Nurseries and Early Years Providers

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Nurseries and early years providers in Gateshead must have arrangements in place in order to identify as early as possible if a child has additional needs and to provide relevant support for them using the setting’s resources. You can ask a nursery/early years provider to provide you with information about how they do this or look for it on their website.

In Gateshead, two SENDCO’s support all early years settings (local, private, voluntary and independent sector, childminders, maintained nurseries and schools) in order to identify SEND and to recommend suitable interventions for children.  If a child is not making the expected progress, despite support and intervention being provided from the setting using a graduated approach, the child may be referred to the Gateshead 0-4 Referral Meeting.  If deemed appropriate, support can then be provided by the Early Years High Incidence Needs Team (EY HINT) or the Portage Service (supporting children from birth to 3 years).  Children with more complex developmental needs may also be signposted to appropriate services at this stage.  Both EY HINT and the Portage Service are commissioned services, funded by Gateshead Council from the High Needs Funding Block.


Gateshead Portage Service

The Portage Service is primarily a home visiting, educational pre-school service for families with babies and young children who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).  Gateshead Portage Service is certified and registered with the National Portage Association.   The Portage Team comprises a Lead Practitioner, two senior Portage workers, four Portage workers and three EY teaching assistants.

Portage work with:

· Pre-school children who have a significant delay in two or more areas of their development (or a diagnosis which may predict such difficulties.)

· Pre-school children with the most significant developmental difficulties not accessing other pre-school provision will be given priority.

· Pre-school children who are experiencing difficulty with social communication and interaction.


Gateshead Early Years High Incidence Needs Team

The Early Years HINT is made up of specialist teachers and teaching assistants.  This team offers assessment, intervention, support and review for children aged 3-5  who are experiencing significant barriers to their development and learning and for whom specialist intervention is needed.  They also support staff working in early years settings by offering advice and modelling appropriate strategies with children.

If, following input from EY HINT, it is felt that a more detailed assessment is needed, then a child may be referred to the Educational Psychology Service and a request for an EHCP Assessment may then be made.

Gateshead Council commissions the Early Years High Incidence Needs Team (EY HINT) to work in partnership with parents/carers, childminders, nurseries and pre-schools to assess children aged 3-5 years who are facing significant barriers to their development and learning and provide appropriate intervention and support. The team consists of three specialist teachers and five teaching assistants. The staff in the team are all skilled and experienced in working with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and work with children with a variety of needs e.g. Autism Spectrum Condition, Cerebral Palsy, general developmental delay, with or without a diagnosis.

The Early Years High Incidence Needs Team:

  •  offer assessment, targeted intervention, advice, coaching and modelling sessions for children from 0-4 who are experiencing significant barriers to their development and learning
  • establish and develop partnerships with parents/carers in supporting children with SEND
  • offer coordinated, holistic and multi-agency assessments, interventions and reviews
  • develop effective strategies to enable children to access their education in an inclusive environment
  • liaise with parents/carers and practitioners to develop appropriate action plans
  • develop and support transition to the child’s next educational placement
  • contribute to the EHCP process

                Referrals are made through the 0-4 Referral Meeting which has multi-agency representation, assesses referrals received and recommends outcomes.

                For more information, contact:
                Early Years High Incidence Needs Team
                0191 433 8734