3-5 years

In this section you will find useful information to support you as a parent or carer of a child aged 3-5 years old.

Your child’s development

Children develop quickly in the early years for information on your child’s development visit Healthier Together and Health for under 5's.

If you are worried about the development or behaviour of your child a pathway has been put together in partnership with parents, carers and professionals to help clarify the steps that should be taken.

I CAN provide information on what to expect from your child in terms of their communication speech and language and how you can support them to develop these skills.

Parents/carers who have concerns about their child’s speech, language and/or communication development can book a session to talk to a speech and language therapist either in person or virtually. Find out more here.

The National Literacy Trust has excellent information and activities for families that encourage good communication skills and aim to spark a love of books! Also, find their guide to interactive storybook apps here.

Tiny Happy People is a BBC initiative in partnership with the NHS and Public Health England here to help you develop your child's communication skills. Explore the simple activities and play ideas and take a look at the short videos to find out about your baby’s/children’s amazing early development.

Toilet training

ERIC- Every child is different and they learn to use the toilet at different times. Please access this website for expert information and resources on toilet training including when to start, top tips and answers to all your toilet training questions.

‘Poo Goes Home to Pooland’ is an app that through telling a story helps to alleviate any negative feelings a child may be experiencingaround soiling themselves. Click to download the app from the App Store or the Google Play Store.

Bed wetting- Up to the age of 5 years, wetting the bed is normal. It usually stops happening as your child gets older. For additional support and information visit the ERIC website.

Nutrition and staying healthy

For nutritional support and information on healthy eating in the early years, meal/pack lunch ideas and for fussy eaters visit Healthier Together, Change 4 Life, and First Steps Nutrition.

Change4Life- how to keep physically active with Disney inspired ideas for early years and children with disabilities.


Your child will be offered the 4-in-1 pre-school booster and MMR 2nd Dose at the age of 3 years and 4 months. Here are some vaccination tips for parents and the UK immunisation schedule.


BookTrust recommend a Bath, Book, Bed routine as a good basis to healthy sleep behaviour in children and as a solution sleepless nights!

Accident prevention

Ready Set Ride- a resource to help teach your child to ride a bike, have fun and be safe.

The Child accident prevention trust is the UK’s leading charity working to reduce the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents. They provide information and advice to help parents prevent accidents both inside and outside of the home.

RoSPA- accidents don’t have to happen; this organisation provides advice and support on home safety and accident prevention. You can also check their information on Teaching Road Safety: A Guide for Parents.

Preparing for pre-school/school entry

In this section you will find useful information to support you as a parent or carer of a child aged 3-5 years old and help prepare them for school

All 3 to 4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours a week (38 weeks of the year) of free early education. For further information on early years settings in your area and funded early education visit Dorset Council or BCP Council.

School entry information - The early years is a very important stage as it helps your child get ready for school. For information on and applying for school places visit Dorset Council and BCP Council.

Here you will find a Parent’s guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework.

Starting reception year - there are many ways you can help your child to be ready for school. It is never too early to start helping them. Find more information on how to support your child to be ready for school from Healthier together and Health for under 5's.

Keeping children safe

PANTS The Underwear Rule, with the help of a friendly dinosaur Pantosaurus, PANTS is a simple way to talk to your child about staying safe from sexual abuse.

The NSPCC have lots of advice and support on how to keep your child safe, away from home, in the home and online safety, including advice on internet connected toys.

Clever Never Goes- gives parents a tried and tested replacement for ‘stranger danger.’ You’ll be finely tuning your child’s instincts, to spot if someone (anyone) is asking them to go somewhere, and to know what action to take to stay safe.

Remember, you can speak to a member of the health visiting team by ringing your local hub in your area if you require further support.

Health Visiting