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Ready for school in Derbyshire

We want to support every parent, carer and their child to be ready for school.

parent and child playing with building blocks

We believe the best way to do this is by giving parents and carers an opportunity to discuss their child and how they can support them to be ready for school.

We'll be arranging face-to-face pre-school health reviews for all parents of pre-school children.

You will be contacted by a member of our health visiting team and offered an appointment at a local venue.

The meeting allows more time for us to offer you support and advice around school readiness if it is needed.

You can find out more about the 10 keys to school readiness on this page as well as lots of advice and support on getting your child ready to start school.

10 keys to unlocking school readiness

The 10 keys have been identified by Derbyshire parents, carers and professionals. These will help everyone understand what children developing typically for their age should be able to do by the time they start in reception class.

The 10 keys for unlocking school readiness are:

  • I can settle happily without my parent or carer
  • I can tell friends and grown-ups what I need
  • I can take turns and share when I am playing
  • I can go to the toilet on my own and wash my hands
  • I can put on my own coat and shoes and feed myself
  • I can tell a grown up if I am happy, sad or cross
  • I know that what I do and say can make others happy or unhappy
  • I am curious and want to learn and play
  • I can stop what I am doing, listen and follow simple instructions
  • I enjoy sharing books with grown-ups

Integrated review (the early years 2-year progress check)

Members of Derbyshire health and education services have been working closely together to set up a practical and useful way of making the 2-year-old check have greater purpose for children and families.

This work is called the 'integrated review' as it combines the assessments, observations and understandings of the 3 key partners - parents and carers, health visitors and educational settings.

We're currently updating the integrated review materials. If you need help with this area of work, please email

More help or advice

Don't be afraid to ask. Speak to your health visitor, children's centre staff, practice nurse or GP. And you can ask your child's childminder or nursery as they can help you find ways to support your child's development and school readiness.

A helpful guide to how your child is learning and developing in the first 5 years can be found on the Foundation Years website. The guide is titled 'What to expect, when? Guidance to your child's learning and development in the early years foundation stage'.

Talking point has an interactive 'ages and stages' questionnaire to help you with your child's communication and language skills.

Search for school readiness on the Nursery World website.

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

The advice here is aimed at families whose children are developing typically for their age. Families whose children need extra support because of special needs or a disability are advised to speak to their health visitor or other professional.

More information can be found on the local offer.