The National Children's Bureau has today launched guidance, commissioned by the Department of Health, to support early years practitioners and health visitors as they prepare to deliver new integrated reviews for two year olds.
The guidance explains how integrated reviews offer the potential to bring together a parent's views and concerns about their child's progress with early years practitioners' detailed day-to-day observations and health visitors' expertise in the health and development of young children.
The improved and streamlined integrated reviews will combine the Healthy Child Programme's health and development reviews at 2 - 2 ½ years and the EYFS Progress Checks at age 2-3 and will be introduced from September 2015.
Age two is an important time for children and their parents. It is a period of rapid growth, learning and development in a young child's life. It is also a crucial time when a child's need for additional support from the NHS or the education system can be identified. Integrating the existing health and education reviews at age two will give parents a more complete picture of their child's development, reducing duplication across the system and helping to put in place support for children who need it.
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children's Bureau said:
"The integrated review will not just enable health professionals and early years staff to pool their understanding of how a child is progressing; crucially it should allow parents and children themselves to actively participate in the process.
"We hope this guidance will help all professionals working with two-year olds get to grips with the new review system, so that children feel the benefit of a more joined-up way of working."
Health Minister, Dr Daniel Poulter said:
"This valuable new resource will support health visitors and early years practitioners tointegrate health and early years reviews, which is better for children and their parents - giving a more complete picture of their child's development and supporting children to get the best start in life."
Childcare Minister, Sam Gyimah said:
"No parent should be left in the dark about their child's development. There should be an accessible check for all at the age of two, which is a pressure point where issues such as speech delay and behavioural problems begin to appear.
"The Integrated Review will mean more families can get valuable information in a more convenient way."