Supporting Early Child Development for
Children With Complex Needs

Supporting children with complex needs requires integrated care services (health, education, child, and social protection), a coordinated multidisciplinary team approach, and collaboration with parents. Healthcare providers play a vital role by identifying young children with complex needs, participating in or leading interdisciplinary teams with diverse skills (including early childhood intervention), and coordinating with professionals from other sectors and services.

They can also support, guide, and advise parents and caregivers on providing a stimulating and nurturing environment for a child’s holistic development and improving their overall health and development so they can reach their full potential.

Supporting the caregivers of children with complex needs, who face many daily challenges that can impact their health and ability to provide nurturing care, is equally important as caring for the child. Health care workers play an essential role in supporting caregivers’ well-being, helping them navigate through different public services for early years, and guiding them on how best to engage in responsive interactions with their children to promote their development in their daily lives. Their task is also to shift the parents’ attention from a child’s challenges to focus instead on their capacities to love, learn, and develop in their own way and pace.