Support for families

We are here to help. Don’t suffer in silence. If we cannot help, we will know someone who can. We can access grants, food parcels, school uniform etc. but can also help if you just feel like you cannot cope and need to talk.

Contact us in confidence at or on 01216757578

Early Help

Early help is the total support that improves a family’s resilience and outcomes or reduces the likelihood of a problem getting worse. We are trained to support with Early Help and work closely with the Erdington Early Help team. We can refer you for further support if needed.

Dummies and bottles

Dummies can be useful to soothe babies under one year of age but children over one year of age do not need to use dummies or bottles. Dummies cause damage to children which is sometimes irreversible.

Long term use of dummies and bottles means your child may:

  • Have tooth decay and the front teeth may not meet up. We often have children with rotten front teeth that have to be removed.
  • Dribble a lot, get a sore chin and cause children to mouth breathe rather than through the nose.
  • Have lots of ear infections
  • Have limited tongue movement. Imagine trying to talk with a dummy in your mouth – it changes your tongue shape. Good tongue movement is important for eating and speaking clearly. You may understand your child but can others?
  • Stop your child from babbling which is an important step from learning to talk.

Getting rid of the dummies or bottles may seem daunting and painful in the short term but could be one of the best things you can do for your child to help them in their development. Every year we send children to reception class who are behind in their development because of having a dummy for too long.

Don’t panic!

If your child still has a dummy or a bottle we can help. Starting Nursery School is a good time to choose to ditch the dummy or we have lots of ideas and ways to do it. Just ask and we will help.

Nappies and toileting

We understand that some children are not ready for toilet training by the time they start Nursery School. This is something we can help you with. Often children see the other children using the toilet and want to do the same. We also have smaller toilets which are less intimidating. However, it is nice for the children to start school in pants.

Try potty/toilet training when there are no great disruptions or changes to your child’s or your family’s routine. It’s important to stay consistent, so you don’t confuse your child. You can try to work out when your child is ready. There are a number of signs that your child is starting to develop bladder control:

  • they know when they’ve got a wet or dirty nappy
  • they get to know when they’re weeing and may tell you or may tell you in advance
  • the gap between wetting is at least an hour
  • they show they need to wee by fidgeting or going somewhere quiet or hidden

Potty training is usually fastest if your child is ready before you start the training. If you start earlier, be prepared for a lot of accidents as your child learns.

Pull ups or no pull ups?

We have never found pull ups helpful in the toilet training process. We would suggest you save money and when you go for it, get rid of the nappies and buy plenty of pants. Once you’ve made the decision, stick to it – don’t put a nappy back on, it’s too confusing.

Children with SEND

We have a SEND team that will support you every step of the way. We can help with referrals, communication with external agencies and support with transition into Primary School. We also are here to support the family, even if it’s just a chat and a cup of tea.

We have a completely open door policy. If there is anything you need help with, pop in, call 01216757578 or email We also have some advice and articles. See Advice for Parents.

Castle Vale Nursery School