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Are you…

  • a parent?
  • available for one morning or afternoon every week?
  • happy to undergo a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check?
  • able to complete our in-house training course?
  • wanting to improve your knowledge of working with families?


We offer a fun and interactive training course to ensure that you fully understand how we work and what to expect – we will never place you with a family unless you feel happy, confident and ready.  You will be given a folder of materials, which will be your reference for the duration of the course and beyond.  You will be fully supported throughout your journey with Home-Start Reading.

It is not an academic course, but you will get out what you put in, and you do have the option to accredit your learning with CERTA (see below).  The learning is done through small group activities and discussions.  The topics covered include:

  • Childhood and parenting
  • Visiting in someone’s home
  • Confidentiality
  • Listening
  • Attachment
  • Difficulties and Stresses of family life
  • Safeguarding
  • Equality, Fairness and Diversity
  • Children’s development
  • Parent to child communication
  • Personal safety

We offer an optional accredited version of our training course, which shows that you are able to study at a level 2 qualification standard.  You will receive formal confirmation from CERTA that you have received three credits which can go towards accessing higher education or a qualification that relates to the Children’s Workforce Strategy eg a teaching assistant qualification.


We run one preparation course every year. The 2019 preparation course starts in September 2019 and will be at a venue in Caversham.  If you are interested please get in touch.  We do not hand your details to anyone else and you will only be contacted by us in line with your interest to becoming a volunteer.


During our 30th birthday celebrations, our former and current volunteers wrote down a word describing how volunteering with Home-Start Reading made them feel, and this is what they said…


Home-Start volunteers are simply amazing individuals!