image of a boy being cared for by an adult

Nurseries, pre-schools, school nurseries or childminders have the responsibility to support any children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) aged 0-5 within their setting.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework requires all childcare providers who are registered with OFSTED to complete assessments and observations of the children in their care. If additional needs are identified, the provider must have a discussion with the child’s parent or carer and with their consent follow a graduated approach to meeting the child’s needs and signpost to other professionals as needed. If extra support is still required when all other strategies have been tested then providers can refer to the Local Authority's inclusion panel for early years; this panel allocates resources from the early years special educational needs inclusion fund (EYSENDIF). 

Childcare button

EY providers

Children's Centres


Online resources 
  • Focus on SEND training is a free course aiming to help teachers and educational practitioners working across the 0 – 25 years age range to develop high quality practice in order to better meet the needs of their learners with SEND. Click here for more information and to access free online training.
  • The SEND Gateway, an online portal offering education professionals free, easy access to high quality information, resources and training for meeting the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities.