School Readiness

School readiness is a measure of how prepared a child is to succeed in school cognitively, socially, and emotionally but our support starts before your baby is born and through the transition into school life.

A good level of development (GLD) is used to assess school readiness, we do this within the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service in a variety of ways to support your child and your family:

  • Pre-Birth – An antenatal contact to meet with you (and your partner) between 28 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, you will be allocated a Health Visitor
  • Your Health Visitor will see you at home to complete the new birth visit when your baby is between 10 and 14 days old and again when your baby is between 6 and 8 weeks of age

These early visits enable us to identify any needs that are impacting you or your family’s health and wellbeing which means our support is bespoke. You may be offered the chance to work with your Health Visitor for a longer period on the Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home visiting programme (MECSH – please ask your Health Visitor for details.)

We work closely with Essex County Council’s Talk Listen Cuddle (TLC) team as talking, listening, and close contact are the three main ingredients needed to ensure young children develop good communication and language skills.

Talking, listening and cuddling helps your child with:

  • Their brain development
  • Develop their speaking and listening skills
  • Communicate their needs, making them less frustrated
  • Develop their reading and writing skills
  • Make friends and be happy

As a service we will offer your family access to Family Hubs and Delivery Sites across Essex, there are regular groups and individual sessions for you to attend with your children to help you support your child’s development in the best way you can, please use the postcode search box for access to our “what’s on” timetables.

At specific ages we will see your child for a review of their development, we use a tool called the “Ages and stages questionnaire.” This is sent to your home prior to your appointment for you to complete. The assessments undertaken are:

  • The one year review- this is completed between nine months and their first birthday and is a universal contact for all children
  • An eighteen month review may be completed if you or your child requires additional support or you are on the MECSH programme and will be completed by the Health Visitor
  • The two year review takes place between the child’s second and third birthday and may be in conjunction with your nursery as an integrated review-this is a universal review for all children

Additional assessments can take place whenever you are concerned or our practitioners need to clarify how your child is progressing to ensure they meet the expected level of development for their age. This will be organised in partnership with you and your family in every case

As a service we have a variety of practitioners with specialist knowledge in all aspects of parenting and social issues to help you and your child through the early years. If you need further support, we work in close partnership with Homestart who provide specific school readiness support (see links below.) You may be offered the opportunity to work with them to have either practical sessions at home or in the community.

Additionally, we work in partnership with many local services that may be useful to you and we are able to refer your child or family onto the service as required. These include but not restricted to:

  • Speech and Language services
  • Community Paediatricians
  • Physiotherapists
  • Parenting services
  • Mental health
  • Domestic violence
  • Dieticians
  • Vision Screening
  • Financial support
  • Benefits support
  • Free early education entitlement age two
  • Housing
  • Children’s social care
  • Libraries

Useful Links:

NHS reviews Guide:

NHS Birth To five development guide:

Free Early education entitlement:


Colchester and Tendring Homestart:

Harwich Homestart:

South Mid and West Essex  Homestart: