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Professional Resources

Information for parents

For parents of pre-school children with special educational needs or disabilities.

Early Years SEND Inclusion Team

There are four teams who help in their respective ways:

  • Portage Team – who work with children from birth until they are 2 and a half years old (at which time, they are usually transferred to the Early Years SEND Inclusion Team)
  • Early Years SEND Inclusion Team – who work with children with communication and interaction needs, including those children with a diagnosis of Autism, from birth until they go to school
  • Early Years Communication and Interaction Team – who work with children from birth until they go to school
  • Early Years Inclusion Practitioners – who support children in settings and foundation stage of school who are at risk of exclusion

Who are the Early Years SEND Inclusion Team for?

We provide a service to children, their families and early years providers when the child requires specialised long-term support. The child has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age or has a disability which prevents or hinders access to activities or experiences available to children of the same age.

How often will the service see my child in their early learning setting?

We will discuss with you how best to support your child. This may include some visits to home and some to setting.

What does the Team do for Early Years Settings?

Every validated private, voluntary or independent early years setting has an Area Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) who supports the setting to include children with special educational needs and disabilities. In exceptional cases top up funding may need to be applied for.

How do I access the Early Years SEND Inclusion Team?

The team accepts referrals from parents or anyone working with a child who has parental consent for the referral. Children accepted by the team show significant delay in more than one area of development.  Referral is via the local authority’s Early Years SEND Inclusion Panel. There is a meeting every fortnight during term time.

The team discuss every child referred and decide which service is best placed to meet the child’s needs.

A visit is then planned with parents and carers to talk about what the team has to offer. At this first visit it will be decided how often and where the visits will take place. Visits can be at home, at the child’s early years setting or a combination of both.

Early Years Referral Form

Does the service run all year?

No, the team runs on an academic timetable for 38 weeks of the year.

Will information about me and my child be shared with other services?

We will share information about your child with other appropriate services to enable us to support them. However, we will never pass information to another service without your knowledge and only after we receive a signature from a parent or guardian giving us permission to do so.

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