Babies and very young children

Education for babies and very young children does not have to mean any kind of formal setting or provision. For children this age, engaging them in activities and enabling them to take a full part in family life is often the best start. 

As a baby gets a little older, other more structured learning opportunities might be explored. In some countries, home learning services can provide visits from trained workers and work with parents/carers and their child on play based learning activities. 

Down syndrome organisations in countries may be able to offer information or advice and sometimes run developmental sessions for babies and young children. 

Early education age 2-5

There is wide variation in the legislation and facilities for the education of children with Down syndrome globally. Many now attend mainstream early years settings with their typically developing peers. This gives them the opportunity to develop social relationships and learn new skills in an inclusive environment.

Some children with Down syndrome manage well within what the early years setting generally provides; others may need some one-to-one support. Staff should be working very closely with parents, as they know their child best. Where possible, it is helpful for the staff to get advice from other professionals such as a speech and language therapist or an educational psychologist.

In some countries, an assessment of the educational needs of every child with learning difficulties is coordinated by local authorities leading to the creation of a document which outlines their specific needs and requirements. This document is formally reviewed annually and used throughout their years in education.