Your GP or health visitor may refer you to another professional if they think your child needs extra support. This could be someone like a Speech and Language Therapist or a Dietician, or they may refer you to the Child Development Centre (external link) to be seen by the Consultant Paediatrician.
Portage Home Visiting Service
The Team of Professionals working with your child may talk to you about the 'Portage Home Visiting Service' if your child has significant needs.
A family can access the Portage Service if their child lives in Haringey and the following apply.
Your child is under 5 and has complex health needs or a disability from one of the following groups:
- Your child has a Neurodisability (ie: cerebral palsy, chromosomal and genetic conditions and syndromes)
- Your child has a Neurodevelopment disorders (ie Autism)
- Your child has severe physical and/or learning difficulties/developmental delay
- You child has a severe sensory impairment (blind or deaf)
How Portage works
Portage workers visit children at home with their families, and help children to develop their skills through supporting parents in play based activities with their child. The Portage workers will visit families until your child starts in an Early Years Setting, advising and supporting parents in all areas of the child’s development. They will also work closely with the professionals working with your child.
Portage Visitors will work:
- to support the development of play, communication, relationships and learning for young children within the family
- to support the child and family’s participation and inclusion in the community in their own right
- together with parents/carers within the family, with them taking the leading role in the partnership that is established
The aim is to help parents/carers to identify what is important to them and their child and plan goals for learning and participation.
If your child attends an early years setting, you can discuss any concerns about your child with the staff at the setting, who will make any necessary adjustments to support your child's needs. Often, children with special educational needs will thrive in a mainstream setting once these adjustments have been made.
If these adjustments are not meeting your child's needs, the setting can, with your permission, discuss your child's needs with other professionals such as a special educational needs coordinator for the area (called an Area SENCO), who will provide advice for you and the setting. They may recommend a different approach for your child or some support from a professional such as a speech and language therapist or an educational psychologist. Your child's development will be reviewed regularly with you.
If your child needs more help, professionals from health, education and social care will work with you to decide if your child may need further support.
If your child has significant additional needs, and is between 2 and 4 years old and accessing their Free Entitlement to childcare, your setting may talk to you about applying for some additional support for the nursery to help manage their needs. You do not have to apply for this yourself, as your child's per school setting will do this on your child's behalf.
If additional support is agreed this may be in the form of advice, support and training to the setting, or small pieces of equipment your child may need. Your child's setting will discuss with you how they should use the resources. To understand more please contact the Early Years Inclusion Team on: Tel: 020 8489 3498.
If your child continues to have complex needs, professionals may speak to you about starting an Education, Health and Care Plan Assessment to see what kind of support might be needed.
We will work with you and the setting to see what has been done to help your child in the past, and why we may need to do more or something different. We will speak to you and professionals and work out if your child needs any other specialist professionals or services to provide further information and advice. This information will form an Education, Health and Care Plan Assessment, which is agreed with you.
If your child’s needs are complex, then it may be right that your child attends a specialist early years setting.