Quality standard

This quality standard covers services to support the health, and social and emotional wellbeing of children under 5, including vulnerable children who may need extra support. It includes health visitor services, childcare and early years education, and early intervention services in children’s social care. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

It does not cover clinical treatment, the role of child protection services or areas of national policy, such as free nursery places for children under 5.

How to use NICE quality standards and how we develop them

Quality standards help you improve the quality of care you provide or commission. They apply in England and Wales (see the UK government website and Welsh government website). Decisions on how they apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland are made by ministers in the Scottish government and Northern Ireland Executive.

Find out how to use quality standards and how we develop them. We check our quality standards every August to make sure they are up to date.