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Children with learning difficulties (0 - 4 years old)

If your child has mild or moderate learning difficulties they will be accommodated within mainstream playgroups, nurseries or schools without the need for a statutory assessment of their additional needs. Your child may require additional support and their progress may be at a slower pace than the majority of their peers. Support and training is available for the setting from the early years advisory team. In instances where children are experiencing severe learning difficulties, or where successful and sustained progress is not made, you can apply for a statutory assessment of the child's additional needs. For further information about assessments, visit our Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans section. 


The portage early education programme is a home teaching scheme for families with a child aged from birth to three years who may have additional needs. The portage worker will listen to parents and identify long term goals and then use small steps to support the child with their development. The aim of each home visit is to decide on an activity which the family can practice and enjoy together. The activities are based on play and are grounded in everyday situations to provide fun and success for the child. Referrals for portage are made through the single point of referral team (SPORT) usually from health visitors, paediatricians or physiotherapists.

For further information about portage, please visit the National portage association website.


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