View LEAP’s Learning Reports

The Story of LEAP

  • We all love a good story, and the story of LEAP is full of inspiration, challenges and adventure!

    Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) was born from the energy and passion that Sure Start and Children’s Centres programmes injected into early years provision in Lambeth. LEAP provided the opportunity to design and develop an innovative programme to improve outcomes for pregnant women, babies and children and their families – a once in a lifetime opportunity.

    LEAP has developed more than twenty local services to meet the needs of families through pregnancy and the early years of childhood. We have worked with an energetic workforce who are dedicated to the provision of quality services and activities.

  • LEAP has listened to parents, communities, practitioners, and partners to create an environment of shared learning and mutual trust.

    Throughout the programme we have remained curious about how our programme impacts on the lives of the children, families, and communities. To understand this, we have collected and analysed data and stories from across the LEAP partnership.

    I am proud of the journey we have taken so far, and excited that LEAP and our partners will leave a positive legacy for children, families, and communities in Lambeth.

    A profile picture of Laura McFarlane, LEAP Director

    Laura McFarlane

LEAP’s Learning Reports

Read more here about what LEAP has delivered and what we have learned.

A mum reading to her baby at a LEAP REAL session
June 2024
Sharing REAL with Parents and Supporting Babies’ Next Steps (2016 – 2023)
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A photo of a little girl playing at one of LEAP's Family Fun Days
June 2024
LEAP Annual Learning Report 2022/2023
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A Making it REAL workshop focused on communication and language development.
May 2024
Making it REAL (2016 – 2023)
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LEAP's oral health service toothbrush train for holding toothbrushes
April 2024
LEAP’s oral health service – Learning Journey
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A member of the Whippersnappers team using a small teddy bear to interact with early years children
January 2024
Building successful partnerships
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A young child at LEAP's Summer Festival of Family Fun in 2022
January 2024
Community engagement in a diverse inner-city area
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February 2023
LEAP Annual Learning Report 2021/2022
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Social & Emotional Development

Project spotlight

  • Parents tell us what our free Baby Steps programme means to them
  • How LEAP practitioners are supporting parent-infant relationships
I attended the Being a Parent course as it came highly recommended by a mum at the children’s centre and I was having a difficult time with my twins. The course really turned things around for me and my family. By the end, I had a better relationship with my twins and strategies to help me raise all of my 4 children. I then applied to become a Parent Group Leader as I believed in the course and wanted to help other parents in the same way I was helped.
women with young children supported by Safer Families Enhanced Caseworkers

Enhanced Caseworkers work with expectant parents and those with young children (most often mothers) who are affected by domestic abuse. They offer emotional support and advice on practical matters such as safety, legal, housing, and finance. They also provide holistic support to help clients feel less isolated.


Communication and Language Development

Project spotlight

  • Outdoor learning and literacy
  • Supporting families and their 0-3 year-olds with speech & language
  • 21+ nurseries and children’s centres connecting children and parents with nature and being active outdoors through the Natural Thinkers programme
  • 15+ childcare settings working towards Evelina Awards for supporting and identifying children with speech, language and communication needs
  • 202 families talking, playing and singing at Chattertime Stay & Play sessions
  • 43,900 minutes reading with children and their families (through Doorstep Library)
An animation about the little moments that make a big difference to a child’s brain

Diet & Nutrition

Project spotlight

What children eat in their early years, and how active they are, have a direct impact on their health and ability to learn and achieve. Yet most child nutrition interventions do not specifically focus on the early years. Healthy nutrition should be a priority, not only in the early years, but from pregnancy and even before.

Our partnership supports parents to make healthier choices in pregnancy and to breastfeed for longer. We make it easier for families with young children to access vegetables, cook together, exercise together and support each other as a community.

  • Lorretta on LEAP’s Community Activity and Nutrition programme (CAN)
  • Helping families and their little ones live a healthier life.
  • Titter emoji of a pot of food
    4,810 hot and healthy meals delivered to families with a new baby throughout lockdown
  • Icon showing a tooth being brushed
    800+ children brushing their teeth at nursery as part of our supervised toothbrushing programme
  • 3,000+ new mums supported to breastfeed by our breastfeeding peer support service
  • 117 Food Ambassadors cooking up a storm, and gaining qualifications while they’re at it
  • 760 pregnant women supported by our CAN service to eat more healthfully
  • 1,443 toothbrushes and tubes of fluoride toothpaste given to children under 1

Community Engagement

Project spotlight

  • How parents are volunteering to help their community
  • Working with community partners makes it easier for families to get the support and services they need
It’s not just having somewhere to go with kids, or things to do with kids. It’s also developing confidence amongst the parents, and friendships as well.
How LEAP volunteers are connecting isolated parents to key services
I felt like I could trust my befriender, and I was able to open up to her. Having a reason to come out, not just about baby things, but meeting up with another adult, and integrating the children at the same time opened doors.
  • 3,437 children learning, playing, growing and getting support at 1,824 community engagement events
  • Graphic of hands clapping
    223 mums and dads giving up their time to connect with and give support to families
  • Icon representing community
    180+ community organisations, groups and services have partnered with our community engagement team
  • Icon representing parents and carers
    68 parents and carers contributing ideas to shape early years services and activities at our People in the Lead sessions
  • Icon for online bookings
    7,261 online registrations for events and activities over a period of two and a half years
  • Icon showing e-newsletter
    750 families receiving a regular e-newsletter about free community engagement support and activities

Building Our Legacy

Project spotlight

Our place-based approach looks at the factors driving local inequalities in early childhood development and works on collective solutions to tackle them for good. We are making sure that when the programme ends in 2025, we will have achieved lasting change for our families.

Our legacy means…

Informed by the evidence

At LEAP, we tested our services, learned about what works, and continuously adapted and refined them to better meet the needs of local families. Services were provided with regular comprehensive data reports on their delivery. You can read some of our analysis and evidence here.


Evaluating our impact

We will be evaluating the individual services and activities that make up LEAP and the overall programme. This work will be led by the Dartington Service Design Lab and the National Centre for Social Research.

  • Turning to our local evaluation team and national evaluation partner for learnings that help us evolve and adapt our services.
  • Employing 4 local community researchers to test and gather data on LEAP services to ensure they are making a lasting difference for early years children and their families.
  • Uniting our providers around a Theory of Change – recognising the complex social problems, while focusing on what we can realistically change.

Bringing local services together, in partnership

LEAP services work closely together and build on one another. As a whole, they provide opportunities for families to access a wide range of support at each stage of their child’s early development, and they represent an unprecedented collective effort to give local children a better start.

Funders often fund one thing at a time, but by looking at the whole environment in a particular area you get this connectedness. It’s brilliant value for money.

Investing in local places and spaces

Creating permanent, useful and attractive spaces for early years children and their families to thrive and develop.

invested in 11 early years buildings
The refurbishment of Liz Atkinson has greatly improved things. The benefit of having two rooms is that we can see more women here. We don’t have to do so many home visits. It’s also easier for us to get together as a team. Caseload midwifery can be a bit lonely, so it’s great to get together, and to be able to meet the other services.

Embedding suitable services across the borough

As we gather evidence, we are also committed to exploring which services could be rolled out across the borough. Essentially, we focus our activity on a small area, but we hope to make a difference that goes much wider.

We need to become more ACE informed so that we can build resilience and change the lives of families and the people that we work with, and change their outcomes.
Lambeth professionals trained to provide the best possible start at 390 sessions