way to introduce knowledge about child development and give practitioners an opportunity to model positive activities with children.  The sessions also create a safe environment for parents to discuss their concerns about their child’s development and behaviour, as well as creating a social meeting point for families.


  • Increased parental understanding of child development.

  • A non-judgemental, safe environment for parents to discuss concerns about their child’s development/behaviour.

  • An opportunity for parents to engage with the Children’s Centre.

  • A social meeting point where parents can learn from each other.

  • 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 a targeted service for families that require specific support.

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