Better Care

Heartlands Child Development Centre

Who needs a Child Development Centre?

The service is for pre-school children with physical or developmental delay who may need additional help, support or intervention in order to reach their potential. If children show delay in development in two or more areas, for example physical development and speech development they may need to be assessed at the Child Development Centre.

Access to the Child Development Centre

Referrals are accepted from all children’s health professionals, general practitioners and those working in children’s pre-school settings.

Referral criteria are detailed below:

Click here to download the Children and Families Referral form for all services

Children for whom there are significant concerns in 2 or more areas of development, who may or may not have a diagnosis

Children registered with any Birmingham GP

Children under 5 where children attend pre-school provision, it should be demonstrated that the CDC will provide added value.

Services provided by a Child Development Centre

A range of professionals offer assessment and intervention for children who are referred. Staff work in partnership with the child’s parent/carer and there is a clear assessment process in place for children. The Child Development Centres are supportive and inclusive and take into account other services available to children in the community. The service offers an integrated and coordinated approach for children using a “Team around the Family” ethos.

The Multidisciplinary Team

This involves a range of health professionals, who will work together to deliver a comprehensive package of care for children. Within the Child Development Centres this comprises of:

Clinical Services Co-ordinators

They coordinate the services provided by the multidisciplinary team and are the main point of contact for staff, families and other professionals. They are the link between the family, the team and other agencies involved.

Consultant Paediatricians & Registrars

Assess all children referred to the CDC to determine their medical needs and diagnosis. They may refer children to other services or professionals.

Link Workers

They will interpret for families who do not speak English as a first language. They can act as a link between home and the team for families, and will support them in accessing appropriate services. Not all Child Development Centres have link workers.   

Nursery Nurses

The nursery nurse will work with and assess children’s play skills. They will often visit the child at home to explain the assessment process and to see your child in their own environment. 

Occupational Therapists

The Occupational Therapist will check the area of development known as ‘fine motor skills’. This is concerned with how we learn to handle and manipulate toys and other objects. They may also be involved in assessing children for appropriate equipment and aids.


Physiotherapy assesses children to establish any movement and posture difficulties. Children may be treated individually or in groups. Input involves advice and the recommendation of exercise and positioning programmes for families. Onward referral e.g. orthotics wheelchair services and other professionals can be made. Input may also involve the assessment and provision of equipment such as specialist seating walking aids or standing frames

Secretarial Team

The Secretarial team is responsible for the all the administrative duties concerned with children within the centre.  

Speech and Language Therapists

The Speech and Language Therapist looks at communication and language skills. Feeding and swallowing skills will be assessed if required.

Contact Us

Child Development Centre

Birmingham Heartlands Paediatricians and Reception

0121 424 3688

Click here to download the Children and Families Referral form for all services.