The two year review is an important part of the Healthy Child Programme.  It’s a check on a child’s health and development at a crucial stage in their development, when problems such as speech and language delay, communication difficulties or behavioural issues may be emerging.

Early identification of problems and the offer of support if it’s needed means that children can be helped before the next big stage in their lives – starting school.

In the past, the two-year review has been completed either in the child’s home, at a children’s centre or clinic or at the child’s early years setting by a member of the health visiting team.

A pilot programme, started in September 2015, was set up to examine a more integrated way of working – delivering the review jointly by the child’s early years settings and health visiting.  The pilot, which started in six early years settings, has since been rolled out to a further 15 settings across Southend, 12 of which are in Better Start Wards.

The integrated review process enables Early Years Providers, Health Visitors and parents to focus on the needs of the child and to assess the multiple factors which can affect a child’s ability to progress.  Feedback from parents about this way of doing the check has been extremely positive.  The concept of a ‘one stop shop’ giving a rounded picture of a child’s development has been especially welcomed.

Practitioners have reported a greater understanding of professional roles, improved communication and multi-agency / partnership working across the workforce.  A high attendance rate ensuring that all children are supported in their access to the review has also been a feature in the pilot settings.

The learning from this integrated way of working will be reviewed and used to develop the enhanced Healthy Child Programme in A Better Start Southend.

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