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Early years

Early years support for families and children 0-5 years.

Communication and language

Communication and language development is about all the different ways your child understands and communicates in their world. We don’t all communicate the same way or speak the same language so hints and tips on how to help your child’s development and why it's important, can be found in the links below.

Help and support with communication and language
My first 1001 days

Ideas for you to help children’s development from conception to 2 years.

 My first 1001 days | Leicestershire County Council

Early years and SEND

Early years information for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

 Early years and SEND | Leicestershire County Council

Specialist Teaching Service

Part of the Leicestershire Graduated Offer, this service offers free support and advice to schools and families about specific areas of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

 Specialist Teaching Service | Leicestershire County Council

Tiny Happy People

Tiny Happy People can help you develop your child’s language and communication skills, so they get the best start in life. We’ll show you why and how you can bond with your child, before they’re born and throughout their early lives – it’s never too early to start.

Our ideas and activities are easy to build into your daily routine. They’re quick and inspiring, but they’re also based on expert advice and evidence, and are proven to help your child’s development.

 Tiny Happy People


'Milestones' is a word to explain your child's development and what they might be expected to do at a certain age, eg. walking, smiling, feeding themselves.

Did you know that physical exercise can help your little one to meet their developmental goals?  Check out these useful guides from Active Together  for easy things you can do at home to support this. 

Find out even more about the key stages in your child’s development and the milestones they can reach with your help by looking through these helpful websites.

Help and support for child development milestones
National Childbirth Trust (NCT)

Stages of your child's development.

 Your child's development

Health for Under 5s

Aimed at parents and carers of children under five.

 Health for under 5s

Health for Kids

Aimed at primary school children.

 Health for kids

Active Together : Active Tots

Encouraging your child to be physically active may help in leading a healthy, active lifestyle later on as an adult. Give your child the best start in life!

 Active Tots

Learning and development

Everyday interactions like singing songs, talking, and walking to the park, all provider new opportunities for children to learn and develop.

 Help your child to develop and learn in their first 5 years | Leicestershire County Council


Find childcare, funding for childcare, and more.

Find a childcare provider

There might be times when you need help looking after your child. How often, the amount of time and cost is likely to determine whether you choose an informal arrangement (with a trusted friend or relative) or whether you look for an OFSTED registered childcare provider.

Registered childcare provider

If you need childcare while you work for example, you can choose from:

  • Pre-schools and Playgroups (sessional care)   
  • Childminders (at home)   
  • Day nurseries (part-time and full-time care) 

You are likely to have to pay for this childcare (unless you’re eligible for a funded childcare place).

Finding the right childcare for you and your child

There is a lot to consider when finding someone else to look after your child but choosing a registered provider has lots of benefits to help your child be ready for school. Please see Services for children aged two years to starting school | Leicestershire County Council where you will find a range of advice, guidance and ideas. 

Find a childcare provider

Leicestershire County Council has a useful directory that allows you to filter your search*

 Find a childcare provider | Leicestershire County Council

*The directory is impartial which means that Leicestershire County Council does not endorse or recommend any organisation listed.

Paying for childcare

Find out about free childcare for ages 2 to 4, tax free childcare and childcare vouchers.

Funded childcare places

All 3 and 4 year olds in England and some 2 year olds are entitled to a significant number of funded childcare hours. 

Funded childcare places for 3 and 4 year olds

All 3 and 4 year olds in England are entitled to some hours of funded childcare.

 Funded childcare places for 3 and 3 year olds | Leicestershire County Council

Funding for 2 year olds

Check if your child is eligible and apply.

 Funding for 2 year olds | Leicestershire County Council

Tax free childcare: Childcare Choices

If you're a working parent with children under 12 (or under 17 for disabled children), you can open an online account to pay for registered childcare. The government will top-up the money you pay into the account. For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2. You can receive up to £2,000 per child.

 Childcare Choices

Check what help you could get with childcare costs

You can also use this calculator to find out how much you could get towards 'approved' childcare.

 Childcare calculator | GOV.UK

Childcare vouchers

If you work, you may be able to be able to get childcare vouchers through your employer to help with the cost of childcare.

Employers for Childcare

A social enterprise and registered charity that helps working parents.

 How do childcare vouchers work?

School readiness

Starting school can be a very exciting time but it can also be challenging for some children. Small steps can make a big difference, and your family can help too. 

Help and support for starting school
School readiness

Help your child become ready for school.

 School readiness | Leicestershire County Council

What vaccinations should my child have if they are starting nursery ? 

When your child starts nursery they will be learning and playing with more children. If they are not up to date with their jabs, they could be at risk of catching preventable diseases. 

Pre-school jabs include: MMR1 at 1year, MMR2 at 3years 4 months and a booster at 3years 4 months. You can check your child's red book to see if they've had their routine vaccinations. 

You can find more information from NHS here or use this helpful guide below

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