Early Start Volunteering

Supporting families to provide the Best Start in Life

Early Start Volunteer - Parent Champion Programme

Would you like to gain / increase your understanding of the early years?

Do you want to acquire new skills, enhance your CV or perhaps boost your self-confidence by providing and promoting services to the local community?

If so, join the Early Start Volunteer – Parent Champion Programme!
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Please Note

Currently all places are full

Information Before You Start Your Application

Our Early Start Volunteers / Best Start in Life Champions support the delivery of play services to families in the London Borough of Newham and are matched and placed in a Children’s Centre, or Newham based early years project.

You will be volunteering alongside a qualified and experienced early years practitioner, supporting the delivery of stay and play sessions (for parents and their children from birth to age five).

Volunteering as a Best Start in Life Champion is the perfect opportunity for you if you’re considering a role working with children under five.  You’ll gain experience in child development and early education whilst “giving back” to your local community and supporting local families.

Ongoing support will be provided throughout the training leading up to your placement in a setting.  Once you’re placed you will be allocated an experienced member of staff to mentor you.

Take a read of our  role description here

Your Commitment

We ask you to commit to a minimum of three hour sessions per week, once you have completed our training programme and clearance checks.

Your training programme includes;

  • Induction to Volunteering (online based)
  • Level One Safeguarding
  • Early Years Foundation Stage Briefing (online based)
  • Five to Thrive (early brain development) Briefing (online based)
  • Oral Health Promotion Workshop (online based)

What do I need to become an Early Start Volunteer - Parent Champion

Volunteer Information


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Meet the Team

Meet the Team

What Our Successful Volunteers Say About Us

Tulika Bhardwaj

Early Start Volunteer

I enjoyed my first session yesterday! Sue is an absolutely amazing mentor, I had so much to learn from her experience. I also was able to facilitate parts of the session, and thoroughly enjoyed doing it, even though I was a bit nervous.

 It goes without saying that Farhana has been instrumental in my learning journey.

The importance of the Safeguarding Training was evident and put to practice while doing the daily risk assessment at the Children’s Centre. With the enhanced DBS being done, I am able to deliver sessions with so much more peace of mind and I’m confident that should a parent have a concern or question, Early Starts policy and procedures, have me covered. 

Preetika Singh

I came to know about the Early Start Volunteering Programme through a friend. I liked the website of Early Start which is very informative with a systematic and well-defined guideline about how to apply for volunteering. My journey with Early Start as a volunteer has been very motivating and inspiring for me. I feel happy and confident with the experience gained through volunteering in different sessions of the Children Centre like “Stay and Play”, “Bump and Bundle” etc. Early Start has enhanced and added value to my learning by providing different training programme like EYFS and Five to thrive briefing session, Safeguarding, Oral health, Confidence building workshop are a few to name. The Programme coordinator is proactive in providing guidance and arranging for sessions that help in personal development. I would like to thank them for this wonderful opportunity.

Cherelle Smikle

I would like to thank you for all of your support and encouragement with the volunteering programme as well as the training opportunities from The Wellbeing and Nutrition Team. Whilst on my placement I spoke to Toya who introduced me to the Nursery Manager at Plaistow Children's Centre and informed me that there was a job vacancy for an Early Years Practitioner. Thank you so much for providing me with the reference.

Sofina Jagirdar

I chose Early Start Volunteering because one of my friends recommended Early Start. When I emailed them they were really quick to respond. They explained the programme very well. The programme was very easy to access and I was given my first choice of placement. From volunteering I am building up my confidence level and learning new skills every week. My mentor has been very supportive and explains the ages of child development. The Volunteer Co-ordinator is very helpful as well. I would recommend the volunteer programme because it has helped me a lot, the training package was easy to access and beneficial for my placement.