Early years education

The early years, from birth to five years old, are the most important time of development for children. This is when they learn most rapidly and where their early experiences help to form the person they are and will develop into.

Whilst it’s not compulsory, early childhood education has a lasting impact on your child’s development. Enrolling your child in some form of early learning prepares them for future schooling as well as ensuring they receive the crucial foundation skills to support writing and reading, how to communicate, express themselves, make healthy choices, develop independence, share experiences and most importantly, develop relationships and make friends! These skills build the baseline for what is needed to become a nurturing and responsible grown-up.

Early Education and Care refers to services provided in regulated settings from birth to the start of primary school.

The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) study conducted a few years ago declared the early years so important that the government vowed to support access to an education for all 3 and 4 year olds, and some 2 year olds, to give children the best start in their education. All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours a week of government funded early years education for 38 weeks of the year the term following their 3rd birthday and some may be able to access an additional 15 hours per week (30 hours).

Find more information about the early years entitlements for 2, 3 and 4 year olds you may be able to access for your child to support them develop and prepare for school.

Get help and assistance finding a local early years education provider or for further advice contact the Family Information Service.

Getting ready for school

Your child's first day at school is a big moment for you as a parent/carer as well as for your child.

It can be both an exciting and nervous time, but there is lots of support and encouragement you can give your child to help them get them be ready for any adventure.

There are a number of skills you can teach your child before they start school or nursery, such as getting dressed and washing hands.

It's the simple things that will help your child be confident and ready to start school:

All children are offered a two to two and a half year review as part of the Healthy Child Programme. It is a chance to discuss all areas of your child’s development and any concerns you may have and for professionals to provide early intervention to support your child’s needs if necessary. This review is usually completed by your health visiting team. If your child is in an early years setting they will also complete an Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Progress Check between two to three years of age.

In Warwickshire, the health visiting teams and early years providers work together to complete their assessments to support your child to be ready for school. By working together, they are able to provide a more complete picture of your child’s development and, if additional support is needed, ensure that this can be actioned at the time of the review. They can also provide ongoing support, help and guidance. To do this, they need your consent and you will be asked to sign a consent form to allow both teams to share information with one another. You will be able to discuss the outcomes of both reviews and any concerns you have and both teams will be able to share this information to ensure that the right support is put in place.

Warwickshire Schools Health and Wellbeing Service 

During the summer, prior to your child starting school, your child’s care will be transferred from the Health Visiting Service to Warwickshire Schools Health and Wellbeing Service. If your child has any health issues that impact on them during the school day please contact Warwickshire School Health and Wellbeing Service who will support you and your child during their transition into school. 

Find out more about the Warwickshire Schools Health and Wellbeing Service

A school nursing service for the delivery of the Healthy Child Programme 5-19, led by school nurses for the promotion, prevention and protection of children and young people’s health and wellbeing. The service is confidential and freely available to all school-aged children and young people from 5-19 years old (up to 25 years old with special educational needs) and their families and carers. It is provided by Compass and is a continuation of the services delivered by the Health Visiting Team.

Advice is provided on a range of health topics such as healthy eating, relationships, bullying and anxieties. Parents and carers can also get advice on topics such as sleep, behaviour, eating, continence and transition to secondary school.

The service have also put together a 'top tips' for parents and carers on a range of health and wellbeing topics which were identified as common reasons of concern or interest from the Year 6 health needs assessment.

Warwickshire Schools Health and Wellbeing Service Text Services

Find out more about the Warwickshire Schools Health and Wellbeing Service Text Services 

  • ChatHealth – If you are 11 to 19 years old, text your School Nurse on 07507 331525 for confidential advice and support. They help students with all kinds of things to support your physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Messages will be responded to between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Note that messaging support is from UK mobile numbers only, which will be charged at your normal rate. If you need urgent medical attention, please contact your GP or call 111 or 999. 
  • Parentline – Advice and support for parents of school-age children. Text 07520 619376. Text any time and messages will be responded to between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Note that messaging support is from UK mobile numbers only, which will be charged at your normal rate. If you need urgent medical attention, please contact your GP or call 111 or 999.