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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
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Our aim is to provide the best start in life for every child across the borough by providing quality services and support to children and their families.

The Specialist Early Years Service

The Specialist Early Years Service (SEYS) identifies and assesses children under 5 with significant special educational needs. We deliver specialist educational support for children with a range of needs from birth up to entry into reception year group.

We have an open referral system and work in the family home, in specialist settings and in mainstream early years settings. We value our partnership work with parents which we believe facilitates the best outcomes for children.

Our service aims to support families and settings to understand children’s development and needs, in a holistic way, offering advice, training and specialist strategies and resources.

Families become empowered to support their child in the most beneficial way. Our service aims to increase the capacity in early year’s settings to include all children in an effective way to achieve the best outcomes for all the children in their care.

A special Early Years panel meets regularly to consider requests for statutory assessment and, where successful, the process will complete within 20 weeks. If successful, your child will receive an Early Years Support Plan.

Early years team area SENCOs

Area SENCOs are part of the Local Authority's Early Years Educational Advisory Service and have substantial experience in advising and planning the support required for children aged from birth to five that have a wide range of special needs and disabilities.

Area SENCOs provide guidance and support as children transition either from setting to setting or from their early years setting into school.

The team provide advice and support directly to setting-based SENCOs and managers on developing a SEND policy, on the early identification of Special Educational Needs (SEN) and planning for inclusion and early intervention within the SEND Code of Practice (2014) and the Equality Act (2010).

Area SENCOs offer advice, support and training to a range of early years and childcare settings including private day nurseries, preschools, and childminders on inclusive practice and meeting the needs of all children.

The team also provide advice and support for specific children where the setting requests some help to meet the child's needs. This can only happen if written consent has been obtained from parents/carers and will usually be when there are no other services supporting the child. This may include a request to observe your child in their setting.

Area SENCOs support liaison between settings, parents/carers and other professional agencies. This may include signposting to a range of professionals and services. In addition, the team support the implementation of advice from health and education support services.

Children with medical needs

Area SENCOs offer support to ensure that providers follow a framework which supports children with Medical Needs to be inducted into their early years setting safely. Before your child starts at an early year setting you may be invited to a meeting where a Health Care Plan, Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan, Risk Assessments or specific training may need to be organised so that the early years provider is ready to meet your child’s needs.

To access an Area SENCO:
The Area SENCOs are available all year round and can be contacted directly by telephone or email.
Age ranges: 0-5

The service is delivered in consultation with parents/carers and there is no charge to parents/carers. Area SENCOs keep parents/carers informed and involved through meetings that include them and other involved professionals. We can support transition between early years settings and also between early years settings and school.

  • Shantell Gibson
    Tel: 07824 598905

    Michelle Evans
    Tel: 07824 598906