A trained Portage home visitor will visit the home on a weekly or fortnightly basis and work alongside parents and carers to provide structured activities that will stimulate their child's development and support early learning. These activities are broken down into easily taught steps and practiced and recorded at home, as learning is often easier for the child in familiar surroundings. The service also supports children with social communication difficulties or autism.
If a child's special needs are identified at a very early age then they may receive help from the Portage service. Portage home visitors work jointly with other professionals involved in the child's care, health and education to ensure that everyone is working together to plan activities that are best suited to the child and their whole family. The Portage service can also offer some targeted group activities.
Portage continues until your child is 3 years old and receives 15 hours a week of free early education. When your child starts attending pre-school or nursery provision, the Portage home visitor will liaise with the key staff, offering support over the transition period. Home visits will also stop if your child no longer needs the service.
The Portage service for Kingston and Richmond has an open referral policy. Parents and professionals can refer children for consideration. All families receive an initial home visit to explain the service in full.
The service is term time only and free but families must be resident in either Kingston or Richmond borough to receive support.
You can find out more in our leaflets:
Portage - Information for parents (opens a pdf)
Portage Plus - Information for parents (opens a pdf)
Portage - Information for professionals (opens a pdf)
You can also read more about Portage on the National Portage Association website
Contact the Portage service co-ordinator for more information or to make a referral:
Download Request for Involvement form (opens a Word doc)
Portage Service Co-ordinator
Phone: 020 8547 6698