SEND childcare and early years
SEND and childcare
All childcare providers must:
- give children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) the same opportunities as any other child
- not charge more money to look after children with SEND
- make reasonable adjustments so that children with SEND can use their services
- follow statutory guidance called the SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years to provide support to children who have special educational needs. Chapter 5 is for early years providers.
Types of local childcare providers
Local childcare providers for children aged 0 to 5 with SEND include:
- day nurseries which are registered with Ofsted and offer morning to early evening care that is suitable for working parents, where your child is looked after with a group of children
- preschools which are registered with Ofsted and normally follow school hours (for example, 9 am to 3 pm), but some run for longer hours and offer breakfast and after school clubs
- nannies who care for your child in your home
- childminders who are registered with Ofsted and care for your child in their home, often with a small group of children
- school nurseries and nursery schools which are registered with Ofsted and normally follow school hours (for example, 9 am to 3 pm), but some run for longer hours and offer breakfast and after school clubs
Use our directory to find local childcare:
Choosing a childcare provider
To choose the right childcare, you should ask if a provider has:
- Check the provider has a Disclosure and Disbarring Service (DBS) certificate. You can ask to see a copy.
- Look at the Ofsted report, which checks if practitioners in childcare settings are suited to working with children and provides useful information about the quality of provision.
You should also:
- visit the provider before signing up, to make sure their building has the right facilities for your child
- check if the staff are trained to work with children with SEND
- Check the settings local offer which can be found when you search for a childcare provider on the Family Information Service Directory.