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Early Years – Universal Support


Universal support is available to all children through Midwives, Health Visitors, GPs and Early Years Settings.

It can be difficult to know whether your child needs additional support, as they are all different and can reach age-related expectations at different times. The Foundation Years website offers a useful ‘What to Expect, When’ guide which gives an overview of developmental milestones and should help you to know what to expect as your child develops.

What if my child needs additional support?

If you think your child has a significant delay in two or more areas of development, they may be eligible for additional support from a specialist child assessment centre. Children and Family Health Devon are responsible for provision in Devon. After assessment your child can be referred for additional targeted or specialist services to meet their individual needs.

You can find out more about targeted support or specialist support on our website.

Where does Universal Support come from?

  • Children’s Centres – Children’s centres cater for children up to the age of 8 and are all managed by Action for Children. They can provide support including: Ideas of activities to do with your child, parenting advice, meeting other parents and play sessions.
  • Midwives – Midwives provide support for you and your child for a short time after giving birth.
  • Health Visitors – Health Visitors are there to support you and your child through their early years. They can help with things including: Emotional and mental health, healthy lifestyles, toileting, sleep problems, support with housing and financial concerns and developmental reviews.
  • Early Years Settings – Early Years settings include nurseries, childminders, pre-schools and other organisations which enable children to develop a variety of skills including, social skills, independence, expected levels of behaviour for a school environment, communication and language skills, confidence and self-esteem. They can support you with activities to do with your child, parenting advice, play sessions, meeting other parents, Universal and Targeted Support for your child and links to Specialist Support Services for SEND.
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