Early Support was a government initiative that prioritised the needs of families of children under 5 with complex needs. It was designed to ensure that all services provided for families with children with complex needs are well co-ordinated and responsive to their specific needs.
Early Support aimed to ensure that both parents & professionals supporting them were better informed about families' needs and requirements, and how these coud best be met. Lanterns continues to try hard to follow these aims. This is achieved using initial review meetings after starting nursery and where needed further Team Around the Child (TAC) meetings with the professionals involved, plus the family. These meetings allow progress to be celebrated and actions to be identified.
Early Support provided a variety of useful information booklets covering specific conditions and topics such as Financial Help and Professionals You May Meet. These can help to signpost parents to services. Lanterns have their own linked presentations to help with signposting too:
- Charities that can help
- Financial help
- Leisure Activities
- Preparing for school
- Support Services
- The role of the keyworker
Other useful articles :
Smart Start is a weekly group for children aged two to three years with additional support needs and their parents. The group aims to provide a play and learning environment covering all areas of the children’s development. Parents enjoy the opportunity to learn more about early development and strategies for responding to their child’s needs.
Songs and rhymes are a popular element in the programme enjoyed by parents as well as children. So much of our communication takes place without words. In Smart Start we have time and space to share each child’s communication style and the patterns of their movement. We have time too to make friends with other parents and children who participate in the session.
The sessions are, on occasion, supported by a Speech and Language therapist and a Physiotherapist.
Sessions run weekly on a Wednesday morning from 9.30am to 11.00am, term time only. Children are referred by therapists working with them.
Children attending Early Start are between 6 months and two years old. The group runs on a weekly basis for children with additional support needs and their families. The emphasis is on movement using familiar songs and rhymes. Our aim is to develop children's motor and communication skills.
Sharing the session with other parents and children and participating in the songs and rhymes is a friendly experience that everyone enjoys. Children learn the pattern of the session and respond with increasing independence as the weeks progress.
Sessions run every Thursday morning from 9.45am until 11.30am in 4 week blocks, term time only. Children are referred by their physiotherapist.