Published Tuesday, 16th February 2021
Amy McGinty, Early Years Practitioner, explains how Sutton’s Children’s Centres have adapted to ensure that parents continue to get the support they need during the pandemic.
For many new parents, Children’s Centres provide a much-needed chance to socialise and seek support. Amy McGinty, Early Years Practitioner, explains how Sutton’s Children’s Centres have adapted to ensure that parents continue to get the support they need during the pandemic.
Children’s Centres offer free activities, services, information and advice to support families in Sutton. This support can have a big impact on families. Amy explains:
“We worked with a mum of two young children who was new to the area. She hadn’t left the house in a while and was nervous about her children starting preschool. We helped her to find early years funding, put her in touch with Sutton Women’s Centre, and she has really flourished.”
“Being able to help families in this way is lovely – to see them grow and to gain confidence.”
But the pandemic has made it much harder for new parents to make friends and get support for any issues they may be facing.
“A lot of new mums are struggling with isolation at the moment – they can’t go out and meet other families. It’s very important to be able to continue to support families at this time,” says Amy.
The Team has adapted quickly, providing lots of activities for families online, and their storytelling and music session videos have now been viewed by more than 3,000 families.
They also use social media to signpost families to other services such as the Family Information Service, Health teams, Domestic Abuse teams and Speech and Language teams, and they continue to work with Health Visitors and Social Workers to help families on a one-to-one basis with issues like behaviour and toileting.
Amy and her team are looking forward to lockdown easing and being able to offer in-person sessions again. But in the meantime, they will continue to find creative ways to support Sutton’s growing families at this challenging time.
More than 70% of our budget goes towards caring for Sutton’s vulnerable adults and children. Following COVID, more people are needing our help, while the cost of services is increasing.
Find out how we plan to protect those needing our care and support Sutton’s recovery over the next 12 months: www.sutton.gov.uk/budget