The early years are crucial for children's development. From finding accessible toys and games to supporting the development of social skills and learning we can help.
As a parent or carer, your role in the happiness, development and progress of your child is huge. There may be a lot of professionals involved in your family life because of your child's vision impairment, but try to remember that you are in charge, and that your own instincts are probably right! You are the expert in your own baby, and the other advice and support that is available for you can fit around your little one as a unique person.
We have produced a number of guides to support you and your young child. Download our early years guide for advice on choosing an early years setting for a child with a visual impairment:
What to look for in an early years setting (Word, 163 KB)
Our Focus on foundation guide offers practical ideas for the successful inclusion of children with sight loss in early years settings including reception classes. It is written for all who work in early years settings but may be of interest to parents:
The following mobility and independence guide has information on movement in the early years for children with vision impairment. It suggests ways of encouraging mobility from birth onwards, including for children with complex needs. We also cover some ideas and tips to help you with teaching daily living skills for this age group:
In the following guide we explore social inclusion and social bonding at Nursery level, looking at some ideas to encourage blind and partially sighted young children learn to socialise and make friends:
Infant massage is wonderful and supports the development of blind and partially sighted children, read our guide for more information:
Our Sensory development resource box guide, explores ideas for toys and resources which will be useful for early years practitioners, and also parents or carers, who are working to support a young child with vision impairment:
Our Play guide outlines the importance of play for children with a vision impairment. It describes different types of play and provides information on choosing toys and creating play environments to support children in their play:
The Early Years pages in our Education professionals section have guidance about all aspects of early years development.
We have put this material in our Professionals section in order to enable early years staff and childcare workers to improve their provision for babies and children in early years settings. It has all been written to be accessible and useful for parents too.