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Early years and preschool support for children with SEND

Find out about childcare and early years providers for children aged up to five with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Childcare and early years providers who care for young children must have arrangements in place to support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). These requirements are set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework. Providers who care for young children must also be registered with Ofsted. 

Types of childcare and early years providers

If you are a parent or carer of a child with special educational needs and disabilities, it can feel particularly challenging to choose the right childcare.

We have a wide range of early years providers and education settings across the private, independent and voluntary sector, who can meet the diverse needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

These include:

Free entitlement to early education

Children aged 3–4 years are entitled to 15 hours of free nursery education per week, for 38 weeks per year. The funding is not means tested and the sessions usually take place during school academic term dates.

You can find out more about free childcare funding for 3-4-year-olds.

Some children aged 2 years may also be eligible to get the free 15-hour childcare. To be eligible for this funding, your child must either:

  • receive Disability Living Allowance, or
  • have an education, health and care plan.

You can find more about free childcare funding for 2-year-olds.

Find out more

Click on the links below if you have any further questions:

Services for children and young people with SEND

This page is part of the 'local offer' for children and young people with special educational needs

Explore the local offer