Information for professionals
We have a multi-agency working group in Gloucestershire which is looking at ways in which we can improve early outcomes for children. An important aspect of this work is helping them to get ready for school. The working group have identified some useful information and resources to support this remit which are included below. This is a developing web page and more information will be added as we continue our work. If you have any suggestions for information that could be useful to include here, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a leaflet for professionals which explains what we mean by ‘school readiness’ in Gloucestershire by giving examples of the desired behaviours for school ready children, school ready families and school ready settings and schools:
Here is a resource that has been developed by the Health Visiting team for Early Years settings. It aims to provide settings with knowledge to support families with toilet training to prepare their children to start school.
The National Centre for Sport Exercise Medicine provides a range of resources and guidance for professionals which focus on the use of physical activities to help keep all age groups healthy. The Early Years resources can be found at http://www.ncsem-em.org.uk/resources/age-groups/early-years/ and includes simple tips on how to get under 5s more active in your setting.
Speech and language resources
Speech and Language Therapy services and resources can be found at https://www.ghc.nhs.uk/our-teams-and-services/childrens-slt/
Relevant campaigns and programmes include:
- Every Child a Talker (ECAT) is a national project to develop the language and communication of children from birth to five years of age. Further information can be found at https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/early-years-service/resources/senco-information/
- Bookstart Corner is a free, targeted programme aimed at families with children aged 12-30 months who might need extra support to develop a love of stories and rhymes (e.g. families with 2-year-olds eligible for free early education or childcare). You can find out more at https://www.booktrust.org.uk/what-we-do/programmes-and-campaigns/bookstart/practitioners/bookstart-corner-programme/
- Hungry Little Minds is a three-year campaign that aims to help parents understand that they have a big impact on their child’s learning and that reading, playing and chatting with them is a simple thing they can do to help them develop. The campaign includes social media and online adverts, and a website where parents can access tips and activities and search for activities in their area using a new postcode finder service. Visit the Hungry Little Minds website: https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk/ to find out more.
Children’s Occupational Therapy
The Children’s Occupational Therapy service offers assessment and treatment to children aged 0 to 18 years old who experience difficulties with functional independence skills and developing functional skills such as bathing, showering, toileting, dressing, eating, accessing learning and play opportunities. We work in partnership in developing strategies and goals with the child or young person and their carers. This is often delivered by providing advice and coaching to the carers and educators of such children, within a range of settings (home, Early Years, school and other appropriate settings), evidenced in the Care Aims model as good practice (Malcomess 2000) to enable them to support functional independence outcomes in activities of daily living.
Referrals are accepted from anyone with parent/carer consent via are online referral form available at https://www.ghc.nhs.uk/our-teams-and-services/childrens-occupational-therapy/ We ask that referrers to provide us with details of what has been tried to address the concerns they have, such as those available at universal and targeted level, when completing the referral form and to provide any evidence of this if possible.
We have developed our service for those children and young people who have been referred to our service and attend mainstream school/Nursery/Preschool so that an Occupational Therapist can be contacted if needed. We have a School Advice telephone line available on a Tuesday on 0300 421 6976 from 1.30pm – 4.00pm (any educational setting can access this e.g. Early years).
For those children and young people that are known to our service with a diagnosis of ASD/LD we have the ASD/LD Advice line on 0300 421 6591 available Wednesdays 12:30 - 15:30 where Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapists are available to discuss any query a parent/carer or professional who is involved with a child or young person has.
We would welcome requests from teams and school/education locality clusters for Occupational Therapy workshops/presentations to support other professionals understanding around a child/young person’s difficulties with functional activities, specific conditions and occupational therapy, sensory processing etc. This can be delivered free of charge where it is a request for a short presentation related to supporting a better understanding of a topic and where there is availability within our service resources. We do offer bespoke training packages via traded services as well, and organisations and individuals can find out more about this by contacting us via our online query form which is embedded in our online referral form, or by emailing us at ChildrensOTReferrals@ghc.nhs.uk or by calling 0300 421 6988.