‌SEND Support and Information Websites

Young Minds Parent’s information Service

Mental Health Foundation

Contact for familes with disabled children

Nasen SEND Gateway

National Sensory Impairment Partnership

National Austic Society

Downs Syndrome Association

British Dyslexia Association

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

National Deaf children’s Society

Royal National Institute for the Blind

The Ultimate Guide to Adapting Your Home If You have Visual Impairment

Ebooks for people with reading barriers

City of Westminster SEND Local offer

Westminster Information Advice Support Service

 DofE SEND Code of Practice

Westminster Family Information Service

Bessborough Family Hub in south Westminster 

Articles relating to children's screen time

What do children and young people think about screen time?

The health impacts of screen time

Parent fact sheet

Useful websites for Postnatal depression for Mother’s & Father’s and Postpartum psychosis

There are a number of national support groups that you can contact for advice. You can also use them to attend events with other parents affected by postnatal depression.

These groups include:

Association for Post Natal Illness (APNI) – helpline on 0207 386 0868 (10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday) or email info@apni.org

Pre and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support (PANDAS) – helpline on 0843 28 98 401 (9am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday)

National Childbirth Trust (NCT) – helpline on 0300 330 0700 (8am to Midnight, Monday to Sunday)

Mind, the mental health charity – infoline on 0300 123 3393 (9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) or email info@mind.org.uk

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

You can also search for local support groups and find details of national telephone or email support lines on the Maternal Mental Health Alliance website

Speech and Language websites

I CAN – Useful website for helping children to communicate

National Literacy Trust

Talking Point - the first stop for information on children’s communication

Talk to your baby

Makaton 

Learn Develop Achieve

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

British Stammering association

A guide to commuting on public transport with young children

The benefits of having your children close to you whilst working are enormous, you get to spend extra time with them on your journey to and from work, mums can breast feed when they want to and you can be close by if needed.

That said, just the thought of getting on a train or bus with a young child can be a daunting thought.  Here’s how to prepare yourself and your child for the journey ahead.

Attitude be positive and relaxed about the journey, you child will sense if you’re feeling worried and may react emotionally to this.

Be prepared for the journey pack a bag with different or favourite toys each day, perhaps a new book to look at together talk about what you see, give a commentary  or play games such as I spy for older children or looking for people with shiny shoes, hats etc. Have water or a drink to hand and snacks if that’s what your child needs.

Don’t worry what others think, your child needs to express him/herself, don’t worry about them chattering, babbling or having a cry or tantrum. Not everyone understands children and what they need but that shouldn’t be your concern.

If using a buggy use a lightweight foldable one that’s easy to carry on and off a busy train or bus and possibly upstairs.  When your child is old enough consider using a scooter instead.

We have plenty of covered buggy storage in 2 vaults on the lower ground of 8 Princes Gardens and a storage shelter at the rear of the sports centre, please ensure that you fold your buggy to allow more space for other users.

Think about using a sling, there are many on the market and different ways to try them out, see this useful advice form a parent experienced in using a sling to travel on the tube network with her child.

Think about a sling! By a Parent

Depending on how long your journey takes and how you travel, commuting with your baby or toddler can be challenging. A lot of parents rely on a pushchair (buggy) but this is a little note outlining my views on the advantages of using a baby carrier/sling when bringing your child to the EYEC. Personally, I found commuting on the tube (Piccadilly line from NE London) at rush hour with the pushchair with my older child very tough and I hated the loss of freedom that comes with using a pushchair. Stairs are the obvious difficulty (unless you have a pushchair that you can carry up and down stairs without help – I didn’t!) and while people are kind and helpful I didn’t want to rely on this every day so we took a longer route to avoid stairs. Also once you are on the tube and it is busy it is really hard to get your child out and sit down. If they stay in the pushchair and it is busy, then they are surrounded by a sea of people which isn’t comfortable or pleasant for you as parent or your child.  So far so traumatic (though we survived!). 

I had loved our Baby Bjorn carrier for my first child but by the time she was starting nursery this carrier was no longer suitable, it was designed for babies and she was too big and heavy to carry in it. When my son came along some years later, there had been a revolution in the availability of baby and toddler slings/ carriers and I was determined to make sure that we didn’t have to endure the pushchair commute nightmare so I found a brilliant baby carrier and managed to carry him until he was able to walk to nursery from the tube at about 27 months and 16kg (heavy!!).  My sling was (is!) a Lille baby 6-in-1 baby carrier which has a very large lumbar support panel (in my opinion a key feature). It’s an American brand and isn't as widely known as some. You can use it as a front and back carrier but I preferred to keep my son on my front where I could see him. I can still carry my son in it but not for very far but it is useful to take out when we are in crowds.  It was a revelation, stress-reducing and life-changing! We could whizz up and downstairs, overtake people and then march into the middle of the tube carriage and demand a seat. I cannot recommend this way of commuting highly enough.

If you are going to do it though it is perhaps a good idea to get your child used to it early as if you wait until they are starting nursery it might be more a struggle to introduce something new.  My son was carried around in his from a few weeks old and even made it halfway up a Scottish mountain at six weeks (it would have been further but it was raining heavily and we thought Mountain Rescue would take a dim view of the situation). Even without taking commuting into consideration I believe that carrying a baby in a sling gives you so much more freedom and with the additional bonus of having your baby close where you can see them and talk as you walk.

 There are now so many slings/ carriers on the market that the best place to start is a sling library where they have specialists who can advise you on what is available depending on what your needs are. For example, straight away I knew I wanted a sling/ carrier with clips, while the clever way of tying slings that are effectively big bits of cloth is mightily impressive I didn’t think I could cope with this at South Kensington in rush hour.  Then you can hire a few slings/ carriers and see what suits you before investing in your own. I used the sling library near Russell Square but there are various around London . Obviously you have to do your own research, read the instructions and be aware of essential safety information and this note doesn’t cover any of these other vital considerations – it’s just to share my experiences of commuting to the EYEC and for me, in our circumstances,  the sling/ carrier is the way to travel.