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Building Blocks

Foundations for Early Childhood

Supporting children's future Learning potential at home

In their early years children explore the world around them, learning how to walk, talk, socialise and practice routines that provide good foundations for their childhood.  

But too many families across the UK don’t have access to basic items that support healthy early childhood learning and development.

Essentials like books and toys, a table to eat at and a bed to sleep in are often missing, and a daily struggle to make ends meet leads to fewer opportunities to nurture their children in play and learning.

Despite parents trying their best, children from low-income families are 50% less likely to do as well as primary school as their peers.

And when children fall behind, it’s almost impossible to catch up.

Save the Children’s Building Blocks programme alleviates the impact of material deprivation on families' lives and engages parents in their children’s learning at home, so that every child is given the best start in life.  

How Building Blocks works

Building Blocks is delivered through key practitioners who provide services to children and their families - like Family Support Workers, Health Visitors and Early Help Support workers. This means the right support can be provided directly to parents at the right time. 

  • We provide Early Learning Packs, which include activities and books that encourage parent-child interaction, and playful experiences for early communication and language skills.
  • We equip parents with the tools and knowledge to support their child’s learning as they grow: families can access Building Blocks up to three times until their child turns 6.
  • We provide households items to help alleviate stress and build positive routines around meal and bedtimes.
  • We are monitoring the impact of the programme in collaboration with partner organisations.


Save the Children will be helping around 2,400 families each year through our Building Blocks programme in six pilot areas across the UK: Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Feltham, Margate and Sheffield. In each of these areas we will help between 300 to 400 families and monitor progress closely.  

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