Your child's first 5 years are a very important time for their development. This is when special educational needs and disabilities are often identified for the first time. Getting the right support for you and your child at this time can make a real difference.
Health visitors and school nurses
Your Health Visitor can help make sure that you have the right health support to meet your child's needs. If your child is at school, your school's nurse can also assist. Both these services are provided by the council.
Find out more about children's public health services.
Early education and childcare
Most children aged 0-5 years with special educational needs or disabilities have their early educational needs met in a nursery or with a childminder. A range of support is available to enable children aged 2 to 4 with special educational needs and disabilities to take up their funded childcare entitlements. See childcare for more information.
There is a range of support available to enable children aged 2, 3 and 4 years with special educational needs and disabilities to access their funded childcare entitlements. See the document below for more information.
30 hours case study
The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a campaign to promote and raise awareness of the benefits that using 30 hours childcare can have for working families. Florentina from Brent shares her story of how 30 hours allowed her to increase her working hours while her son Erik, who has special educational needs, received speech and language therapy through his nursery. Hear more from Florentina and other families who have benefited from 30 hours here:
Portage and pre-school home teaching
The portage and pre-school home teaching service is offered to young children with special needs. The service is available from your child's birth until they join a school-based nursery or reception class. The service can provide early years structured teaching and support parents and carers in promoting their child’s learning and development.
Your Health Visitor will be able to give you more information about this service.
Dene Communication Centre
Dene Communication Centre (DCC), which is part of the authority wide commissioned Language and Communication Team, is situated within Benton Dene Schools.
Dene Communication Centre offers targeted, intensive, multi-agency intervention for nursery aged children who have identified speech, language and communication needs. This may be provided by attendance at the DCC nursery classroom for 2 days per week over an eight week block (in-reach), or as an outreach provision in the child's current nursery setting. Decisions about the type of provision offered to children who meet the criteria for DCC are made following the selection panel when places are allocated, the aim is to ensure that the child receives the type of support that will promote the most sustained progress for them. Joint applications are made to this service, with parental consent, by the child’s nursery setting and their Speech and Language Therapist.
Telephone: (0191) 643 2947