Apply for OR reconfirm your 30 hours eligibility code to receive 30 hours free childcare.

Start for Life

Start for Life is a programme of services to support families with children under the age of 5. The programme includes support for families from conception until the age of 2, also known as critical 1,001 days.

We have launched Start for Life as part of family hubs in Haringey. 

Collage of images picturing diverse families, children and a pregnant woman touching her womb

Maternity care during pregnancy

Maternity care is the care you get from health professionals during your pregnancy. It is sometimes called 'antenatal care' or 'pregnancy care'. To learn more, visit antenatal care - NHS (external link).

As soon as you think you are pregnant, you should make an appointment to see your midwife or GP. You'll be offered appointments with a midwife, or sometimes a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and birth (an obstetrician). You can self-refer directly to a midwife by ringing your local antenatal clinic or by visiting the hospital website and filling in the self-referral form.

Haringey maternity services

These are offered at North Middlesex Hospital and Whittington Hospital.

Check their websites to learn more and find all contact details.

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Health visiting

All families can access the health visiting service in Haringey. Health visitors will give you important information on health and wellbeing for you, your child and your family.

You will be offered at least 5 health reviews between pregnancy and when your child starts school:

  1. when you are pregnant (between week 28 and 36 of pregnancy)
  2. when your baby is born (between 10 and 14-days-old)
  3. when your baby is between 6 and 8 weeks old
  4. when your child is 1 year old
  5. when your child is 2 to 2 and a half-years-old

How to contact your health visiting service

Visit health visiting - Whittington Health NHS Trust (external link) to find all relevant information on the service, contact details and opening hours.

Maternal early childhood sustained home visiting (MECSH)

MECSH is a structured programme of sustained home visiting for families in need of extra support. The programme starts from pregnancy, or up until the baby is 6-8 weeks old, and can be offered until the child is 2-years-old.

The health visitor will offer the programme to parents who are experiencing difficulties that impact their capacity to achieve good health and development for their child.

Find out more:  MECSH information leaflet for families (PDF, 1.9MB)

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Immunisation is the safest and most effective way of protecting ourselves, our children and our community against serious diseases. Visit our vaccinations section to find out more.

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Infant feeding

Your health visitor will be able to provide information and support with feeding your baby.

Breastfeeding support in Haringey

Haringey supports breastfeeding families. You're very welcome to breastfeed in all schools, nurseries, health and children’s centres and at our family hub. The law protects your right to breastfeed in public spaces.

The council provides breastfeeding peer support in the community, with free baby feeding drop-ins, face to face sessions and online appointments. The breastfeeding peer supporters also visit new families on hospital wards, and if you have shared your phone number with your hospital, you will be contacted shortly after giving birth. This service is provided by the Haringey Breastfeeding Peer Support Service, part of The Breastfeeding Network.

The Breastfeeding Network in Haringey (external link) also offers online one-to-one chats from the comfort of your home. Families can also get in touch via email​​​​​:

You can also find useful resources here: Breastfeeding resources - UNICEF (external link)

And videos in multiple languages (external link)

Breastfeeding support helplines

Bottles and dummies

Your health visitor will be able to provide information on how to safely and responsively use bottle and dummies.

Healthy Start scheme

Introducing solid food

Oral health

Good oral health is important for overall physical and emotional wellbeing throughout life. 

Start brushing your baby's teeth as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through (usually at around 6 months, but it can be earlier or later).

For information about taking care of children's teeth, including toothbrushing tips, dentist visits and fluoride varnish, visit children's teeth - NHS (external link).

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Parenting support

See all parenting support activities in Haringey. Activities are free to attend.

Child emotional development

The Anchor Approach - help to strengthen your relationship with your child and to understand and manage their behaviour.

Parent and child emotional wellbeing

Children’s wellbeing is closely linked with their parent’s wellbeing. Some new parents feel overwhelmed after the birth of a baby so it's important to talk to your health visitor, midwife or GP if you or your partner feels under pressure.

Speech and language development

Safe sleep

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Early years education and childcare

We have plenty of information on how to choose quality childcare for your child, including free childcare options and help with childcare costs. For more information:

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Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Haringey's Local Offer provides information for parents/carers of children with SEND. It explains the support we offer in Haringey for those children and young people.

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Extra help for families


    If you have concerns that a child may be at risk of significant harm or has already been harmed or abused then you should make immediate telephone contact with Haringey's Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

    For further information about the MASH, see our child protection pages.

    Debt and financial advice

    • Haringey, Here to Help - information on increasing your income, managing your debt and financial support you can get in Haringey.

    Domestic abuse support

    Help to stop smoking

    Help with alcohol

    Free alcohol support in Haringey to those who think they have an alcohol problem, and those affected by alcohol:

    Help with drugs

    People who need treatment for drug addiction are entitled to NHS care in the same way as anyone else who has a health problem.

    Children's centres

    • Haringey children’s centres - a range of services for children under 5 and their families, providing information and support across the local community. 

    If your child is aged 5 and above, visit Haringey Healthy Child Programme: 5 - 19.

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    Page last updated:

    December 20, 2023