If your child is attending nursery or preschool

If your child is nursery age and you are concerned you should speak to the 'SENCo' (SEN Co-ordinator) in your child's school or nursery.

Special Educational Needs Coordinator

All group childcare settings such as nurseries and after-school clubs will have a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo).

The role of the SENCo involves:

  • ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting's approach to identifying and meeting SEN.
  • advising and supporting colleagues.
  • ensuring parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting.
  • liaising with professionals or agencies beyond the setting.

You should not be charged extra because your child has a disability or special educational needs. There may be additional funds available to support your child in a setting and the SENCo in the setting will be able to discuss this with you.

SENCos are supported in their role by the setting's linked Inclusion and Improvement (I&I) Adviser, who is part of the Achieving for Children Early Years Service. It is the role of the I&I Adviser to fully support the setting with all aspects of inclusion. 

Should the SENCo need to widen the support for the child then they can call upon the Early Years Service to provide advice and practical support about approaches to identification, assessment and intervention. This support also includes networks, training and disseminating good practice.

When you are contacting childcare settings, speak to the SENCo and discuss how they can meet the needs of your child, including any additional equipment, language support or other assistance they may need. Childcare providers should make "reasonable adjustments" to their services so that your child has access to the same activities as anyone else.

Here is a video about from the Family and Childcare Trust website.  This short film looks at how an inclusive early years setting in Suffolk has easily made minor adaptations to their care in order to look after children who have additional needs.

To watch more videos like this and for other useful information about inclusive childcare visit:

Family and Childcare Trust website

Read more about "The Duty to make Reasonable Adjustments" on the Local Offer section of this website