Support and training for early years practitioners

What free services we provide to support early years practitioners who support children with SEND up to the age of four

We support early years practitioners and early years settings to:

  • provide appropriate interventions for a child’s needs
  • develop strategies and targets for children’s Individual Education Plans
  • monitor and review a child’s progress
  • understand special educational needs processes and procedures

All early years settings get up to six visits each academic year. At the visits there’s an opportunity to talk about:

  • the early years environment
  • staff training needs
  • the requirements of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (including following a graduated approach) and how the setting is meeting these
  • individual children that a setting has concerns about

We record all visits and identify any areas for development with the setting.
We review the areas for development in visits that follow after.

Support for children with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder

To get support for a child with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder fill in the Early Years Portage and Inclusion Team Referral Form (word doc).

To return the application to us you must follow our secure email guidance

Email completed applications to

We provide training to:

  • special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs) and other early years practitioners to support and develop their knowledge of SEND
  • help all those working with children in the early years to create inclusive and effective early learning environments

We have a wide range of specialist equipment and information to support the inclusion of young children. This is available from our Early Years Inclusion Resource Library and is for all early years providers, including childminders.

Portage home visiting service for families

We offer a home visiting educational and support service called portage for children from birth to five years old with SEND.

How to refer

We accept referrals from:

  • parents
  • professionals

Fill in the Early Years Portage and Inclusion Team Referral Form (word doc) .

To return the application to us you must follow our secure email guidance.

Email completed applications to .


If you have any queries about the Early Years Portage and Inclusion Service you can email .


Ordinarily Available Provision

Ordinarily Available Provision (pdf, 570KB) is the resources and support we expect to be available for children and young people with SEND in mainstream education settings, including all early years settings. This information is for parents and carers of children with SEND, and the professionals who work with them.

The information in the document is divided into two sections.

Section 1: Expectations

Section 1 covers:

  • assessment
  • partnerships
  • pastoral care
  • the learning environment
  • teaching and learning strategies
  • resources
  • staff skills and training
  • transition and transfer


Section 2: Support for broad areas of need

Section 2 covers:

  • cognition and learning
  • communication and interaction
  • social, emotional and mental health
  • sensory and physical needs

Inclusion contacts

Dawn Butler, Early Years Manager: Inclusion

Heather Mundy, Gypsy Roma Travellers

Anne Mortimore, EYFS Support Teacher