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Early Years Local Offer Page

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In September 2014, the Department for Education published a early years guide for SEND. This guide is for early years providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors that are funded by the local authority. Unless otherwise stated, ‘early years providers’ in this document covers all these providers. The guide is designed to help managers and staff understand their statutory duties and responsibilities under the reforms in the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to children in their care who have or may have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

Early years: Guide to the 0 to 25 SEND Code of Practice

Expectations and aspirations for children with SEN

The principles being provided by the SEND Code of Practice are as follows:

All children are entitled to an education that enables them to: 

  • achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, and 

  • become confident young children with a growing ability to communicate their own views and ready to make the transition into compulsory education 

Providers of early years education, that is all early years providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors that a local authority funds, are required to have regard to this Code including the principles set out in Chapter 1 in the Code of Practice.

Early Support

Parent's early observations of their child are crucial. Children with more complex development and sensory needs may be identified at birth.  Health assessments, such as the hearing screening test, which is used to check the hearing of all new-born babies, enable very early identification of a range of medical and physical difficulties.  Health services, including paediatricians, the family’s general practitioner , and health visitors, should work with the family, support them to understand their child’s needs and help them to access appropriate services. 

Early Support supports the better delivery and co-ordination of services for disabled children, and their families, including training for professional or trained independent volunteers providing a single point of contact or key working. 

Progress Checks at age 2

When a child is aged between two and three, early years practitioners must review progress and provide parents with a short written summary of their child’s development, focusing in particular on communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development.

This progress check must identify the child’s strengths and any areas where the child’s progress is slower than expected. If there are significant emerging concerns (or identified SEN or disability) practitioners should develop a targeted plan to support the child, involving other professionals.

Visit the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework website

Children’s Centres

There is a Children’s Centre Cluster in every township of the borough. The centres offer a range of support for families with children under five.

Find out more about your local Children’s Centre

Childcare and Early Education

The EYFS framework sets the standards that all Ofsted-registered early years providers, and schools offering early years provision, must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. This includes ongoing assessment of children’s progress.

Early years providers and educational settings should have arrangements in place that include a clear approach to assessing SEN. This should be part of the setting’s overall approach to monitoring the progress and development of all children. Many nurseries offer enhanced provision to children with special needs, others offer a specialist service where the child would be unable to attend a mainstream nursery.


Help with childcare and leisure costs  

There are a number of sources of funding to pay for childcare. Early Education Funding is available to all 3 & 4 year olds from the term after their third birthday. Time for twos funding may be available depending on your financial circumstances.

For more information on paying for childcare if you are a student or on a low income please see on Childcare costs.

Some families may prefer to purchase their own Short Breaks services and this can be done via direct payments. Short breaks programmes contain more information or contact Children with disabilities services

The Options+ Leisure Discount Scheme offers significant savings to residents and non residents on leisure activities across Dudley.

Specialist Early Years setting

The Phoenix Centre is an independent charity in a self contained centre which runs a Pre-school and Play group for children with an additional need, developmental delay or disability who live within the borough of Dudley. The Centre is registered by OFSTED and works within the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Children from the whole borough of Dudley can attend. Transport to and from the centre is available for those children who qualify.

Dudley SENDIASS (formerly Dudley Parent Partnership Service) provides impartial information, advice and support to young people and parents, covering special educational needs (SEN), disability, health and social care

Helpline number:01384 817373
Address: Saltwells Education Centre, Bowling Green Road Netherton, Dudley DY2 9LY


Dudley SENDIASS information

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