Choosing the right school for your child is a big decision for any parent. You will be looking for a school that will give them the best possible education, as well as the chance to make friends and get involved in new activities.

If your child has a learning disability, making the right decision becomes even more important, to make sure their individual special needs are met. This might mean making sure their teachers are able to provide them with the right support, or checking the school has all the facilities your child will need. Most children with special educational needs will go to their local primary or secondary school, sometimes called a mainstream school. However, a child with a more severe learning disability may need to attend a special school for some or all of their school life.

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One such provider of residential home and special needs schools is Hillcrest Children’s Services. With 12 children’s homes and four specialist DfE registered schools situated in a variety of locations across Sussex,  Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire and London, they have a huge range of facilities designed to give children with Emotional and Behavioural difficulties the best start in life. At Hillcrest every child matters regardless of the behaviours, issues or complications they bring with them. They want every child to feel right at home, which is why all of their services have been designed to provide children with a welcoming, comfortable and safe place to live and learn.

Hillcrest is able to provide the following services to children with special educational needs (SEN):

  • High quality Ofsted registered children’s homes in rural & urban settings
  • DfE registered special schools – full curriculum, vocational training and life skill programmes
  • A child centred therapeutic approach to care
  • A clinical psychologist’s assessment offered at point of placement – A psychologist individually assesses each child entering a Hillcrest home or school, with detailed reports sent back to parents or carers so that they can see how their child is progressing.
  • High ratios of qualified and experienced staff – each child is given the attention and care that they need and deserve.

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While keeping in touch with parents and carers is a priority, the centres also help children to prepare for independent living, with accredited courses like COPE and ASDAN on offer to everyone under their care. Young people are supported and managing their personal care as well as developing independent living skills such as; budgeting, saving,  cooking, cleaning, shopping, healthy living and maintaining and improving their own good health. 

If you would like more information on Hillcrest Children’s Services, you can visit their website www.hillcrestchildrensservices.co.uk

To celebrate the safe arrival of the Royal Baby, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge earlier this month, Tommee Tippee have released a limited edition royal baby collection which is available exclusively in Mothercare .

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There are two bottle designs to choose from; Little Prince, which features a baby blue screw ring and palace guards logo; and Little Princess, which features a pink screw ring and royal carriage logo. Both are available to buy individually or as a pair in a gift set that also includes a matching limited edition soother.

With closer to nature bottles, switching between breast and bottle feeding becomes easier than ever before. Bottles are suitable to use from birth and the easy-latch-on-teats have been designed with the help of breastfeeding experts to mimic the natural flex, stretch and movement of a mum’s breast. Together with the bottle’s super-sensitive anti-colic valve, this encourages your baby’s intuitive feeding action for comfortable, relaxed feeding.

All the royal baby designs have been placed on Tommee Tippee’s new collection of soothers which are approved by babies and designed with an orthodontic silicone teat to support healthy oral development.

The Tommee Tippee closer to nature limited edition range is available exclusively in Mothercare. There are 2 gift sets and 2 x 260ml individual feeding bottles. The range is suitable for babies 0 + months. Priced at £5.99 for the bottle and £14.99 for the gift set.

For more information on the entire ranges, please visit www.tommeetippee.co.uk

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. We are Tommee Tippee Mumbassadors and genuinely love the brand, having used their products exclusively since Riley was born,  so we are more than happy to shout out about these fabulous limited edition products.

The summer is just around the corner. While we all live in the hope that the temperature will start to soar and we can finally enjoy the great outdoors, there are some important things to consider in order to ensure that your little ones are going to be safe in the sun.

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We have called upon the experts from Nannies Incorporated, a London nanny and maternity nurse agency, to compile a comprehensive guide to staying smart this summer:

Hats

Most children have extremely sensitive skin. This means that it’s essential to protect them from harsh UVA and UVB rays. A cotton hat with a wide brim is, therefore, a must have. They come in all different shapes and sizes so every child can benefit from wearing a well-fitted, lightweight hat. If your kids are prone to losing things (which is typically the case) then consider buying a hat which has a drawstring. It’s also worth sewing in a tag with a contact name and number so they can be returned if they do become lost.

Long Sleeves

If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the sun then we would recommend keep your children covered up with long sleeves, wherever possible. Choose breathable fabrics and summer friendly pieces like cotton cardigans. These won’t make your child overheat or become uncomfortable.

Sunscreen

It is important to regularly slather your child in high SPF sunscreen. Look for creams with an SPF of at least 30. Choosing a child friendly formula is also recommended as they are gentler on the skin and do not contain some of the chemicals found in regular blends. If your kids love to play in the water, investing in water resistant cream is a great option. Nevertheless, you should still reapply on a frequent basis, especially after swimming, towelling or perspiration to maintain the original level of protection.

Avoid Midday Playtime

Avoid the intensive midday sun and prolonged sun exposure so try to keep outdoor playtime for the mornings and afternoons. If you must be outside at lunchtime try to seek out shaded areas and make sure your kids are wearing sunscreen and protective clothing.

