Are you accessing all the help available for the cost of childcare? Childcare Choices is a Government website that can help you see what you may be entitled to. For more information on free entitlement and the Disability Fund, please go to the Wiltshire Council website.
If your child is 5, you might be wondering whether to look for information under 0-5 or 5-16. These age groupings are based on education key stages. This area is aimed at children 0-5, pre-school. If your child has started school then you may find more relevant information in our 5-16 section.
Education support – universal and targeted
Parents/carers told us that they often have to rely on word of mouth to understand what ‘good’ education support looks like. Every setting will approach support for children with special educational needs slightly differently, but we have worked with early years providers and specialists to capture a standard offer. To understand how early years settings can support children with additional needs, please enter your child’s needs and age into our Education Support page.
Education support – specialist support
Children with long-term or complex special educational needs will need specialist support. This is the kind of support provided for children who meet the statutory threshold. These are the children who will have an Education, Health and Care plan. In Wiltshire we call the EHC Plan a ‘My Plan’.
This type of support is completely person-centred, which means it will vary depending on an individual’s needs. This makes it difficult to ‘capture’ in a standard offer. Therefore, we have create a separate section to explain how education, health and care plans, or My Plans as they are known in Wiltshire, will work.
Mediation and Appeal
If you are unhappy with the educational support your family are offered, you have the right to mediation and appeal. This might be because you have been turned down in an application for support you feel you are entitled to, or because you are unhappy with the support you are being provided.
Early years funding
2 year old funding
From September 2014 the law is changing to allow more two year olds to benefit from free childcare than ever before. In Wiltshire, we have branded the funding as ‘Better 2gether Funding’.
3 and 4 year old funding
Wiltshire Council provides free early education places for all three and four year olds in Wiltshire. Free places can be provided by a variety of providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sector, including accredited child minders.
Portage is a home visiting, home education service that works with young disabled children (aged 0-5) and their families.
- Wiltshire has two Portage services. Salisbury Portage covers South Wiltshire.
- Wiltshire Portage is a local charity that covers the rest of the county.
- Portage Home Visitors are specially trained and break down learning outcomes into small steps suitable to the child’s level of ability.
- Portage works closely with both child and parent /carer to not only help the child’s development, but also to empower the parent to help their child learn.
- Portage takes a team around the child approach, so work closely with other services including the SEND Service to ensure the holistic needs of the child and their family are met.
Children’s centres provide support for parents, carers and their children.
- They are primarily aimed at children under 5 but also work with children up to 11.
- Children Centre’s offer advice and information as well as being able to direct you towards other services that may be able to help.
- Children’s Centre offer a range of services including activities, groups, individual support as well as advice on family health, parenting, money, training and employment.
- Some Centres also have sensory rooms and equipment which can be accessed by parents and carers.
- Children’s centre services are delivered through 17 dedicated children’s centre buildings, and through a network of community venues.
District specialist centres
Wiltshire has four district specialist centres, also known as Opportunity Groups. They provide setting based sessions for young children (aged 0-5) with special education needs and/or disability (SEND) and support for parents/ carers.
Each service has specially trained staff and equipment to ensure they can meet the needs of all children including those with the most profound and complex needs including complex health needs.
The District Specialist Centre is also a local hub for specialist services for young disabled children so families can access health professionals such as speech and language (these services can also be accessed through professional referral). They take a team around the child approach, so work closely with other services including the SEND Service to ensure the holistic needs of the child and their family are met.
Additional support and information is available to help children and young people when moving through different phases of education e.g. from Early Years to school, from primary to secondary school. All maintained nurseries, schools and academies are required to publish a SEN information report which provides information about the support they offer for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities within their care.
For questions or concerns about your child’s needs, please contact Wiltshire Families and Children’s Services on 0300 456 0108 (out of hours Emergency Duty Service: 0300 456 0100). IMPORTANT: If a child is at imminent risk of harm or injury, please call the police on 999
Additional documentation regarding the transition process can be viewed in the ‘Useful Documents’ section of the website. For further information please click here.