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National Child Measurement Programme and Healthy Lifestyles

We support you with monitoring your child’s growth and development, including maintaining a healthy weight.

There’s more to weight than just a measurement. It involves looking at your child’s growth and development, diet, eating habits, portion sizes, sleep, fluid intake and physical activity levels to name a few.

Weight is one measure of wellbeing that can be helpful in identifying health problems both now and in the future.

How do we monitor children’s weight?

To begin with, you may weigh your baby at a family hub or delivery site and record the weight in their red book. Weight is recorded on a ‘centile chart’ which allows us to assess your child’s rate of growth. We will also assess your child’s growth and development at the child’s 2-3 year developmental review.

When your child reaches school aged, you are invited to take part in the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) in reception and year 6.

The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) is a nationally mandated public health programme and is delivered through the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service on behalf of the local authority.

The programme monitors the BMI and growth of children on a national scale and helps to inform the development of services at a local level. The information collected about your child is held by your local NHS provider and treated confidentially, is it not shared with your child, school staff or other children.

After the programme, we contact parents where the programme identifies children that fall outside a healthy weight range for their age, sex and height to offer access to the free support across Essex. These results can be surprising, but are a snapshot of your child’s growth at that moment of time. The information is intended to help identify where changes can be made and provide the support to help you make those changes and support your child to grow into a healthy weight.

Guidance and helpful information 

To support your child with a healthy weight, you might wish to consider their:

  • Portion sizes
  • Levels of physical activity and active play
  • Diet and eating habits
  • Lifestyle and hobbies

If you have recent growth measurements you can check your child’s BMI using the NHS BMI calculator:

BMI Calculator

Please see useful links below for more info and useful advice.

How we can support

The Family Healthy Lifestyle Team is a subsidiary of the Essex Wellbeing Service provided by HCRG Care Group.

We are able offer support for all school-aged children in Essex, and their families.

We provide a judgement-free service that is centred around the family’s specific needs. This is a person-centred approach and can be tailored to provide the level of support required by individual families, rather than a one size fits all programme.

Our friendly, supportive Coaches will work with you to encourage lots of small changes that together can make a big difference. We work with families face to face or virtually, and can offer help and advice on topics such as:

  • Portion sizes
  • Food label reading
  • Healthy shopping on a budget
  • Physical activity advice and options
  • Healthy coping strategies
  • The importance of sleep and how to improve it
  • Nutrition advice
  • Mindfulness and relaxation
  • Boosting self-esteem
  • Cookery lessons
  • Fussy eating advice
  • Behaviour change

Not all of these sessions will suit everybody, which is why we have made our approach family-led. We will work with you to tailor the service that we provide, and the sessions we deliver to the needs of your family in order to create positive change, that is sustainable long-term.

What happens next?

If you have concerns about your child’s growth or development, you can contact your local Family Hub for support and information.

If you want more support from the Family Healthy Lifestyles Service, please call us on 0300 303 9988 or email to talk to one of our team members.