Early Years Phase

Our highly rated Early Years Service is here to provide on-going support to your family as soon as we receive a referral. The Early Years phase covers all aspects of your child’s and family’s needs from diagnosis to entry into nursery or school.

What happens in Early Years?

Following a referral, a qualified teacher of the deaf will visit you at home (or at the Acorn Family Centre if you prefer) and will be with you throughout the early years phase. The role of your teacher is to help you develop your child’s potential, especially in terms of language.  They will be able to suggest ways of developing listening and communication skills and offer support with regard to the development of your child’s cognitive (thinking and learning) skills.

Your teacher of the deaf will also be able to provide you with information on local services, playgroups and organisations which you might find useful. Find out more about the role of a teacher of the deaf

We are also here to offer practical, up-to-date advice and support on making the most of technology and specialist audiological equipment such as hearing aids, cochlear implants and soundfield systems. We can provide advice and support on choosing and using the right technology for your child. Members of our team can also accompany you on visits to the audiology clinic. Find out more about how we make the most of technology

Home visiting programme (for 0-2yrs)

The Home Visiting Programme is available to families as soon as they wish to use it and a visiting schedule can be arranged for whenever suits you.  The content and purpose of visits is agreed between you and your teacher of the deaf.  Visits will often involve observation of your child’s listening skills and may include the use of video as this enables the young child’s more subtle responses to be seen. The home visiting programme offers:

  • Someone to talk to, who really listens, and goes at your own pace
  • A specially devised Early Years curriculum, designed to ensure your family has access to broad and balanced, unbiased information
  • Support with your child’s development of language and communication through play-based activities
  • Support for using audiological equipment such as hearing aids, speech processors or BAHAs, including regular testing with a hearing aid analyser (find out more about how we provide help with technology)
  • Specialist assessments used to monitor progress and guide you and your child through their next personal learning step
  • Written records of each visit and advice to support on-going development
  • The programme complements the monitoring protocols for deaf babies and children and the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage, followed by all early years providers)

Copies of the full home visiting curriculum are available on request. Please contact info@wandsworthhis.org.uk for more information.

How we assess progress

All children are unique and develop in their own time. Assessment informs families and professionals about the child’s progress; their rate of progress over time; how they learn; and any areas of strength. We use assessments specifically designed for children in the Early Years to help families learn about the natural stages in all areas of their development.

We favour holistic assessment - looking at the development and progress of the child as a whole. This includes communication, play, listening, use of voice and speech development, physical development, and social and emotional well-being.

Assessment can also identify any specific needs a young child might have, and can indicate when referral to other professionals, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, or speech and language therapists, may be beneficial.

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