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Home-based teaching for pre-school children with additional support needs


Find out about our home-based teaching service, called portage, which is for pre-school children with additional support needs and their families.

What is portage?

We are a home visit educational service for preschool children who have development learning difficulties, physical disability or other additional support needs. We

  • work with parents/carers to help their children learn new skills and 
  • offer weekly home visits by trained staff.

Who is the portage service for?

Families living in County Durham who have a preschool child with additional support needs:

  • children from birth to three and a half years old
  • children who may have identified difficulties from birth or
  • children whose development becomes a cause for concern.

How do you access the service?

If you think we could help you and your child please contact us.

How does portage work?

We will talk to you about the service we can offer: Together we will decide if you and your child would benefit from the service 

  • we acknowledge that you know your child best and will offer help to improve this
  • we find out what your child can already do
  • we will work with you to plan activities so that your child learns new skills in "small steps"
  • our activities promote development through play 
  • a few minutes is needed each day when your family can practise and record the activities with your child.

What families tell us about portage

"My child's development progressed rapidly after her weekly visits began. She has grown into a confident independent little girl."

"My son has achieved so much and I believe this to be mostly due to the experience and involvement of the service."

"We looked forward to the Portage visits and enjoyed the activities between visits."

Durham Portage Service is registered with the National Portage Association and we base our service delivery on its recommended guidelines.

SEND and Inclusion course directory

The Icon for pdf SEND and Inclusion course directory 2017/18 (PDF, 1.7mb)  includes details of courses available during 2017/18. The courses are mainly for school staff but parents, child care providers, health workers can also book onto these courses if appropriate.

Contact us
Durham Portage Service
03000 263 350
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • Education Development Centre
  • Enterprise Way
  • Spennymoor
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL16 6YP
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