Support Services

Early Support

Early Support is a government initiative that prioritises the needs of families of children under 5 with complex needs.  It is designed to ensure that all services provided for families with children with complex needs are well co-ordinated and responsive to their specific needs.

Early Support aims to ensure that both parents & professionals supporting them are better informed about families' needs and requirements, and how these can best be met. This is achieved using six monthly Team Around the Child (TAC) meetings with the professionals involved, plus the family. These meetings allow progress to be celebrated and actions for the next six months to be identified.

Early Support also advocates parents choosing a Keyworker. This person can act as a single point of contact for the family, who supports their views and helps to identify any gaps in service provision. It is usually a professional already working with the family, or sometimes a member of the family.

Early Support also provides a variety of useful information booklets covering specific conditions and topics such as Financial Help and Professionals You May Meet. These can help to signpost parents to services :

For further information please contact Emma Payn at Lanterns on 01962 860393 or

Other useful articles :

ASC Behaviour Deafness & Hearing Loss Down Syndrome Learning Disabilities Living without a Diagnosis
Looking After Yourself Multi-sensory Impairments Rare Condition Signposting Sleep Speech, language, communication needs
Useful contacts & organisations Visual Impairment        

Our groups

Smart Start     Smart Start 2

 Smart Start:

Smart Start is a weekly group for children aged two to three years with additional support needs and their parents.  The group aims to provide a play and learning environment covering all areas of the children’s development.  Parents enjoy the opportunity to learn more about early development and strategies for responding to their child’s needs.

Songs and rhymes are a popular element in the programme enjoyed by parents as well as children.  So much of our communication takes place without words.  In Smart Start we have time and space to share each child’s communication style and the patterns of their movement.   We have time too to make friends with other parents and children who participate in the session.

The sessions are supported by a Speech and Language therapist, a Physiotherapist and, when needed, an Occupational Therapist.

Sessions run weekly on a Wednesday morning from 9.30am to 11.00am, term time only. Children are referred by therapists working with them.

Smart Start Brochure

Early Start:

Children attending Early Start are between 6 months and two years old.   The group runs on a weekly basis for children with additional support needs and their families. The group is led by Emma Payn, our Early Support Co-ordinator, with support from a Physiotherapist.   The emphasis is on movement using familiar songs and rhymes.  Our aim is to develop children's motor and communication skills.

Sharing the session with other parents and children and participating in the songs and rhymes is a friendly experience that everyone enjoys.  Children learn the pattern of the session and respond with increasing independence as the weeks progress. 

Sessions run every Thursday morning from 9.45am until 11.30am in 4 week blocks, term time only. Children are referred by their physiotherapist.

Early Start Brochure

Kids First:

Kids First is a weekly support group for parents worried about their child’s development / behaviour and their children aged 0 – 5 years.  It is a chance to meet other parents with similar experiences.

Come and have a tea or coffee and a chat to other parents while your child explores in a supportive environment.  Feel free to come along with or without your child to explore the toys, or just chill out in the sensory tent.  

Wednesday 1.15pm -2.45pm – term time only. No need to book, just turn up.

Kids First Brochure

(For further information on our courses please contact Emma Payn on 01962 860393 or