SEN Support – Early Years

Identifying SEN

All early years providers must follow the early years foundation stage (EYFS) framework. The EYFS Framework says that early years providers must review children’s progress and share this with parents and/or carers. As part of these progress reviews, providers should have arrangements in place for identifying SEN.

They are expected to focus on:

  • communication and language
  • physical development
  • personal, social and emotional development

They must identify your child’s strengths, and any areas where your child’s progress is less than expected. If a child’s progress gives cause for concern, they must discuss this with you and agree the best activities and strategies to support your child.

Support for SEN

A delay in learning and development in the early years may or may not indicate that a child has SEN – that is, that they have a learning difficulty or disability that calls for special educational provision. But, if there are concerns, early years practitioners must consider whether a child may have a special education need or disability which requires specialist support.

If a special educational need or disability is identified, they must discuss this with you and plan appropriate support with you.  When planning, all settings should adopt a graduated approach with four stages of action: asses, plan, do and review (this is called One Planning in Essex).

What support might look like

Support in the early years might take the form of:

  • specialist support from health visitors, educational psychologists, speech and language therapists, teacher of the deaf or vision impaired;
  • support for parents in using early learning programmes to promote play, communication and language development.

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