Allergy Management

As lovely as summer is, the increase of pollen, dust and other plant materials in the air can trigger allergic reactions which can be particularly troubling for little ones. This can result in sneezing, sniffles and irritation of the skin and eyes. One of the most effective ways to reduce the onset of any reaction is to try and keep your child away from freshly mowed lawns or from running around in gardens that are full of flowers. A lot easier than said huh! But by keeping windows and doors shut and investing in an air purifier can also help. Meanwhile, if the symptoms are severe, it could be time to visit the GP or your local pharmacy. Experts will be able to diagnose the condition and offer parents a suitable and safe form of treatment that will help to alleviate the symptoms.

Stay Hydrated

Keeping your kids hydrated is extremely important. Increased time in the sun and a lot of running around can quickly result in dehydration so always remember to have water on hand and ensure they take regular sips throughout the day.

With these handy summer tips in minds, it’s now time for you and your kids to get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

22monthsold

Dear Harry,

My beautiful boy, i don’t quite know where to begin with this letter. You are growing and developing so quickly now and i notice subtle changes in you every single day. You make me immensely proud and though i love the fierce and independent little person you are becoming, it is bittersweet and i am desperately willing for time to slow down so that i can cherish every moment with you. Time…it’s a funny old thing. They say it passes much quicker when you have children and that if you stop to blink for even a second, you will miss something. That is certainly the case with you and Riley, but i’m so glad i have these letters to look back on because it helps me to reflect on those special moments all over again.

You continue to amaze me with the things you say and do and I find it utterly ridiculous that a person of your age can contain so much information in your head. You are so observant and constantly taking in everything around you, watching your brother intently and absorbing information like a sponge. Your inquisitive nature means you love to explore and everything is one big adventure to you. You are fearless and i love you for that. You’re not afraid to take risks or try out new things, but it does keep me on high alert most of the time because you put yourself in the most compromising situations.

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I think the biggest change for you this month has been moving in to a ‘big boy’ bed and let me tell you, you were an absolute trooper and made the transition such a breeze. You were obviously ready to come out of the cot because from the first moment we put you in the bed, you stayed there and slept through for the whole night. It’s been 3 weeks now and you’re still going strong – there have been absolutely no issues at all. I can’t believe how easy you made it for us little man, but i’m very proud and eternally grateful.

You are still a fusspot when it comes to food and your diet isn’t the best, BUT you are FINALLY eating new things and trying to use a fork and spoon, so we’re heading in the right direction. New foods and favourites this month are yoghurts, grapes, chocolate cheerios, scampi and beef mince. You still use your hands to eat most of the time so you get exceptionally messy but as long as you’re eating, i really don’t care.

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Riley is still your favourite person and role model, although you boys still have a love-hate relationship going on. He is really trying to be more understanding and patient with you, but you do enjoy winding him up and deliberately do things to get a reaction out of him. Amidst the chaos and fighting, there are also moments of such clam, tenderness and love between you both that my heart literally overflows with love. Sometimes i find you both snuggled up together reading a book or playing on the ipad. Sometimes you will walk up to Riley for no reason at all and give him a kiss and a cuddle.  If one of you is upset, the other will always try to comfort them. You’re both getting better at sharing toys, food etc. too.

MILESTONES AND DEVELOPMENTS

  • You can recognise and name the following shapes – circle, square, triangle, square, heart
  • You can recognise and name the following animals – cow, dog, duck, pig, bird, frog, horse, chicken, panda, bear, tiger
  • New words – brother, school, pyjamas, sorry, please, thank you, drink, panda, ribbit (frog), bear, rabbit, horsey, raining, morning, night time, bird, aeroplane, bike, home, sand, water, castle, bag, boots, strawberry, toast, apple, carrot, brother, grandad, tree, door, cuddle, mouth, ears, eyes, nose, tummy, hurt, hot, painting.
  • You can sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Row Row Row Your Boat, Frere Jaques, Head Shoulders Knees And Toes, The Wheels On The Bus, Happy Birthday To You.
  • You love shape sorting, colour sorting, puzzles, dancing, role play and building towers.
  • Your favourite TV show is Twirlywoos and you are currently obsessed with the special edition episode of Peppa Pig And The Golden Boots.
  • You moved in to a ‘big boy’ bed.
  • You help tidy up your toys and put things away.
  • You love to sit in the garden and look out for birds and aeroplanes.
  • You love to build castles in the sandpit.
  • You are obsessed with washing your hands and don’t like to get dirty.
  • You can’t go anywhere without your blanket and panda.

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Harry,  you have completed our family and i can’t remember what life was ever like without you in it. Thank you for being mine and for making me so proud of you every single day. You are a mischievous little menace most of the time and there are times when you make me want to pull my hair out, but i wouldn’t have you any other way so please don’t ever lose that cheeky streak or sparkle in your eyes.

I love you to the moon and back. Love from mummy xxx