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Parenting children under 5 years

The early years of a child’s life are very important for their health and development. Healthy development means that children of all abilities, including those with special health care needs, are able to make the best of their life and contribute to others lives as well. This page will help guide you to resources and information to help you support the development of your baby and young child.

Health Visiting Team

All families with a child under five years old have access to a Health Visiting Team in North Yorkshire. These consist of health visitors and assistant practitioners/nursery nurses, who are responsible for delivering a series of routine appointments to all families. They also offer additional support to families when needed and can offer practical advice and support on a range of topics related to parenting. You can find out more about the service and useful resources by visiting the website Growing Healthy in North Yorkshire.

Sleep Support Scheme

The Sleep Charity has been commissioned to provide a pilot sleep support service for children and young people in North Yorkshire. 

The sleep service includes providing online one-to-one sleep clinics for families (click here for more information) and developing sleep plans with parents/carers to help address sleep issues and establish a regular night-time sleep pattern. All families will have follow-up support and where needed, will be referred to primary and secondary care for any medical investigations.

The Sleep Charity will provide appropriate sleep advice and support for parents/carers of disabled and non-disabled children aged 12 months to 18 years of age. Those with a Special Education Need or Disability and/or Education Health Care Plan will have access to the service up to their 25th birthday.

The charity also offer free foundation sleep workshops for parents/carers across North Yorkshire. Click here for more information.

Families can self-refer or speak to their GP.

Referrals can be accepted from GP Practices for children age 12 months upwards, by telephoning Claire on 07568 052300.

Families can self-refer by telephone or text to Claire on 07568 052300 or by email to [email protected]

Looking after yourself

Most parents (especially first time parents) find things very challenging at times. Your child doesn’t need you to be a perfect parent – good enough is fine! But if you feel overwhelmed or you need some extra support it is available. If you are experiencing problems with your mental health during pregnancy or in the first year after birth this is called perinatal mental health. Support is available, it’s important to talk to your GP or Health Visitor to get the right advice and information.

Useful links

Starting or changing primary school

The Place2Be website provides tips and a video, on helping your child to adjust to their changing environment.

Visit Place2Be website

Growing Healthy

The Growing Healthy 0-5 health visiting service is available across North Yorkshire. The role of the service is to protect and promote the health and wellbeing of children under five and their families.

Visit Growing Healthy website

Young parents

Little Lullaby is an online support community for young parents and parents to be.

Visit Little Lullaby website

Institute of Health Visiting

The institute of health visiting has a variety of helpful factsheets for parents, providing expert advice on a range of issues including mental health, healthy nutrition and toddler development.

Visit Institute of Health Visiting website

Children and family hubs

The children and family hubs are located across the county and provide services for children and young people aged 0-19 and their families.

Visit North Yorkshire Council website

Perinatal mental health community team

The perinatal community mental health team provide a community service to support women who are experiencing mental health difficulties during or in the first year after pregnancy.

Visit TEWV website

Baby Buddy & Best Beginnings

Guides you through your pregnancy and the first six months of your baby’s life. Visit the Baby Buddy page for more information on the Baby Buddy app.

Visit Best Beginnings website

Maternal Mental Health Alliance

The maternal mental health alliance campaigns for all women to get consistent, accessible and quality care and support for their mental during pregnancy and in the year after giving birth.

Visit Maternal Mental Health Alliance website


The DadPad website and app have been developed with the NHS . DadPad supports Dads to be and new Dads by providing the knowledge and practical skills they need to help give their baby the best start in life, look after themselves and support their partner.

Visit DadPad website

Every Mum Matters

Every Mum Matters provides support new and expectant mums and their families to be able to recognise symptoms of perinatal mental health problems early and encourage them to seek help quickly.

Visit Every Mum Matters

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