3. Support from providers

You can find out about the support available from childcare providers by checking their local offer on our childcare directory, the provider's website or by contacting the provider.

Early years providers registered with Ofsted follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework (external link). The framework makes sure that there is support in place for children with special educational needs (SEN).

If your child has a disability the provider has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your child. Depending on the nature of the disability, this may include simple adaptations to the physical environment and other aspects of day to day life that may impact on the disability. It may also include the provision of equipment.

Assessing your child's needs

If your child is already in childcare and you are concerned about their development or learning, talk to your child's key worker. If you still have concerns you can ask for a meeting with the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO).

Your childcare provider will consult you if they have concerns about your child's progress.

Early years providers use a process called SEN support to identify and meet the needs of children with SEN. It uses the assess-plan-do-review cycle and is often known as a   'graduated approach'. 

They may carry out assessments on your child. They may also ask your permission to contact another agency to see if they can offer some support. You should be kept informed about all the help your child is getting from the provider or other organisations.

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Early years and childcare