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Support for young children who have complex special educational needs.

The Early Years Special Educational Needs service provides county wide support for young children who have complex special educational needs. Teams are based throughout Derbyshire and travel from Ripley, Chesterfield and Buxton.

The service works with children from birth until they go to school. With parental permission anyone, including parents, can make a referral to the service.

The service consists of the Derbyshire Portage Service (DPS) and Early Years SEN Specialist teachers. All members of the team have experience and expertise in working with children who have complex needs.

A referral form for specialist teachers and the Derbyshire Portage Service referral form can be found on the Derbyshire Local Offer.

Portage Home Visitors work with parents and children at home, Specialist Teachers in non-maintained early years settings. All staff will also support the child as they transition into new or different provisions. They will help access funding streams or additional resources and be sure that the child has every opportunity to succeed through the next phase of their education.

In line with the 2015 SEND Code of Practice, referrals to the EYSEN specialist teaching service must contain evidence of the graduated response. Within the Code of Practice, specialist support services are identified at the specialist level of support and not universal or targeted. As such any referrals to the EYSEN service that do not show evidence of intervention through the assess, plan, do, review model, will be declined.

NHS colleagues, please note that a report from the early years setting the child attends will be required. As above, this report must clearly identify the interventions that the setting has already made through the graduated response and not just be a description of the child's development levels.

Once the referral is agreed and confirmed, the EYSEN specialist teachers will regularly meet the child and provide advice to the early years setting. Regular reports are provided and the service will work closely with any other professionals involved with the child.

Portage Home Visitors (PHV) visit and provide learning outcomes for children who do not attend early years settings. Through play, the PHV model for parents and carers shows the best outcomes for the child to make progress. PHV can also help the family navigate SEND pathways ad provisions available from the council.

Specialist Teachers and Portage Home Visitors deliver an extensive range of training, which is available to maintained, non-maintained (private, independent and voluntary sector) nurseries, parents, DCC employees and other support services.  Training includes Makaton, sensory processing, ASD, promoting positive behaviour and much more. The service offers bespoke training and will cater for your individual requirements on request.

For further guidance, please visit Local Offer website:

Early Years SEN

Early Years SEN Inclusion Fund 

Early Years SEN celebratory checkpoints

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