Steps Ahead - Supporting Babies and Young Children born in Lockdown and their Families

Information for Professionals

Steps Ahead is a new project which launched in April 2022. The purpose of the project is to target the county’s most disadvantaged areas, to provide additional support for families with babies and toddlers born during the COVID-19 pandemic, between March 2020-March 2022.

Steps Ahead will provide enhanced support across the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Gloucestershire. By targeting areas that experience greater levels of deprivation, the project aims to reduce longer-term consequences of the pandemic, particularly those that lead to health inequalities of parents and children. Children and Families Centres will offer focused programmes, tailored group and individual support for families who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support for families in Gloucester, Stroud and the Forest of Dean will be provided by Barnardo’s, while support for families in Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and the Cotswolds will be provided by Aspire Foundation. Both services will also offer a targeted outreach programme for families in need of support who do not have easy access to an existing Children and Families Centre.

The Health Visiting Team will deliver bespoke health related advice and support county-wide. This will include tailored packages of care and group work to support child development, providing nutritional, sleep and behaviour advice, as well as supporting child/family relationships and infant mental health.

Families will be able to access sessions directly at Children and Families Centres across Gloucestershire. Parents can now sign-up and book onto sessions through the online system:

For sessions in Cheltenham, Tewkesbury and Cotswold
(including all groups at Brockworth Children and Family Centre)

Sign-up here: Event Search | Aspire Foundation (

For Sessions in Gloucester, Forest of Dean and Stroud

Sign-up here: Event Search | Barnardos (

Guidance on creating an account can be found in the GCC and Coordinate Sport CABS
Sign up guide

Availability of sessions will be updated regularly on the booking system above. Walk-ins are welcome for many sessions, but online booking is always recommended.

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