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Early Years Team and Portage

Adult with three young children at childcare setting

Early Years Team

If your child has special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and attends a local childcare setting, there  is support available for the setting's staff from Herefordshire Council’s Early Years Team.

The team, which includes specialist early years teachers, are able to take referrals from childcare providers for individual children, with parental consent. They will visit the setting to observe your child and discuss how the setting can best meet their individual needs.

They can also provide training for a childcare setting's staff which can help develop their expertise and skills in supporting children with SEND. If a child needs a high level of support within a childcare setting, the council can help with the cost of this support.  This extra funding might be for extra staff, training or specialist resources. 


The Portage Early Education Programme, is a home teaching scheme for families with a pre-school aged child  (between 0 and 4 years old) who may have SEND.

A referral to portage is usually made by health visitors, paediatricians or physiotherapists, using the relevant referral form on Herefordshire Council's website.  To find out more about portage, take a look at the National Portage Association website.

A Portage Worker from Herefordshire Council will liaise with parents to identify long term goals before starting to take small steps to support the child with their development.  The aim of each home visit is to decide on a play-based activity, which is grounded in everyday situations, which the whole family can enjoy and practice together to provide fun and success for the child.

To contact either the Early Years Team or Portage, please e-mail or call 01432 383166.