Latest news and updates
Do you qualify for Healthy Food vouchers?
According to the latest NHS figures, there are 8,700 Hertfordshire families who should be getting Healthy Start Vouchers and less than 3,400 are. And claiming couldn’t be easier!
If someone is at least 10 weeks pregnant or has a child under four years old, they could be entitled to Healthy Start Vouchers worth £3.10 per child per week, to spend on milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and instant formula milk. They can also use them to buy pulses and canned fruit and vegetable as long as they have no fat, salt, sugar or other flavouring added. The vouchers can be redeemed at local shops.
Those who are entitled to Healthy Start Vouchers will also get free vitamins designed to help pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.
Pregnant women and every child over one and under four years old can get one voucher every week. Children under one year old can get £6.20 per week.
To be eligible the claimant should be in receipt of certain means-tested benefits and they can check eligibility here.
They can also use the benefit-checker on the County Council’s website, and access free information about benefits that they might be missing-out on – www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/benefits
For example, a parent with a new baby and a 3 year old could get vouchers worth almost £500 a year.
Someone who is pregnant and under 18 does not have to be in receipt of any benefits to qualify.
Take-up of the vouchers is very low, around 40 percent, so people should check if they are entitled as soon as possible to prevent missing out. Anyone can pick up an application leaflet at a GP’s or baby clinic. Alternatively they can phone for a form on 0345 607 6823 or download and print one from here.
Changes to Public Health Nursing for 0-5 year olds
Working together with our Family Support colleagues in Family Centres, we are making some changes to the way in which we deliver services for under fives in Hertfordshire.
‘Preparing for Baby’ is a local Hertfordshire, free three week online course, presented by Midwives, Family Support staff and Health Visitors. It covers everything you need to prepare for labour and parenthood. Book on to a course from week 25 of your pregnancy via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/hct-preparing-for-baby-courses-hertfordshire-parents-20041788297).
‘Understanding Pregnancy, Labour and Birth and Understanding Your Baby are three different sessions on a free programme. Each session takes about 20 minutes and you can choose to do them all or pick the ones that are most useful to you. To book on a programme go to www.inourplace.co.uk and apply the free access code FCS20.
By Appointment Health Visitor clinics
A new way of working replaces the drop in Baby and Toddler Health Clinics. Growth monitoring (weighing your baby) and health promotion is available with your Health Visiting Team at specific ages/stages. Where there are identified growth concerns these will be managed on an individual basis and according to your child’s needs. Call 0300 123 7572 to book an appointment with your Health Visitor.
Self-weighing and health promotion is offered at key touch points, provided by the Family Support Service Self-weigh stations in Family Centres. Book a self-weigh appointment via Eventbrite. You will find the Eventbrite link to your local area on our Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) website address below.
Health and Development reviews
From August 2020, the Health Visiting service resumed offering health and development reviews for all one year olds. From October 2020 the Health Visiting service, working in partnership with Family Support Services, will resume health and development reviews for all 2 – 2.5 year olds. You will be contacted in the near future by letter.
A team of Health Visitors are on duty to answer your questions and concerns between the hours of 9-5pm, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays). Experienced Health Visitors will assess the needs of your baby/toddler/child and those of your family and by phone, virtual platforms or face to face where there is a specific need to do so. All parents have access to support with any feeding issues via their Health Visitor or Family support team. More complex feeding issues will be referred to our Specialist Health Visitor clinics and breast pump loan service.
Health Visitor Duty line 0300 123 7572
More information on HCT Public health Nursing Services website
For other services for you and your family please call the Family Support Service on 0300 123 7572 and you will be directed to what is available in your local area.
Advice tele numbers 'at a glance'
Integrated Services for Learning (ISL) have published an at a glance telephone list of helplines.
Click on the image below to download the poster.
United Against Bullying
As parents and carers, we all want our children to be happy and safe and it is natural to worry about bullying.
This week, 16 – 20 November is Anti Bullying Week. As a parent/ carer, you are a vital piece of the puzzle in tackling bullying.
You have a unique role to play in guiding and supporting your child through their school years and there are lots of positive steps you can take to help keep your child safe from bullying and harm – Find advice and support online https://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/anti-bullying-week/parents-and-carers.
Organised by Anti-Bullying Alliance the theme this year is 'United Against Bullying'. Do share what you are doing on our SEND Facebook page – we’d love to hear from you using the hashtags #@SENDherts; #AntiBullyingWeek and #UnitedAgainstBullying
If your child is anxious going to school – there is lots of supportive information on the Local Offer here
antibullyingweek ; #abw20; #SENDHerts
“Just” the flu?
Each year the flu kills on average 11,000 people and hospitalises thousands more. There’s no 'just' about it.
The flu virus spreads from person to person. Even amongst those not showing symptoms.
The flu vaccine is the best protection for you and those around you. It’s available for free to those most at risk. Ask your GP or pharmacist.
You can click on the image on the right to download more Public Health information.
We've taken a few of the FAQs from NHS England for you-
How and when will people be contacted? Do they have to wait to be contacted before booking a vaccine?
People who are eligible will be contacted by their GP and/or receive a letter from the NHS Immunisation Management System. However, you do not have to wait to be contacted before booking a vaccine.
Does anyone need to bring evidence with them if they want to book a free vaccine before they receive a letter?
No, you don’t need to bring evidence with you, but if you receive an invitation or reminder letter it would help the NHS if you brought that with you when you have your appointment.
When will the vaccine be available?
Some vaccine is available from September and more will be become available in October and November.
What safety measures are taken by GPs and pharmacists?
GP and pharmacists will take all necessary measures to make sure the flu vaccine is given in a safe environment. Venues will be disinfected, staff will wear protective equipment and social distancing will be in place
Have you had your say yet?
Hertfordshire County Council's Early Years' Service would like to know how parents/carers want to receive news, information and updates and what you would like to know about.
Please take 2 minutes to have your say by completing the short survey below. Survey closes 30 November 2020.
If you are interested in hearing about the latest updates and key messages in regards to early years then you can follow the Early Years Service dedicated Facebook page for parents/carers https://www.facebook.com/beststartherts
Updating our name .... YC Hertfordshire to YCH
YC Hertfordshire has changed its name, with immediate effect, to YCH Services for Young People.
After commencing face to face delivery in September and October, youth work has had to revert back to online delivery for the period of the current national lockdown. A range of projects are being offered and can be found online at https://www.ychertfordshire.org/support-for-young-people/support-for-young-people-with-learning-disabilities/youth-projects-for-young-people-with-learning-disabilities/
This means any street-based (outdoor) projects have also been suspended until December.
Wherever you live in Hertfordshire you will find a youth project you can join. Visit the website above for details of projects in your area.