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Concerns about a child's development

If you are concerned that your child might not be meeting the development milestones for their age, or if you think there could be a problem with the way they play, act, move, learn or speak then please speak to your GP, health visitor, childrens centre, school nurse, social worker or early help co-ordinator.

If you are not sure about what milestones your child should be achieving and when, or if you want to find out more information about the support that is available, you can view more information on our child health and development pages.

Your health visitor will be able to carry out an assessment of your child's development and ask you questions about what your concerns are, how it impacts your child’s life, how long this has been occurring, and what sort of help you would like. They may also ask your permission to speak to your child's childcare provider for their opinion.

There is a range of support that can be offered by professionals individually and through working together as professionals. Following discussion with you they will suggest what opportunities may be available to help, and who may be most appropriate to help.

Understanding if your child's difficulties might be short term, or whether they might have special educational needs or a disability (SEND) that requires extra support is essential to ensuring they get the support they need as early as possible.

Bedfordsihire Community Health Services has coproduced this video entitled "something feels different" which shows you where you can go to seek support help and advice:

Below are is some more information that you may find helpful.

Bedford Borough Local Offer

Bedford Borough's Local Offer is a dedicated website which provides information and advice regarding Special Educational Needs and / or Disabilities (SEND), as well as listing services and support available for children and young people with SEND and their families.

You can visit the Local Offer website here: https://localoffer.bedford.gov.uk 

Health visiting support

If you’re worried about your child’s development, call your health visiting team on  0300 555 0606 or text a health visitor via Parentline on 07507 331456. You can also find out more about your child's schedule of development reviews here. 

Parentline - Text support

Parentline is a secure and confidential text service for parents and carers of those aged 0-19. It offers advice and support on a range of issues such as weaning, sleep and emotional health or how to make an appointment with our team. This is also a great mechanism to find out how to access other local services.

Simply text 07507 331456 with your question to start the conversation – our team will be there to answer your queries from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

Specialist Early Years support for parents of children with SEND

You will be able to find specialist support services and advice and guidance, including advice on funding and childcare on Bedford Borough's Local Offer

Bedford Borough has a dedicated Early Years Support Team. You can find out more information about the support available from them, including their drop in advice clincics, by clicking here

Bedfordshire Community Health Services has a specialist nursing team who provide advice and support to parents of children with additional needs. You can find out more about this service by clicking here

BDCPS Little Sweet Peas is a monthly drop-in SEN playgroup for children between 0-5 years old and their accompanying parents and carers to attend. The sessions are focused on play activities for you and your little one to join in with. There will be elements of messy play, art activities, nursery rhymes. music and sensory stories. To find out more click here

Dingley's Promise is a national charity supporting children with SEND in the Early Years to achieve their full potential. They have lots of free resources and guides for parents of children with SEND. You can find out more by clicking here

Contact for families is a national charoty supporting parents and carers of children with SEND. Contact can offer phone support through their helpline and they also have lots of resources for parents. You can find out more by clicking here

SENDIASS

The Bedford SENDIASS (formerly Bedford SEND Advice) provide a free, impartial and confidential service to parents and carers of children who have special educational needs and or a disability (SEND).

Contact SENDIASS if you would like information, advice or support regarding how you can engage with an early years childcare setting regarding best supporting your child with SEND or suspected SEND.

You can view more information by clicking here