We unite local services to improve social & emotional development, communication & language development and diet & nutrition for 0-3 year olds in four South London wards.
From personalised midwifery services to overcrowded housing services, LEAP has carefully designed a portfolio of 28 services in partnership with parents and communities to respond to local needs, as well as delivering 11 major capital projects to refurbish and transform local facilities.
Our Parent Champions help to keep every aspect of LEAP’s services rooted in the experience of local parents. Last year 28 parents completed Parent Champions training, and between them our champions contributed 1,120 hours of volunteering. We also held targeted focus groups to help shape our work, such as exploring environmental health issues with a group of local dads.
Evidence plays a vital role in service design too - such as our work last spring to use local data to understand the pathways that women may follow for mental health support during pregnancy.
In 2019, 41 babies were delivered as part of LEAP’s new Baby Steps programme, a nineweek perinatal parent education service. There were 24 Together Time groups held through the Parent and Infant Relationship Service, with 34 families receiving 1-1 support. A group of dads completed Game of Two Halves, designed to empower and educate fathers before teaming up for a game of football.
As well as directly benefiting families, LEAP delivered 94 workforce development events for practitioners on issues ranging from supervised toothbrushing to domestic violence. During the year we trained 342 early years practitioners to better support children’s communication and early language. As a result of our targeted training, 147 referrals were made from Private, Voluntary and Independent early years settings to the Speech & Language Therapy team.
Alongside practitioner training, LEAP focused on bringing organisations together to address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) - experiences that can have a significant impact lasting into adulthood. Our ACEs conference in the autumn brought together 200 Lambeth practitioners to understand ACEs and explore how interventions can support resilience.
Our new LEAP Knowledge Makes Change seminar series, building on NCB’s transformative work in Jersey, brought professionals together to learn about key national early childhood research and practice developments from our expert guest speakers and find out how LEAP is supporting local children and families.
LEAP also shares knowledge and good practice at a national level, through the A Better Start programme that NCB leads with the National Lottery Community Fund, but also through hosting a range of academic, political, royal and community visitors, notably to showcase the work of the Parent and Infant Relationship Service (PAIRS).
Now at the halfway point of the 10-year programme, LEAP is beginning a transition to focus on delivering the most impactful services on a bigger scale. We are working with New Philanthropy Capital to undertake an evidence review to inform the shape of the next five years.