Childrens news story with smiling kids

New online package of support to help children during COVID-19

Published: 30 June 2020

Redbridge Council has launched a new online package of support to help children continue to learn, while children's centres remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new virtual service is called EYPAD Online (Early Years Play and Development Online). It will help parents focus on the key activities that will boost their child's progress across the main developmental areas. 

EYPAD (Early Years Play and Development) Centre, was launched in February 2020 to offer high-quality and flexible services to parents with pre-school aged children. Based at Cranbrook Children's Centre, The Drive, Ilford, it pioneers a new style of sessional play with online booking, a welcoming café, and with plans for weekend opening.

It is widely recognised that the first two years of a child's life are the most critical in laying the foundations in the brain for future learning and development. Communication and understanding, emotional development, social skills, and critical physical skills all begin in the womb. 

They are shaped by experiences, particularly the interactions they have with their parents and caregivers. 

There are three main strands to the EYPAD Online initiative:

Online resources: 

The programme offers three specific timetables based on a child's age:

Each day has an area of focused activity against each of the three prime areas of child development, including a fact sheet full of ideas, links to online resources, demonstrations, and practical activities

There is also a considerable amount of support available via the Council website.

'Live' video groups: 

For those wanting something closer to the Children's Centre experience, we have a growing range of sessions and courses such as Baby Massage, Music Group, Busy Babies, and Great Parenting with Parent Gym. Parents can join for free using Zoom. 

These are completely secure but will allow you to join in with our staff and other parents.

Live Event Timetable

Social Media: 

There are a range of ideas, key messages, information, and training available to parents and carers available on social media and ways to get in contact and receive support.

Facebook link

Instagram link

 Also, families can benefit from a range of one-to-one support by telephone or video conferencing, by emailing a request to 

Councillor Elaine Norman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "The past few months have been unbelievably tough for those with children, especially those who are at such a young and impressionable able.  

"It's great that parents can now access this fantastic range of support and advice online, while the centres remain closed., 

"Our fantastic children's centres are often a lifeline for families in Redbridge and provide vital learning to children and massive support to parents. 

"While social distancing restrictions continue, we will continue to provide innovative services to support families and young children and provide the very best advice, information, and practical support to anyone who needs it."


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