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4Children and the Council for Disabled Children (CDC) have produced a toolkit for SEN and disability in the early years. Each section of the toolkit provides a briefing on a particular aspect of the SEN and disability reforms as they apply to early years providers. Each section is based on the statutory requirements and the guidance from the early years, the SEN and the disability frameworks, and draws on a range of relevant practice guidance and other materials to provide an accessible guide to SEN and disability in the early years.

Towards the end of most of the sections of the toolkit is a useful tool, an activity or a reflective task to support practitioners in applying the particular topic to their own setting.

SEND Early Years Toolkit

Contents and Outline

Section 1: Questions and Answers

This section of the toolkit provides some answers to frequently asked questions about the SEN and disability reforms in the early years.

Section 2: Statutory Requirements

This section of the toolkit is about the law, the regulations and the statutory guidance relating to young disabled children, young children with SEN and young children with medical conditions in early years settings.

Section 3: Universal Inclusive Practice

This section of the toolkit is about high quality inclusive practice for all children.

Section 4: First Concerns and Early Identification

This section of the toolkit is about how settings should respond to initial concerns about a child’s progress and how to identify special educational needs.

Section 5: SEN support in the Early Years – A Graduated Approach

This section of the toolkit describes what settings need to do when parents and practitioners have agreed that a child has a special educational need and requires special educational provision.

Section 6: The Role of the Early Years SENCO

This section of the toolkit is about the role of the Early Years SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). It outlines the SENCO’s main responsibilities.

Section 7: Involving Parents and Carers

This section of the toolkit is about working in partnership with parents and carers. The Code of Practice expects practitioners to engage parents in decision-making throughout the SEN process.

Section 8: Working with other professionals and other sources of information and support

This section of the toolkit is about working with professionals outside the setting. One of the key principles underpinning the Code of Practice is collaboration between education, health and social care services to support children with SEND.

Section 9: Education, Health and Care Needs Assessments and Plans

This section of the toolkit is about Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP). From September 2014 EHCPs replace Statements of Special Educational Needs.

Section 10: Transitions for children with SEN and disabilities

This section of the toolkit is about transitions for children with SEND: from home into an early years setting, changing settings, or from a setting into school.