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Due to essential maintenance, our online payment system will not be unavailable between 1.00pm and 4.00pm on 21 August 2022. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

We're encouraging young people, parents and carers to share their views on the recent government green paper, which affects what is offered to those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Have your say at Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Review: Right support, right place, right time before 5.00pm on 17 June 2022.

Support in the early years

All early years settings - such as nurseries, playgroups and childminders - that are registered with Ofsted have to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This framework makes sure that there's support in place for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

This includes providing you with a written progress check when your child is 2 years old, ongoing observations of your child's progress, and a written assessment in the summer term of reception year in school. Your child's health visitor will also carry out a health check on your child when they are about 2 and a half.

If your child has special educational needs they will be able to receive SEN support arranged by the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO). 

If your child needs more help than the early years setting can normally provide, they may need an Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessments and plans.

What if I think my child has special educational needs but they don't go to a nursery, playgroup or childminder?

Talk to a doctor or health adviser if you think your child has SEN but they don't go to a nursery, playgroup or childminder. They'll tell you what support options are available.

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

Durham Portage Service is a home visit educational service for preschool children who have development learning difficulties, physical disability or other additional support needs. We will work with you to help your child learn new skills and our trained staff will offer weekly home visits.

Find out more on our The Portage Service: pre-school education support service for children with complex developmental needs page.




Contact us
Early Years SEND, Equalities and Inclusion
03000 266 645
Our address is:
  • Children and Young People's Services
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UJ