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East Belfast Sure Start


Developmental Programme for 2-3 Year Olds

What is the Developmental Programme for 2-3 Year Olds?

'The Developmental Programme for 2-3 year olds is an exciting development where the emphasis is on play and creativity.  It offers opportunities not only to young children but also to their parents and carers by actively involving them in the programme, helping to create strong relationships with early years settings and at a later stage, school settings.'

(Will Haire, DE 2008)


The programme aims to focus on constructive play in group settings to enhance children's social and emotional development, build on their communication and language skills and encourage imagination through play.

What will your child do each day?

Each day staff will provide opportunities for children to play and learn which will include large periods of free play. This is not play without purpose but an opportunity for your child to explore, investigate and interact in activities chosen by themselves.


Quality equipment and play activities are available for your child to make their own choices, independently of adults.  Staff will be there to support the children's learning and to progress their all round development.

Observations and Assessments

During your child's year in the programme, staff will be observing and recording your child's development. We do this as every child is unique! The best way to know what special about each child is to make purposeful observations an everyday practice and to document what we see.


This helps parents/carers/staff understand what the child has learned, is ready to learn now and will be ready to learn soon. This information is translated into a learning path and allows staff to adjust the learning opportunities on offer to meet individual children's needs.

Other Information


Daily Attendance

It is important that your child comes to the programme every day unless they are ill, at appointments or on holiday. It is only by coming each day that your child can fully experience all the different activities and make progress in their learning. This routine also prepares them for the world of school.


Home - Programme Links

The programme aims to achieve strong links with families to enable us all to work together for the benefit of the child. This relationship is extremely important for your child's well being and development.


Parents are asked to keep our staff informed of any changes or events in the child's life that may effect them in the programme. All information is treated with the utmost confidentiality.


Home visits will be carried out throughout the year to reinforce this link and to give you an opportunity to ask questions or share any information on your child's development.


Toilet Training

The process of toilet training can be a very challenging time for parents and children.  All children are different and can develop this skill at different times.


Speak to staff at any time throughout the year. Staff are ready to help in any way they can to assist you in toilet training your child.


Teeth Brushing

Every day after snack we have a teeth brushing routine to encourage oral hygiene.  A toothbrush and associated items will be provided. Please remember to reinforce this important routine at home by helping your child to brush their teeth after meals and before bed.



We encourage children who use soothers to place it in their basket when coming into the programme.

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