Good practice in Barnsley Early Years Sector recognised by the Department for Education

We’re delighted to see the good practice around our two-year progress checks and integrated reviews recognised by the Department for Education, with one of our Family Centres featured as a case study in part of a suite of materials to help improve how these reviews are carried out nationally.

Since 2015, the government has encouraged early years providers, councils, and health visiting services to work together to combine the Healthy Child Programme review and the EYFS Progress check at age two. This is known as an integrated review.

It provides an opportunity to identify emerging needs for children aged two to three years old, and work in partnership with parents, carers, guardians, and any relevant professionals, to put the right support in place for the children who need it.

In Barnsley, the Early Years Consultant team have worked with 0-19 Public Health Nursing Service to develop robust systems to enable early years practitioners to work collaboratively with health colleagues to identify the needs of children at age two years old.

The Dearne and Thurnscoe Family Centre case study details the excellent partnership working between education and health services in Barnsley.

The case study details how at the centre, an Early Years practitioner completed a child’s two-year progress check and identified that their progress was below expected levels of development. An integrated review gave an opportunity to understand this further.

An Early Help Assessment was agreed at the integrated review meeting. This is a type of assessment completed with the help of the child’s family to identify the child’s strengths and needs, agree what the family would like to change, and develop an action plan.

Following the integrated review, the family benefited from a family support worker, support with parental literacy skills, and guidance on the education, health and care plan (EHCP) and SEND processes.

The child’s parent said: “I am really happy with all the support and advice given from the family centre. I could not be happier.”

Carly Speechley, Executive Director, Children’s Services, said: “It’s great that the DfE have chosen to showcase how the strong working relationships and regular communication between our family centres and our 0 to 19 Public Health Nursing Service, helps to ensure early intervention for children who need it.

“We’re committed to making Barnsley the place of possibilities, and a big part of this is making sure that children and families in Barnsley receive the help they need as soon as they need it, to guarantee that everyone can reach their full potential.”

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