Early years SEND

We have a combination of services that support pre-school children with additional needs (medical/educational) and their families. We aim to offer support as early as possible to promote good outcomes and maximise each child's individual progress.


The Gloucestershire Portage Service is an educational support service for pre-school children with additional needs and their families.

Referrals to Portage are made with parental consent usually by the health visitor or other practitioner working with your child.

Children requiring support from the Portage service should be demonstrating developmental delay in at least three areas as measured on a standardised scale.


This is a national programme to bring family centred, integrated support to very young children with disabilities/complex needs and their families. Early Support is a way of working with materials and training to designed to support families. It has been developed by parents and professionals from many agencies working together.


Nigel Hunter Nursery is an early years setting for children with additional needs to attend with a parent/carer from 0-5 years old. Children under 1 year old are usually invited to attend an early start baby group if this is more appropriate.

We work in partnership with parents and offer advice on activities that can be carried out at home to support the child's ongoing development.

We offer a total communication approach and encourage all methods of communication i.e. signing, symbols, switches etc. We also have a small multi-sensory room where children may work on visual skills or simply relax after a hard days play.

We are able to accommodate any equipment your child may need e.g. supportive seating.

Referral to Nigel Hunter Nursery may be made by anyone working with the child or family e.g. from an early start baby group, by a health visitor, children's centre staff or portage practitioner.

Children can have direct referrals but some evidence of need or intervention will be required to support the application (e.g. paediatrician clinic letter, SOGS II from health visitor or assessments or observations from a setting etc).


Nigel Hunter Nursery (Outreach Support) will be offered to all children attending the Nigel Hunter Nursery who, in addition, are attending or will be attending an alternative universal educational provision.

Our aim is to advise and support Early Years educational providers to become fully inclusive in order to improve the outcomes for children with SEND who we believe should be able to safely experience the same opportunities as their peers within their local community.

Each setting will initially be offered 6 visits before reviewing the input. Further visits may be agreed depending on level of need.


The Battledown Child Development Centre (CDC) offers holistic and integrated specialist early years provision for children aged between birth and two to enable staff to assess need and agree individual learning plans which are then delivered through the sessions and by the families at home. Therapists and pediatricians make regular visits to the groups. The sessions are varied so that families have flexibility to combine their other commitments with visits to the CDC.


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