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Our vision: To improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland by providing high quality, integrated physical and mental health care pathways.
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Early Start – An early intervention health visiting programme 

What does our service do?

Early Start is an early intervention programme for vulnerable first time parents living in Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland. Issues our parents face may include teenage pregnancy, mental health problems, learning difficulties, substance misuse and homelessness.

The programme aims to break the cycle of deprivation to improve the outcomes for children and their parents. Our specialist team of public health nurses (health visitors) and Healthy Child Programme practitioners (nursery nurses) provide intensive support and encouragement to families with a range of complex needs. We work to improve parenting capacity and confidence as well as children’s physical, emotional, economic and social wellbeing.

Early Start is fully integrated into health visiting and children’s centre programmes and runs from the antenatal period through to the child’s second birthday.

How does our service work?

The Early Start team can offer first time expectant parents with additional health or social needs, extra support through a programme of sustained and frequent home visits and groups (if appropriate).

We can help you with parenting issues, building your confidence as new parents, helping you to understand your child’s development stages and how you can best meet your baby’s physical, emotional, economic and social wellbeing needs.

We can also offer support with accessing the children’s centre programmes and referrals to other agencies that can support you with housing, debt advice and general health and wellbeing.

The team is composed of an Early Start team leader and Early Start public health nurses (health visitors) and Healthy Child Programme practitioners (nursery nurses). The programme is offered across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, and each full-time Early Start public health nurse (health visitor) has a maximum caseload of 25 families due to the intensive support required.

How can you access our service?

To access our service you need to be referred by your community midwife/specialist midwife/health visitor or other agency. Speak to any other healthcare professional involved in your care for referral to our co-ordinator for assessment.

The Early Start programme of support is voluntary, and for first time parents. Read the parent leaflet.

Contact us

By telephone to:

Early Start County Team Leader – 07879 848371

Office answerphone – 01509 564253

Early Start City Team Leader - 0116 225 4857

How did we do?

If you have any feedback about our service you can email


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