What Is the 2-Year Development Check?
What Is the 2-Year Development Check?
Agencies and professionals monitor children at various stages for the first 2 years of their life. All children in the UK have these checks.
The 2-year development check tends to be the last of these checks and will usually occur when your child is between 2 and 2 and a half years old.
These checks are generally completed by your Health Visitor or another Health Care Professional.
However, if your child is attending an early years setting such as a day nursery or childminder, they too will be required to complete a 2-year development check. Their assessment provides an overview of your child’s development in the 7 Areas of Learning outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
What to Expect from the 2-Year Development Check
Ahead of your child’s 2-year check, you should be sent the Ages and Stages Questionnaire to complete ahead of time.
The questionnaire covers speech and language, gross and fine motor skills, physical development, problem-solving and your child’s social development.
It’s important to note that this check is a snapshot in time. You, as the parent, will have far more knowledge and understanding of your child than any Health Visitor or Health Care Professional will.
With that in mind, please ensure you ask any questions that you might have about your child’s development and progress. There are no silly questions, and the professionals involved can provide you with the advice and guidance you need to support you.
If you aren’t comfortable completing this questionnaire ahead of your meeting, then ensure that you take it along and discuss it during your appointment.
You will also need to take your child’s Red Book with you as this will be used to record your child’s weight and height and any other important information relevant to your child’s development.
Your 2-year check will generally take place at your child’s GP surgery or children’s centre.
What Areas of Development Are Assessed?
Your Health Visitor will ask questions about your child’s overall development, which will include:
- Speech and Language, e.g. speech, listening ability and understanding
- Gross Motor Skills, e.g. walking, kicking, running and jumping ability
- Fine Motor Skills, e.g. feeding ability, stacking, turning pages in a book
- Problem Solving
- Social Development
The Health Visitor will weigh your child and measure their height to ensure that these are in a “normal range” for their age. The Health Visitor will also want to discuss your child’s sleeping arrangements, dental/oral hygiene, behavioural strategies and vaccination record.
The best thing you can do as a parent is to be as honest as you can about your child’s development.
The more accurate information you provide, the better assessment they can make.
By providing as much information as possible, you may help to highlight any potential development issues, which is critical so that your child can be given the required support or referred to the appropriate agencies as early as possible.
How Has Covid-19 Affected the 2-Year Development Check?
If your child reached 2 years old during the Covid-19 pandemic, then it’s likely that your 2-year development check took place either via telephone or through a video call.
Although the reason that checks have been conducted remotely is understandable, there are significant challenges in assessing children without physically seeing them.
The potential consequences of not assessing children in-person are that development concerns are easily missed, impacting children’s ongoing growth and learning.
We hope that as we are, hopefully, beyond the worst of Covid-19, these checks take place in-person moving forward.
A Word of Advice
As a nursery provider, we have spoken to many parents who have had concerns about their child’s development but were told during their 2-year development check that they were progressing “normally”.
This can be disheartening, especially if you are sure that something isn’t quite right with your child’s development.
On the other side of the coin, however, you might feel relieved to be told by a professional that there seem to be no concerns.
Our advice to parents is that if you are ever worried in any way about your child’s development or want to ask a question, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Health Visitor or speak to your child’s Key Worker.