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Early Years Team and Portage

A photo of wooden blocks which spell the word support

Early Years Team

If your child has SEND and attends a local childcare setting, there's support available for the setting's staff, from Herefordshire Council’s Early Years Team.

The team, which contains specialist early years teachers, are able to take referrals from childcare providers for individual children, with the parent’s permission.  They can then visit the setting to observe the child and discuss how the setting can further help to support the child.

They can also provide training for a childcare setting's staff, which can help develop a range of expertise, in order to support children with SEND.

If a child needs a high level of support within a childcare setting, the council is able to make a contribution towards the cost of this support.  This contribution would normally 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 special educational needs or disabilities.

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.

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.

To contact either the Early Years Team or Portage, please e-mail