Most Home-Start schemes limit referrals to families who have a child under the age of 5.

At Home-Start West Somerset we have recognised a need to help families with that important transition into school rather than withdraw support at this crucial time.

Some parents have negative memories of their own school experience and this may affect the way that they respond to their child’s first experience of school. Others may be daunted by the new routines involved in early education and may need support with helping their child to be prepared for school.

Our volunteers can help make that important early relationship with school a positive one by accompanying to meetings, helping with routines, encouraging reading together in the home and overcoming any practical difficulties caused by ill-health or disability.

For this reason Home-Start West Somerset has extended it’s provision with an additional service that we call ‘Home-Start+’ which enables us to receive referrals for families with at least one child under 7 and to continue support until the end of the school year in which the child was 7.

The system works exactly the same as it does for our regular home visiting service; partner agencies can refer the families using our professionals referral form as long as they have the family’s consent. Or parents can self refer by filling in our Get Support form. You don’t have to face this important stage in family life on your own.