Shropshire Council

Early identification of needs

All young children are unique and develop differently. Some may have needs which are identified prior to, at, or soon after birth usually by health / medical professionals. The needs of some children may become evident over time, and you might be the first person to notice these, or they could be noticed by others.

If you feel that your child is developing differently to their peers, or to how you expected, you can share your concerns with your health visiting team or GP. The health, learning and development of all babies and young children is monitored by health visiting teams. Sometimes a health visitor may raise concerns about your child following one of their developmental checks. They will discuss these with you, allow you the opportunity to ask questions and share your views and they may offer advice and support. They may refer to other specialist health or education teams for further assessment and support. You can also access advice and signposting to appropriate services and organisations.

It is really important that your child receives the right support to address their needs as early as possible. Professionals you come into contact with may:

  • Give suggestions about ways to support your child at home
  • Signpost you to local groups you can attend with your child
  • Provide information about services available to help you with your child
  • Provide information about early education and childcare settings, where your child can play and interact with other children
  • Discuss appropriate referrals to specialist teams with you

If your child already attends a childcare or early education setting, you can share any concerns you have with their key person. The Key person may share their concerns with you. The best way forward is then a partnership approach to identifying your child’s needs and planning ways to support progress. Staff in early years settings are skilled to differentiate to meet your child’s needs. Differentiation means making small adjustments to provision to ensure that your child can enjoy and be included in all activities in the setting. 

Having identified your child’s needs it is important to begin to meet these as soon as possible.