Young children with teacher

Under 5s

Our aim is to ensure that Reading’s young children have the best start in life with easy access to maternity, health, education and support services.

Under 5 with SEND

What to do if I am concerned my child may have special educational needs?

If you are concerned that your child may have special educational needs and/or a disability you should speak to your Health Visitor and your GP about your concerns.

Speech and language drop-in clinics

If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, you can access speech and language drop-in centres at your local children centres to seek advice from a therapist. You can access the speech and language from all children centre hubs.

More information can be found here about the drop-in sessions, or click here for the Children’s Centre Facebook page.

If your child attends a childcare setting you should speak to your setting’s Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCO) who will be able to discuss your concerns, and implement a SEND support plan where yourself and the setting work together to work on those areas of concern to help your child make progress.

The setting SENCO can also refer to the Early Years Advisory Teacher for SEND for further advice and guidance on how best to support your child. Parents can also refer to the Early Years Advisory Service for their child’s setting.

More information about the Advisory Teacher can be found here.

For further information about speech and language for under 5s please click here.

Where can I find information about services for my child with SEND?

Children Centre ‘Together Time and Family’

This group runs in each of the hubs and is a fun, interactive session developed to provide a “stay and play” session that is planned to support your child with school readiness based on individual needs including emerging or diagnosed Special Educational Needs or Disabilities.

It provides an opportunity for parent peer support and networking as well as activities for the children to extend their learning and development. Speakers from different services are invited to come to the group, as requested by parents.

Click here for our Facebook page where the most up to date programme is available, or please contact us at readingchildrencentres@rbrighterfuturesforchildren.org where we will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

Ready steady nursery!

We know how important it is for children to be school ready and therefore we run groups that enable parents and children to understand the transition to school/nursery process. We offer practical sessions that really help your children when they start school/nursery.

Click here for our Facebook page where the most up to date programme is available, or please contact us at readingchildrencentres@brighterfuturesforchildren.org where we will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

Parenting courses

Evidence based parenting courses can be accessed via your local Children’s Centre throughout the year.

Please click here to see the next course dates.

Click here for our Facebook page where the most up to date programme is available, or please contact us at readingchildrencentres@brighterfuturesforchildren.org where we will be happy to answer any queries you may have.

Portage Home Visiting Service

The Reading Portage Service is a Home Teaching Programme for Reading families who have pre-school children (0–4 years) who have been recognised as needing additional support with their development.

Portage families are visited in their own home by a trained Portage Home Visitor who offers developmental support, encouragement and advice. In partnership with parents we design and record stimulating activities to encourage children to meet their individual learning goals, we also offer support with their transition into a nursery or school.

Requests for involvement can come directly from parents and carers or professionals (with parental consent) through the Children’s Single Point of Access. Contact Jessica Kenward on 0118 937 4698 or 07773197126.

Autism Advisory Service

If your child has been diagnosed with Autism, you can access the Autism Advisory Service which offers home visits and access to parenting courses as well as networking for parents.

More information can be found here.

How do I choose a childcare setting for my child with SEND?

At Brighter Futures for Children, we are committed to ensuring that all Early Years Settings are able to support children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities.

All settings are expected to be inclusive of all children and can seek advice from the Early Years Team if they are unsure how best to support your child.

You can find out more information about childcare providers and each setting’s experience of supporting children with SEND on the Local Offer web pages and looking at their Local Offer Submissions here.

We also have two specialist Early Years Settings in Reading that you may also wish to consider for your child:

  • Snowflakes at New Bridge Nursery (A specialist unit for children with ASD)
  • Dingley’s Promise (A Specialist Nursery for children with additional needs)

What support is there for my child when they attend a childcare setting?

Settings can seek advice from the Early Years Advisory Teacher for SEND to also support your child.

Further information can be found here.

Early years SEND funding for settings

Disability Access Funding (DAF)

DAF is funding available for 3 and 4 year olds, that settings can apply for if the family are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance for the child. It is £615 per year to enable the setting to purchase equipment/resources or make adaptations that are required to support the child to be able to access the Early Years Setting.

Further information about DAF and how settings can apply can be found here.

Early Years Inclusion Funding

Early Years Inclusion Funding is funding available for 3 and 4 year olds that settings can apply for to provide additional support in the setting. The process involves the SENCO applying and attending an Inclusion Funding panel (held monthly) to discuss the child’s needs and the additional funding they are applying for. This funding is to be used to put interventions and strategies in place to support the child, and is not recommended to be used for a 1:1 adult for your child.

Further information about Inclusion Funding and how settings can apply can be found here.

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