Early years forum - information for parents

The early years forum is a monthly multi-agency meeting that monitors whether the right services are involved to support your pre-school child. Some children need some extra help before they start school and the early years forum recognises these children, recommends the appropriate support available and monitors the child’s progress. This is all done in partnership with parents/carers and other agencies.

Why your child has been referred 

You, your health visitor or education setting have noticed and discussed some initial concerns regarding your child’s development. As a result of these discussions, your child has now been referred to the forum by one of these professionals as it is felt they may need some extra support. 

What the forum does 

The forum will look at information gathered on your child’s strengths and difficulties from parent/carers, health professionals, early years settings etc. The forum will identify support needed to ensure each child has the best possible start to learning. This support will be provided by the team, such as the nursery staff or speech and language therapist, who work directly with your child and your family. 

Who attends the forum 

The Early Years Forum is a meeting of practising professionals. They work in a variety of roles that support early years children who have special education needs and/ or disabilities such as Speech and language therapists, Paediatricians, Health Professional’s and the Early Years team. The professionals attending the meeting may not personally know your child but will have received reports and information from colleagues who do. They will make suggestions to ensure that each child has the best possible start to learning. They will maintain confidentiality and keep in contact with you.

Can parents attend the forums? 

The form discusses many children, so it is not possible to have parents at the meetings. Parents / carers are contacted prior to the meeting to share their thoughts and these are shared with the members of the forum.  

What happens next

The information on your child will be discussed at the next available forum. They will consider your child’s needs and the help currently provided, based on the views of parents and professionals. The forum may decide that your child’s needs are currently being met, or that another service may be able to offer help.

You will receive feedback usually within 10 days of the forum meeting.

Page last reviewed: 16 November 2023

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