The Ark Centre

The Ark Family Resource Centre provides pre-school play and learning for the children and families of Harwich and district, as well as a range of support services.

We aim to offer a friendly, safe and stimulating environment for families to benefit from; promoting the mental, physical and emotional well being of children and young people.

Our professional and helpful staff will respect all individuals differences, cultural identity and beliefs; whilst providing an independent and focused family support service. Our ultimate aim is to assist families to establish, improve and maintain family relationships.

Two by Two group

Two by Two is a stay and play group that runs every Monday during term time, from 11.30 until 1.30pm. Two by Two is for families with a child between 0 and 5 years old. We ask for a donation of £1.50 per child each week you attend and light refreshments are provided. No booking is necessary, this is a drop in session.

TASK days

Talk About Special Kids provides fun and learning days for children with additional needs. These usually happen in the holidays and on some Saturdays. We can also offer you support both practical and emotional with all your child's needs. We also offer occasional residential weekends. (Sessions are subsidised, we ask you for voluntary donations).

Ark Angels

Ark Angels child sitting service is for parents and carers who feel unable to use an untrained sitter because of the needs of the child. Your Health Visitor can refer you. Priority is given to families who use another Ark service and a low hourly rate is charged.

Thursday Afternoon Group

This is a weekly meeting place for families with a child with special needs. If you have a child with special needs you can join the group to meet friends, loan toys and seek advice and support from our Special Needs Co-ordinator (Senco) who is on hand for advice and support. You can meet your friends and your child can play and socialise.

Domestic Violence Support

We offer emotional and practical, for those living with abuse or suffering from previous experiences.


We offer Outreach home-based support to families who are having difficulties and need some extra support. Your Health Visitor can refer you. Visits from our Outreach Workers are usually weekly. The Outreach worker will provide play for your child/ren, you can offload to her and she will be able to give you lifts to essential appointments and advise on Ark and other services that you may find useful. We have an Outreach Worker who is skilled in supporting of domestic violence. She can also help you with benefits, housing and financial management. Her work also involves preventative support, to help avoid unwanted pregnancy and the onset of violence in the home.


Play and talking therapies for children from rising five, adults and couples. The service has earned a strong reputation for quality and effectiveness. We ask for donations to help us to keep going. The counselling is open ended and no time limit is set on the number of sessions you can have.

Pre-school Nursery

The Ark pre school is open 9.30 to 12 each weekday morning and 12 to 2.30pm every afternoon, term time only, for children aged 2 to 5. The Ark Centre offer 15 hours pre-school play for free (6 weekly sessions) for children the term after their 3rd birthday. Free 2 year old places are also available, subject to criteria conditions being met; please contact the office for further details about 2 year funding.

Children with additional needs are welcomed, whether their needs are physical requirements or based on learning difficulties; no child has ever been turned away from or asked to leave our nursery.

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  • Children's Mental Health