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Early Childhood Development

The following pathway should not be read as stand-alone and MUST be read in conjunction with Section 3: Pathways.

  • Early Childhood Development forms the basis of HCP promoting optimum development.
  • Progression to this pathway will be required when a developmental problem has been identified.

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Birth - 6 weeks

Birth or soon after

Provision of appropriate care pathway.

Health Visiting

Specialist care required - extreme prematurity, HIE (transfer out for cooling)cardiac or other serious abnormality requiring specialist surgery.

Transfer to Specialist Units

Birth or soon after

Parental support

Health Visiting

Through-out episode within the NICU/specialist unit/at home appropriate support provided by RM, Neonatal Unit - acute liaison,HV.

Support for the family to make informed decisions and aid parental mental health.

On discharge home

Support of the family

Health Visiting

On-going support for the baby and family on discharge home with outreach support.

  • CAF
  • CIN
  • TAF



This support can be provided by a variety of professionals but should be co-ordinated by the RM e.g.




  • Neonatal nursing team
  • Community Paediatric team
  • Childrens Centres
  • GP

On discharge home

Appropriate care and support of families

Health Visiting

Co-ordination of service.

Support for the family to make informed decisions and aid parental mental health.

Early Support Programme (piloted in Essex - need details of the service) - for children with identified complex needs.

  • TAC or TAF
  • CIN
  • TAF

Birth - 8 weeks

Physical care of the child

Health Visiting

Perinatal Unwell Baby (physical) - Referral to Paediatrician - Requires enhanced services.

Birth - 6 weeks

Physical care of the child

Health Visiting

Regular appointments / home visits for Treatment, support, appropriate referral.

0 - 6 weeks

Additional Home/Hospital Visit (Child could be in hospital)

Health Visiting

Focus support according to identified need, which may include:

  • Outreach support (NB: may be in special care baby unit, palliative care, complex care or out of area specialist care provision).
  • Transitional care with other counties according to local arrangements

Develop an action plan and when appropriate discharge plan in partnership with parent/s and all other / potential services involved.

Liaison, information sharing, risk assessment, communicating with partner agencies and specialist services.

This may include:

  • Liaison with other agencies in the provision of specialist equipment e.g. ventilation
  • Development of specialist care packages
  • Adaptation of housing due to needs of baby

Financial advice.

Training and on-going support for parents.

Schedule additional visits in partnership with other appropriate services.

Assess parental expectations and attachment.

Adjust advice according to chronological or developmental age of the baby.

6 weeks - 6 months

6 - 8 weeks

Additional Home/Hospital Visit (Child could be in hospital)

Health Visiting

As 0-6 weeks above depending on the needs of the family/child.

8 weeks - 6 months

Additional Visits

Health Visiting

  • Up-date and review action plan and when appropriate discharge plan in partnership with parent/s and all other / potential services involved.
  • Refer onwards to other services and voluntary / charitable organisations as appropriate.
  • Signposting facilitating access and peer support programmes
  • Assess needs for specialist equipment / play equipment, house adaptations, associated financial assistance.

8 weeks - 6 months

Additional Visits

Primary Care & GP

6 months - 1 year

6 weeks - 1 year

Core Provision 1

Promote parenting skills which facilitate early childhood development.

Childrens Centres & EYFS

Stay and play for specific groups (SEN & disabled children), children centre staff and other appropriate partners.

Promote parenting skills and provide enhanced support for family members.

6 weeks - 1 year

Core Provision 1

Developing Communication Skills.

Childrens Centres & EYFS

In conjunction with S&LT.

Communication, language and literacy targeted intervention.

Tackle problems early.

Increase children’s school readiness.

6 months - 1 year

Additional Visits

Health Visiting

Up-date and review action plan and when appropriate discharge plan in partnership with parent/s and all other / potential services involved.

Refer onwards to other services and voluntary / charitable organisations as appropriate.

  • Signposting facilitating access and peer support programmes/other professionals e.g.
    • Speech & Language Therapy
    • Early Support Programme - Portage
    • Pediatrician
  • Assess needs for specialist equipment / play equipment, house adaptations, associated financial assistance.

1 - 5 years

1 - 3 years

Additional visits

Health Visiting

  • Up-date and review action plan and when appropriate discharge plan in partnership with parent/s and all other / potential services involved.
  • Refer onwards to other services and voluntary / charitable organisations as appropriate.
  • Signposting facilitating access and peer support programmes/other professionals e.g.
    • Speech & Language Therapy
    • Early Support Programme
    • Portage
    • Paediatrican
  • Assess needs for specialist equipment/play equipment, house adaptations, associated financial assistance.
  • Liaison with pre school

1 - 5 years

Core Provision 1

Promote parenting skills which facilitate early childhood development.

Childrens Centres & EYFS

Stay and play for specific groups (SEN & disabled children), children centre staff and other appropriate partners.

Promote parenting skills and provide enhanced support for family members.

1 - 5 years

Core Purpose 1

Developing Communication Skills.

Childrens Centres & EYFS

In conjunction with S&LT

Communication, language and literacy targeted intervention.

Tackle problems early.

Increase children’s school readiness.

1 - 5 years

Core Purpose 1

Targeted support to reflect local demographic data and need e.g. teenage parents/travellers/BME programme.

Childrens Centres & EYFS

Groups to reflect local demographic data and need e.g. teenage parents/travellers/BME programme.

Promote parenting skills.

Promote health, wellbeing and positive mental health of mother.

Access for hard to reach families.

3 - 5 years

3 - 5 years

Additional visits

Health Visiting

  • Up-date and review action plan and when appropriate discharge plan in partnership with parent/s and all other / potential services involved.
  • Refer onwards to other services and voluntary / charitable organisations as appropriate.
  • Signposting facilitating access and peer support programmes/other professionals e.g.
    • Speech & Language Therapy
    • Early Support Programme
    • Portage
    • Paediatrican
  • Assess needs for specialist equipment / play equipment, house adaptations, associated financial assistance.

3 - 5 years

Additional meetings for Special Education Needs (SEN) Meeting.

Health Visiting

As above in 1 – 5 years age range.

Liaison with Specialist Team to ensure school transition is managed and any SEN assessments contributed to.

A CAF will be completed as part of the SEN profile.

Birth - 5 years

Core Purpose 1

Supporting child-minder agencies/networks.

Childrens Centres & EYFS

To support the introduction of child-minder agencies/ hubs to help child-minders set up and run their early years’ provision.

Birth - 5 years

Targeted Support

Facilitate Joint working and support integrated care planning.

Primary Care & GP

Working with other key partners provide support.

for families with issues that are affecting the child’s normal development, e.g. sleep, continence and child behavioural issues.

Refer to Paediatrician to exclude any biological cause i.e. ADHD, Autism and other relevant agencies.