Child Development

Reading Family Information Service

The NHS website holds useful information on all aspects of baby and child development, see website for more details.  

 Next review date November 2024

Where can I get advice about my child’s development?

Health visitors are the first point of call for families with babies and young children up until school age, where they can discuss any queries or concerns they have about their child’s development. Each family should have a Health Visitor they can contact when they need advice or support.

Can I only speak to my own health visitor?

Parents can text a member of the health visiting team directly for advice (perhaps you have some worries about breastfeeding or bottle feeding, child development, toileting, sleep, behaviour, parenting, food and nutrition, or their health) via ChatHealth 07312 263283


To contact theReading team: 0118 904 7100 (Mon-Fri 9am-4.30pm)

There are also Well Baby Drop In Clinics at local Children's Centres visit Reading Directory | Listings in Baby clinics

Every Friday while Children's Centres are open baby scales are available to self weigh your child Reading Directory | Self-weigh Baby Scales (all Children's Centres)



What is Healthy Start?

Healthy Start helps you give your family the very best start in life.

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get a Healthy Start Card (if eligible) to help buy some basic foods. You’ll get money added onto your Healthy Start card every 4 weeks.

You’ll get:

  • £4.25 each week of your pregnancy from the 10th week

  • £8.50 each week for children from birth to 1 year old

  • £4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4 years old

Your money will stop when your child is 4 years old, or if you do not get benefits that make you eligible.

To find out more you can contact your health visitor / midwife or visit

Where can I find out about Bookstart?

Every child in England is entitled to a free Bookstart pack before they are 12 months old and again aged 3-4 years. Bookstart also gifts additional needs packs for babies and toddlers, as well as black-and-white booklets for newborns and dual language books. To find out more please visit  

Booktrust - Bookstart

Sharing books, stories and rhymes with your child from an early age can help create a lifelong reader.

When are the child development reviews / checks?

You will be offered regular health and development reviews (health visitor checks) for your baby until they are 2. These are to support you and your baby, and make sure their development is on track.

The reviews are usually done by a health visitor or a member of their team. They may be done in your home or at a GP surgery, baby clinic or children's centre.

It's helpful, where possible, for both parents to attend. This gives you both a chance to ask questions and talk about any concerns you have.

2 to 2 and a half years

At 2 to 2 and a half years your child will have another health and development review. It's best if you and your partner can both be there.

This is usually done by a nursery nurse or health visitor, and may happen at your home, baby clinic or the children's centre.

If your child has started going to nursery, playgroup or a childminder, the review may be done there. You, a health visitor, keyworker or childminder will all do the review together.

You'll be sent an ASQ-3 questionnaire about your baby's development to fill in before the review. A health visitor, keyworker or childminder can help you with this.

This review will cover:

I have concerns with my child’s Speech & Language.

Tiny Talk sessions are running at Reading Children's Centres Brighter Futures for Children ~ Reading Children's Centres contact your local Children's Centre to find out more email: 

To find out more about the Speech & Language Service in Berkshire visit


Tiny, Happy People

This is a website on the BBC, for families to help develop children's communication skills. There are activities and play ideas for the early years to find out more about children's amazing early developoment.

Coram Family and Childcare Trust

Family and Childcare Trust aims to make the UK a better place for families, through research, campaigning, information provision. Working with government, employers and parents to reduce pressures on family life. To find out more about childcare and childcare costs and funding available please visit their website

Related Advice

Speech and Language Reading Schemes

Page last reviewed: 28/11/2023

Contact the Team

Family Information Service 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

SEND Local Offer 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

Adult & Carers Support 0118 937 3747 0118 937 3747
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