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Supporting pre-school children

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Supporting Children
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Early Nurture Service

The number of children being identified as having complex social, emotional and mental health concerns across Bath and North East Somerset is increasing year on year.

To help tackle this growing issue, we partnered with Brighter Futures to launch our Early Nurture Service, which focuses on providing support to children in nursery and pre-school settings.

The service enables a greater depth of early-intervention support for children’s social, emotional and mental health needs (‘SEMH’) than is currently available. By introducing the Early Nurture Service, the aim is to build capacity within schools and nurseries, addressing growing pressure on educational settings.

The project prioritises six settings across BaNES in areas of high deprivation and provides the means for earlier identification and better support for vulnerable children, more accurate SEMH assessments and continued support for children as they make the transition  into primary school.

Language for life

The Language for Life project works with children from two to four years old in early years settings across our region. The programme specifically focuses on training early years practitioners to use the WellComm assessment toolkit to help identify children who require language and communication support.

The early support children receive through Language for Life is vital as it identifies any speech and language issues and addresses them immediately, reducing the risk of children falling behind when they start school. The aim is for those receiving support to start school with language and communication skills in line with their peers. If a child still requires support at the point of joining Reception, their teachers are made aware as part of their handover with their pre-school setting, and support is provided.

Perinatal Emotional Wellbeing Partnership

Becoming a new parent can be challenging and overwhelming. St John’s works alongside local services to care for the mental health of new parents, providing a comprehensive approach to address the emotional wellbeing of those navigating parenthood.

The local services we work with:

  • Bright Start Children’s Centre’s Trauma Counselling Service: Initially piloted in August 2020, this service offers specialised, trauma-informed counselling on a one-to-one basis. Funding from St John’s has enabled the service to extend its support to mothers with children up to 24 months old.
  • Open Space Mental Health Project: This initiative provides arts-based psychotherapy in small groups.

St John’s works in close partnership to track, monitor and evaluate the support provided to women using the programmes. Our interventions support women in the early stages of motherhood to help ensure both mother and child have the opportunity to lead happy, healthy lives.