Helping children with specialist educational needs

The Early Years Inclusion Service supports young children with complex needs at home and the transition into early years settings.

Our Early Years Inclusion Team includes Specialist Teachers and Teaching Assistants who work with young children who have additional needs. Our team also includes Portage Home Visitors who work with under 3s in their homes.  

We take referrals from parents, health professionals and nursery staff and work with children from birth to the end of foundation stage, both in their homes and in early year settings. A team of Portage Home Visitors work with under 3s in their homes.

We also offer an extensive range of training for practitioners working with children with additional needs. Our training and development brochure is available in every Early Years setting in Sheffield.

Special Educational Needs support for 5 year olds and under (Early Years Action)

If your child needs special help with their learning, pre-schools or nurseries*, we may provide this through a way of helping children called Early Years Action.

Your child's teachers or Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) will discuss your child's needs with you, assess their needs and decide what help to give. You should be asked about the help your child is given and its results.

*If your child is not attending a nursery, playgroup or other childcare, you can talk to us. We can help you find appropriate childcare, or more advice about special educational needs. Alternatively you can contact your local children's centre.

What Early Years Action provides

Help under Early Years Action could mean a different way of teaching certain things, or some help from an extra adult. This help, and the short-term targets for your child's learning, may be written down in a document called an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Alternatively your child's progress may be recorded in the same way as it is for all other children.

Early Years Action Plus

If your child does not make enough progress in Early Years Action, their teacher or SENCO should talk to you about getting further help.

This could be from, for example, a specialist teacher or a speech therapist. This kind of help is called Early Years Action Plus.

External specialists may start by making an assessment of what is needed.  Specialists advise on the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and sometimes teach or help your child directly.

If your child needs a large amount of help or extra resources, we may agree to provide this through Early Years Action Plus. They might also decide to make a statutory assessment.

A statutory assessment (often known simply as an 'assessment') brings in a number of specialists to decide what extra help your child needs. 

Other services

Specialist teaching for visually impaired pupils

We work together to support the needs of visually impaired children and their families from 0 to 25 years, while ever they are in full time education.

Our team consists of Specialist Teachers, Rehabilitation Workers, Teaching Assistants, Technicians and Business Support.

Service for deaf and hearing impaired children

We provide support and advice to deaf and hearing impaired children, young people and their families, from 0 to school leaving age.

Our team includes Specialist Teachers of the Deaf, Teaching Assistants, and a Deaf Instructor.

We provide support to families at home, and mainstream nurseries and schools on a visiting basis. There are also a number of mainstream schools where we base specialist staff to meet the needs of deaf and hearing impaired children (Integrated Resource Provision).

We work closely with Hearing Services at Sheffield Children's Hospital, and the Speech and Language Therapy Service.

Sheffield Early Years Language Centre

The Sheffield Early Years Language Centre offers specialist provision for one term to children with identified speech and language impairments.

Contact Special Education Needs Team

Level 5
North Wing
Moorfoot Building
S1 4PL

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