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Early years portage

Portage is a home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with SEND and their families.

Portage aims to:

  • work with families to help them develop a quality of life and experience, for themselves and their young children, in which they can learn together, play together, participate and be included in their community in their own right
  • play a part in minimising the disabling barriers that confront young children and their families
  • support the national and local development of inclusive services for children

How portage is delivered

The portage service offers:

  1. A home visiting service using the portage model (5 star rating) which includes:
    • helping families and children learn together
    • providing strategies and targets to support children’s development
    • providing ideas for play/teaching activities to support parents/carers in stimulating their child’s development
    • supporting parents/carers in developing their knowledge regarding special educational needs processes and procedures
  2. Groups which support families with specific strategies and which give families the opportunity to meet other families who also have children with additional needs (these groups run dependent on current need and can include First Steps, Next Steps, Step by Step (particularly for children with social communication needs) and Forest Steps)

Portage supports the positive transfer of children with special educational needs to the next phase of their education within the Early Years Foundation Stage.

In addition to this, the portage service also:

  • liaise with early years settings about the support they are providing for individual children’s needs which might help with developing strategies and targets for children’s individual support plans
  • have an awareness of special educational needs processes and procedures
  • liaise with other professionals with consent from parents which might include for example attending team around the child meetings

How to access portage

All referrals for support from the Portage Team need to be made on an Access and Response Team (ART) request for help form.We accept referrals from parents/carers and from any professionals. Referrals must meet current portage criteria for a service.

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