Last updated:

9th April 2024

Support in nursery or pre-school

How nurseries, pre-schools and childminders support children with SEND

All nurseries, pre-schools and childminders who are registered with Ofsted follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. The framework makes sure that there’s support in place for children with SEND.

The support we expect these early years settings to provide is described in our Ordinarily Available Provision document.

Ordinarily Available Provision – A Graduated Response SEND Support PVI and Early Years (PDF document)

Nurseries, pre-schools and childminders who receive funded hours must publish the support they offer children with SEND.

You can use our SEND Local Offer Directory to:

You can also contact non-funded Ofsted registered childminders to discuss your child’s needs and the support they offer.

If your child does not go to a nursery, pre-school or childminder and you think they might need extra help, you can speak to:

How a SENCO can help

Every nursery and pre-school has a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO). Your child’s nursery or pre-school teacher can refer you to them.

SENCOs are trained to identify children with special educational needs (SEN) and make sure they get all the help they need.

They support with:

  • co-ordinating the help children need day to day
  • discussing individual targets with the parents which will become an Early Years Intervention Plan (EYIP)
  • offering advice to key workers

Dingley’s Promise

If your child is under 5 years, Dingley’s Promise can help answer your questions about your child’s development and give you advice on where to go for help.

Find out more on the Dingley’s Promise website.

Extra support for your child

We offer services to support children with SEND before they start their Reception year at school. Find out more about support in schools.

Support from our Early Years Team

Our Early Years Team provides support to school nursery classes, day nurseries and pre-schools as well as childminders. This support could be:

  • an online discussion about your child’s needs and ways to help them
  • a visit to your child's nursery or early years setting to observe the support they are currently getting
  • a discussion with you on how best to support your child

An early years SENCO, an educational psychologist or an early years advisor may be allocated to support the early years setting.

To access this service, the SENCO at your child's nursery, childminder or early years setting needs to make a request to the Early Years Team for support, with your permission.

Early Years Inclusion Funding (EYIF)

Early years settings can also apply for Early Years Inclusion Funding if they feel they need it to meet a child’s special educational needs.

To find out more, download and read about Funding to support Learners who have Special Educational Needs (PDF document)

How to request support

To request support from the Early Years Team and apply for EYIF, visit Special Educational Needs and Inclusion on the Wokingham School Hub website.

Home teaching service

The Early Years Inclusion Teachers provides a home teaching service, also known as a portage service, for children with the most complex needs. They will visit a child in their home and work with them and their family.

Find out more about the Early Years Portage service.

If your child gets SEN support and it is not enough

Your child may need an education, health and social care plan (EHCP) if they need more support than is available through SEN support.

An EHCP sets out a child or young person's special educational, health and social needs and how those needs should be met.

Find out more about what an EHCP is, who they are for, when they can help, and how to requests an assessment.

Moving to primary school

If your child has an EHCP, it will continue when they move up to primary school.

Find out about transition: moving schools and through education.

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