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SEND in the Early Years

Children have a lot to learn in the early years of their life.  They learn more quickly in the early years than at any other time and the brain grows faster during this period.  What children learn provides the foundation of their life and shapes any future learning as well as their health, growth, happiness and general development.  They need to develop physically and emotionally as well as academically to be 'school ready'.  The structure and shape of the brain is formed within the first 3 years of life so early experiences during this time are critical.  This is when connections are made in the brain based on these experiences, and this in turn has a direct impact on learning skills as well as social and emotional well-being. 

However, sometimes, for different reasons, some children do not make these connections and can be identified as having additional needs.  Staff will be required to make reasonable adjustments in order to meet their learning needs. 

If there are concerns about a child's development then the Early Help process should be started.  This can be done by any professional that is involved with the child:

This will be discussed at an EY panel meeting where it will be allocated to an Area Senco or a Specialist Advisory Teacher depending on the level of need. 

A specialist advisory teacher (SAT)

  • provides  advice and support to families, schools and settings with regard to EY children with SEND to  maximise opportunities for the child's development.
  • aims to improve the educational outcomes for children in the Early Years (age 0-5) with complex health and development needs
  • works in partnership with parents/carers and staff to achieve the best outcomes for their children
  • encourages an inclusive approach in schools and settings
  • works in partnership with other agencies to support families and children in a coherent manner

What else do we do?

  • We liaise with Area SENCO's, Speech Therapists, Health Visitors, Paediatricians, Educational Psychologists, staff in children's centres and other members of the Specialist Advisory Team
  • We assess the strengths and needs of children in order to provide expert advice on strategies and next steps in order to support children to develop to their fullest potential
  • We monitor provision and provide advice to practitioners in order to support the development of children with EHCPs

Further information and guidance about specific needs can also be found at.......

Specific Early Years information/guidance can be found in the Cumbria SEND Handbook

For general information about Early Years Provision  eg: 2 year old funding, 30 hours provision, SEN funding, etc

For information about School Admissions and delayed entry to schools

Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

Useful documents

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