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The Early Years Inclusion Team

The Childcare and Early Years Service (CEYS) is committed to provide equal opportunities for all children regardless of their needs. The team ensures children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) are included by:

  • providing a welcoming approach to children with additional needs and their families
  • using flexible educational arrangements according to a child's needs
  • providing extra services and support in a child's home or setting
  • supporting families and practitioners
  • offer access to high quality SEND training
  • ensuring staff deliver high quality teaching to all children 

About the Early Years Inclusion Team

The Early Years Inclusion Team (EYIT) forms part of CEYS and offers support for children with SEND aged 0 to 5 years. The team consists of Early Years Area Special Educational Needs Coordinators (Early Years Area SENCo) and Portage Home Visitors (PHV) qualified and experienced in working with pre-school aged children.

EYIT works with families at home, private nurseries and pre-schools to:

  • assess children's educational needs and track their progress
  • provide bespoke programmes to help children's development
  • work in conjunction with and advise families and practitioners
  • form a link with relevant Government departments and other organisations
  • ensure effective transition to nursery or school

The team works with other professionals to raise awareness of children's additional educational needs through early identification. EYIT offers training and intervention to promote inclusion for all pre-school children with SEND, and to remove barriers to learning.

The programmes help stimulate the development of children using a variety of activities based on development through play.

Ages 5+

Children and settings no longer have access to the service once children reach statutory school age. If necessary, further support can be accessed via the school attended by the child. For more information or to know more about the support available for school aged children see SEND.

Service offered

Portage Home Visitors

PHVs provide support to parents and carers and children with SEND in the family home.

They also assist children's transitions from home to nurseries or schools by liaising with these settings and other professionals involved.

Portage Home Visitors will:

  • make regular planned home visits
  • help to set developmental goals
  • model activities and strategies for parents to implement at home
  • provide support and strategies around behaviour
  • suggest practical ways to aid children's learning and development
  • provide information particularly regarding early education issues
  • liaise with other relevant professionals

Stay and play groups

The team also runs regular Stay and Play Groups. These groups are offered on a weekly basis to provide stimulating and challenging activities for all ages and stages within the 0 to 4 age range.

Stay and Play Groups are currently not held due to COVID restrictions.

Stay and Play Groups provide:

  • support for parental involvement in their child's learning and development through observation and collaborative discussion about their unique child
  • an environment with core experiences that support positive interactions between adults and children
  • staff who model sensitive and respectful adult interactions that support children's individual learning and development based on child-initiated play
  • ideas, activities and opportunities that can be replicated in the home environment
  • the opportunity for children to meet and play alongside other children
  • parents/carers with the opportunity to meet with other similar families
  • help children to develop skills necessary to transition confidently into a nursery or school setting

Early Years Area SENCos

The Early Years Area SENCos are professional consultants providing educational guidance to Early Years childcare providers in meeting the needs of all pre-school children with SEND. Practice is based on the principles of inclusion, integration, equal opportunities and differentiation.

Early Years Area SENCos will:

  • develop and share good practice
  • provide advice and practical support to Early Years settings to identify needs, assess and intervene as necessary
  • support setting based SENCos, managers and practitioners to ensure arrangements are in place for children with SEND
  • develop and deliver training to individual settings and on a wider basis
  • link with school based SENCos and other professionals to support smooth transitions
  • promote effective work with parents/carers by providing advice and informing of support services
  • track development and write summaries of children's progress

Request for involvement

If parents, carers have any concerns about their child's development, they should discuss these concerns with a:

  • health visitor
  • general practitioner or,
  • early years setting, pre-school attended by the child

If additional support or monitoring is required, referrals are accepted from the relevant professional involved or childcare provider by submitting the request for involvement form:

Request for Involvement form

Requests must be submitted by the Friday before the meeting to allow time for all applications to be processed. Requests submitted outside of these dates will be considered in exceptional circumstances.

​EYIT request for involvement meeting dates 2021 to 2022

​Request due in by

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Friday 10 September 2021

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Friday 15 October 2021

Tuesday 30 November 2021

Friday 26 November 2021

Tuesday 18 January 2022

Friday 14 January 2022

Tuesday 1 March 2022

Friday 25 February 2022

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Friday 22 April 2022

Tuesday 7 June 2022

Friday 3 June 2022




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