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SEND Early Years Inclusion Service (COVID-19)

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Updated 22 June 2021

The SEND Early Years Support offer includes access to a team of Specialist Support workers, Advisory teachers and Educational Psychologists.

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is affecting all aspects of Early Years for children, parents, staff and the wider network of professionals supporting the Early Years children.

Plymouth City Council's SEND service is committed to supporting children, families and schools & settings during this challenging time.

We will continue to deliver support services including:

A team of advisory teachers and specialist support workers who work with pre-school children aged 0-5 years with additional needs and/or disabilities.

Our specialist support workers offer a range of support to children, families and early years settings depending on the child's presenting need and circumstances. The team are highly skilled, experienced professionals who work in partnership with parents and other professionals to plan realistic goals, using a step-by-step approach for the children, based on their individual needs. Pre-school visits are also offered to ensure continuity of strategies and approaches between the home and nursery environments. The specialist support workers work within 3 different areas but there is flexibility across the team to work with all children. They are all highly skilled, experienced professionals who help parents and children learn together and play together.

The team work in the family home to provide early help for pre-school aged children with additional needs and/or disabilities and their families using:

  • Child led play
  • Family focused approach
  • Structured teaching

The team provide intensive support to children aged 0 - 5 years who have complex social communication needs and/or a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition. They will:

  • Provide intensive, individualised support within the home and in Early Years settings
  • Provide parents/carers with relevant strategies and resources for their children.
  • Deliver training for Early Years settings around social communication needs and Autism Spectrum Condition.

The team also work with early years providers and settings to ensure that they can support children with additional and/or disabilities. They will also support transitions from pre-school to primary school when required.

The SEND Early Years offer provides Inclusion funding to settings who may require extra staffing levels to support children with additional and/or disabilities who attend their setting.

Please be assured that our referral process is operating as normal and we will ensure that all children and families that require additional support receive this in a timely manner.

Our Advisory Teachers provide advice to parents and professionals to ensure children with complex disabilities receive a positive experience when they start attend pre-school. They work directly with children, their parents, carers and staff primarily in settings and in the home when required. They also work in partnership with a range of multi-agency professionals to advise and develop strategies to enable all children to access learning and play opportunities. When children are due for school Advisory Teachers work with parents and professionals to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for children with additional needs and disabilities into the foundation stage of school through the Transition Plus policy.

During this challenging period, the teams are largely working in a remote way to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. They are providing What's App video calls, video training, telephone support and attending virtual meetings using the latest technology.

However, they are still visiting homes and settings where it is felt essential to see a child in a face-to-face way. These visits are always carried out after extensive discussions with the family or setting and with the utmost safety precautions.

The SEND team can be contacted by emailing or calling 0752 305252

View additional SEND information in the COVID-10 section.

If you have any questions or feedback about these pages please email

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