Special educational needs support in early years

All preschool children will have their progress assessed. Between the ages of one and two, your early years setting along with your child’s health visitor should check your child’s strengths as well as areas where they may be progressing slower.  

You should receive a summary of your child’s development. This will include: 

  • personal, social and emotional development 

  • communication and language 

  • physical development 

It must tell you where your child:  

  • is making the expected progress 

  • needs extra help 

  • may have a developmental delay 

A developmental delay may indicate that your child has a special educational need or disability (SEND).  

The early years provider will discuss and agree a plan of support with you and other professionals. Your child will be at SEN support stage and they will use a graduated approach plan, with four actions in the cycle:  

  • assess 

  • plan 

  • do  

  • review  

You can read more information about how education settings and schools should support children at SEN Support .  

With your permission the early years provider can contact the Early Years Team for further advice and can access support from an Early Intervention Officer (EIO) or a Setting Support Officer who will visit and provide further advice and strategies appropriate for your child’s needs. The EIOs will work with others involved with your child and support the setting with an EHC needs assessment application if this is required. They will also support any transition process.   

Early Years Advisers provide support during the Reception year in school and will become involved with your child during the transition process.  

If your child has SEN support in place and is still not making process, they may need to have an assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).