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Council for Disabled Children and partners works to improve access and inclusion in the early years

Mother and boyThe Council for Disabled Children (CDC) and partners, collectively known as the Early Years SEND Partnership are working across five English regions to improve access and inclusion in the early years by providing a programme of support on SEN and disability to early years settings and local authorities. 

Each partner brings specific expertise to the project, and will be working on different aspects of early years, SEN and disability:

  • nasen on a whole setting approach to SEN and disability;
  • I CAN on early identification and an early response to speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) in young children;
  • the Communication Trust on the development of a local SLCN pathway;
  • contact on working with parents in the early years;
  • CDC on regional and local area strategic planning, and specific aspects of the local offer.

How the programme will work

Between November 2018 and March 2020 the Early Years SEND Partnership programme will be delivering:

  • A series of three regional action learning sets (ALS) in each of the five regions, which will take place over the 18 months of the Programme. More information can be found here.
  • Specialist support to local actions learning sets. More information can be found here.
  • A broad programme of training to professionals and parents across the five regions. More information, including an overview of the training programme can be found here.
  • A number of resources that will complement this training and support, some of which can already be accessed here.

A general overview of what’s available can be found here.  

Activity so far

The Early Years SEND Partnership had its official launch event in January 2019. This public event was an opportunity for the Partnership to discuss the aims of the programme, and showcase the support that is being made available. In attendance were chief executives and senior leaders from national organisations, regional SEND coordinators and strategic leads and early years practitioners from local areas. It was chaired by Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive of I CAN and programme partner. Find out more information, including slides from the day, here.

The Partnership has now completed the first round of regional Action Learning Sets (ALSs) in each of the five regions. These events have provided a fantastic opportunity to work with and hear from professionals and parents who are all keen to develop and progress effective support for children with SEND in the early years. The next round will be taking place from June onwards.

How to access support

All the information about the programme is available on the CDC's website.

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