Welcoming Children With Heart Defects or Feeding Issues into your Setting

Every day approximately 12-15 babies are born in the UK with a heart defect (CHD). For many babies, their condition is a minor problem which either doesn’t need any treatment or can be successfully corrected with surgery. Unfortunately, there are a small number of children who have more serious heart conditions or a major heart defect. These can require repeat hospitalisation and surgery throughout their lives. However, thanks to advances in early diagnosis and treatment, most children now will get to go home and live happy and full lives.

  • Some information on CHD and Feeding issues are – Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) This is an abnormality of the heart which occurs soon after conception before a baby is born. There are many different types of CHD, they can range in severity from simple problems, such as “holes” between chambers of the heart, to very severe, such as complete absence of one or more chambers or valves.
  • Feeding Issues – Feeding correctly and successfully in any baby is without saying vital, it provides nutrition for your baby’s physical and mental growth. Some causes or feeding issues are (but not limited to):
    • nervous system disorders (e.g., cerebral palsy, meningitis, encephalopathy)
    • gastrointestinal conditions (e.g., reflux, “short gut” syndrome)
    • prematurity and/or low birth weight
    • heart disease
    • cleft lip and/or palate
    • conditions affecting the airway
    • autism


Children with these heart defects and these associated conditions can become isolated due to extended periods in hospital or home and miss out on many of the social and emotional experience of ‘healthy/normal’ children. However, for most of these children, there is no reason why they can’t attend a nursery as part of their day-to-day routine.


It is purely a matter of extra care, knowledge and training needed by the setting to give the parents that extra assurance that their child will be in safe and secure hands, allowing them an extra avenue for much-needed rest.


By attending facilities such as nurseries these children can then lead as normal a life as possible, learning valuable social skills, interacting with other adults and caregivers, building their confidence and making friends with other children their age.


Through the work of Lagan’s Foundation who support families dealing with these issues they know that all these families want is a childcare provider that has taken extra steps to ensure they can care for that child’s individual needs. Lagan’s Foundation now offers training to childcare professionals via our TQUK Level 2 Award in Community Care for Children and Infants with Heart Defects or Feeding Issues (RQF), which is OFQUAL recognised. This is a 2-day course which covers topics such as Cardiac Care, Infection Control, Play Therapy, Alternate feeding such as feeding tubes, Basic Life Support and much more. After successfully completing the course there is some assessment work to complete over the coming months before receiving your certificate. We will then also list your setting as an approved provider of care to babies and children with heart defects or feeding issues which can be accessed by our families.

Lagans have created a fact sheet for nurseries to find out more about how to assist children with CHD or Feeding Issues. You can read this here 

If you are interested in finding out more about the training Lagans offer, please contact them directly:

Email: info@lagans.co.uk

Phone: 01204 800300