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What should I expect from childcare providers?

All early years providers must, by law, meet the requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (March 2014). This sets the standards for learning, development and care for children up to five year old.  Early Years provision is regulated by Ofsted.

This includes all providers that offer free childcare funding for two, three and four-year-olds including nurseries, playgroups, childminders, maintained schools, non-maintained schools and independent schools.

The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

All group childcare settings, such as nurseries and after-school clubs, should also have a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). You will be able to discuss with them how they can meet your child's needs, including any additional equipment, language support or other help that might be needed.

Early year's descriptors of special educational needs provision

The Derbyshire early year's descriptors (EYDs) provide guidance for practitioners and teachers working with children aged 0-5, who have Special Educational Needs (SEN). When a child has SEN the child's setting should provide support to enable that the child makes progress. The Derbyshire EYDs outline what settings should provide and what they should do to support early years children with SEN. The EYDs provide advice on how to support children with a range of needs including:

  • Autism
  • Profound and multiple learning difficulties
  • Sensory impairments
  • Speech and language difficulties

Guidance is provided on how to help children develop and what equipment and support might be useful. The EYDs help settings to plan their activities and to make sure that their environment is supportive for a child with SEN.

Before settings refer for support from professionals, the local authority expects that they will have used the information provided in the EYDs and be able to provide evidence of this.