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Early Years and Childcare

Early Years and Childcare

Early years education provides children with an ideal opportunity to build on the knowledge they bring from home. It helps children become more independent and to make friends.

In these early years settings, children can choose from a wide range of activities suitable for their age and ability. They have the chance to explore mathematical and scientific ideas and the beginning of reading and writing. They have stories to listen to, books to look at and songs to sing. Play and other creative activities help develop their imagination. Indoor and outdoor play help to develop their physical skills.

Children learn in an environment where they feel happy, secure and valued.

Early Years

Early years providers are required to assess children’s needs and work with parents. 
All registered providers have an identified Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (Senco).

We provide advice, support and training to Sencos to ensure they are adequately trained to understand and meet the needs of children who may have additional requirements.

Early Years Providers have to ensure all staff are appropriately qualified and have
any additional training as required. This should be available on request.

Ongoing assessment is part of the learning and development process. Practitioners in settings will regularly observe children to understand their interests and learning styles and then plan for each individual child’s needs.

When a child is aged between two and three a setting must review their progress and provide parents with a written summary of their child’s development. This must identify the child’s strengths and any areas where progress is less than expected.

Beyond this age it is for the provider to decide what any written summary should include, but the summary must highlight areas in which a child is progressing well and where some additional support might be needed.  Where there is a concern the written summary must describe the activities and strategies the provider intends to adopt to address any issues or concerns. Practitioners must also discuss with parents how the summary of development can be used to support learning at home.

If further support is required, early years providers can undertake an Early Help Assessment and refer for support from the Early Support Pathway.

We provide a comprehensive training programme for registered early years and childcare providers to assist them in meeting the needs of children in their care. We also work closely with health colleagues to support the needs of those children who have very complex needs and potentially life limiting conditions.

Portage Service

Portage service is a home visiting educational service for pre-school children aged 0-3
with disabilities, additional support needs or developmental delay, and their families.

Portage Home Visitors are employed by Peterborough City Council to support children
and families within their local community

The key purpose of the Portage Service is to provide a framework of support to families
with pre-school children with additional needs/disabilities.

The model offers

  • regular home visiting
  • supporting the development of play, communication, relationships, and learning for young children within the family, modelled by the home visitors and targets set
  • supporting the child and family’s participation and inclusion in the community in their own right
  • working together with parents within the family, with them taking the leading role in the partnership that is established
  • helping parents to identify what is important to them and their child and plan goals for learning and participation
  • keeping a shared record of the child’s progress and other issues raised by the family
  • responding flexibly to the needs of the child and family when providing support

Specialist Support

Early Identification Officer

We offer advice, support and guidance to parents via an Early Identification Officer
who works directly with children and parents in the family home.   

The Early Identification Officer provides advice and support to families who have
a young child with complex needs. She offers support to parents in a variety of
ways including working with other partners, developmental support, assistance
with form filling and support to access an appropriate early years setting of their
choice.

She will help identity at least three settings and visit with the child and family. She will support the parent and the setting to access and organise any specialist training that may be required to assist them in meeting the child’s needs. If parents choose not to send their child to an early years setting the Early Identification Officer will support them in the process of accessing a school place when required, supporting parents with EHCP requests where relevant.   

Early Support

Early Support provides services for families with a disabled child in their pre-school years. These children will have significant and profound learning, sensory impairment, physical impairment, social and communication difficulties, autism, and other disabilities and conditions that will impact on their life long development and learning. For example;

  • Young babies leaving hospital with medical and other support needs, where parents and carers need practical help to care for their child at home
  • Children where the need for longer term additional help to address their learning and development needs becomes clear only in the second or third year of life
  • Children who have obvious multiple and significant factors affecting development and learning and those with less obvious difficulties but nevertheless will require significant additional help to address their learning and development needs on an ongoing basis.
  • Working in partnership with parents or carers, the service ensures that parents or carers are at the heart of the discussion and decision making about their children, particularly when they are in contact with many different people and agencies and need help to integrate service planning and delivery.

Early Support Coordinator

The Early Support Coordinator is the single access point for all referrals where a child in their pre-school years is identified as having additional needs. They support the family and ensure a coordinated approach to all support services/interventions. They also provide information and resources together with gathering and coordinating feedback regarding services, to provide a central point of contact for the parent/carer and professionals.To contact the early support coordinator please email:

Susan Ishmael.  Susan.ishmael@peterborough.gov.uk

Help with paying for childcare

We aim to ensure that there is adequate childcare for all parents who require it. To
support with childcare costs you may be able to access your child's two year old funding
or three and four year old funding.

Extended entitlement to 30 hours funding

From September 2017, three and four-year-olds of working parents in England will be entitled to an additional 15 hours free childcare, equalling 30 hours free per week over
38 weeks of the year (term-time) or approximately 22 hours per week each week of the year.  To find out more information and whether you qualify visit the the 30 hours free childcare for working families page.

Disability Access Fund and the Inclusion Fund

Two new measures are being introduced for 2017-18 to support children with
disabilities or SEN in receipt of three and four year old early years education funding.

The disability access fund aids access to early years places by, for example, supporting
providers in making reasonable adjustments to their settings and/or helping with
building capacity (be that for the child in question or for the benefit of children as a
whole attending the setting);

The SEN inclusion fund is to help providers’ better address the needs of individual children in their setting.

Providers can find out more information about the Disability Access Fund and the SEN Inclusion Fund on the Information for SEND Professionals page.

SEND Resources and Training

The SEND Resources and Training page hosts a collection of resources, newsletters and
training opportunities. 

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