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Parents to get complete picture of child development

Date:21 NOV 2014
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Senior Editor
From September 2015, health and early years practitioners will work side by side to improve outcomes for young children.

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter and Childcare and Education Minister Sam Gyimah will today (21 November 2014) announce that integrated health and early years reviews for 2-2½ year olds will be rolled out next year.

Currently, health and early years reviews of young children are carried out separately. By integrating them, parents will get a more complete picture of their child, drawing on the expertise of health visitors and early years practitioners.

Age 2 is a key development point where problems such as speech delay and behavioural issues emerge. Integrating these assessments will help avoid duplication and work towards giving parents the support they need.

Integrated reviews will mean bringing together the healthy child programme review at 2-2½ and the early years progress check at age 2 years.

The announcement comes as the Department for Education publishes a report, led by the National Children’s Bureau on a 2-year pilot of integrated reviews from 2012 to 2013.

The report found that parents preferred this joined-up approach, and take-up of the reviews increased as a result. Integrated reviews will mean health and early years professionals will share information and may carry out the reviews together, giving parents a better picture of their child’s progress and reducing duplication.

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said:

'This report shows that integrating health and early years reviews is better for children and their parents - giving a more complete picture of their child’s development and supporting children to the best start in life.'
Childcare and Education Minister Sam Gyimah said:

'The early years count and this new approach will reassure parents they have the information they need to support their children when they are growing up to give them the best possible start in life.

This is a fantastic example of government departments working together to improve the services on offer to parents.'
The Early Intervention Foundation has today also published a report, ‘Getting it right for families: review of integrated systems and promising practice in early years’, which has been welcomed by government.