We’re leading the way in supporting vulnerable young children

Young children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will receive even better support thanks to a new project being led by Kirklees Council.

Kirklees is one of the local authorities chosen to spearhead a scheme which will help vulnerable children to enjoy the best start in life.

The scheme is focused on children in pre-school settings and aims to ensure identification of SEND, plus excellent support, at the earliest possible opportunity.

It will benefit children with a wide range of additional needs such as communication and interaction, general learning skills, physical development and social and emotional development.

Cllr Carole Pattison, Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said:

“We already have high standards in supporting our early years sector across Kirklees, but this new opportunity will help us to expand it further.

The council will work with a number of local early years settings to develop their skills in identifying SEND, tailoring their support for each child, delivering high-quality practice and ensuring staff share their expertise

When a child has a special education need or disability, the sooner this is identified the quicker they can receive the most appropriate help. This programme will equip early years professionals in the district to increase their skills and confidence in working with children and families with SEND.”

Cllr Viv Kendrick, Cabinet member for Children, said:

“To achieve positive outcomes, it’s vital that children receive high-quality support from the very beginning of their educational experience. Staff in settings will receive training to develop their practice and to overcome any barriers that might prevent this.

We must all continue working together so that every vulnerable child or young person – whether they are pre-school age or reaching adulthood – can enjoy the possible best start. I’m delighted about the difference this new project will be making in young lives.”


  • For the children with unseen difficuilties, they can be quickly identified as challenging, trouble making unreasonable or see behaviours as a gender stereotype (boys will be boys) or inconsistent parenting. Ive had personal experience of a pre school setting trying to manage my nephews behaviours. We all had to be very flexible with change of days and start and finish times (my sister had to defer her university placement to support her son emotional physical needs whilst transistioning to Reception). We had a fabulous Ed Psy (Sharon Jagger) who is an all round Diamond. We felt listened to, supported, hopeful and educated on the sensory impairment my nephew endures. My sister and I do have some work experience of SEND so we were all ready on board but for those parents that have never experienced or heard of unseen difficuilties they may well find it takes some time to get their heads around all the various areas of needs.
    Good Luck and I’m really pleased to here this progress

  • Kirklees Our Voice, the Young People’s Engagement Programme is currently asking young people, for their feedback, to help Kirklees Council re-develop the ‘Local Offer’ Website.

    There is a quick link, which young people can complete to give their thoughts and opinions. Please feel free to complete with young people who might access the site. There is the chance to win one of two, £25 gift cards.


    The Our Voice Team

  • chelseykirklees

    Hi Emma, you can get in touch with our Early Years SEN Support Service by calling 01924 483744. I hope this helps ^CP

  • chelseykirklees

    Hi. Children who aren’t registered with a setting are supported through the Home Portage offer, which has been continuing through the Covid-19 pandemic. The service will be available through summer and into the new term. We’re flexible and are able to support children whether they are in setting or not. If you’d like some further details, please contact the team on 01924 483744. Thank you.

  • What support is in place for children with SEND who do not attend a setting? Many children may be left unsupported as many families are unable to send their children to settings due to the additional needs they have, particularly if they have medical issues also.

  • This is brilliant news! How do I get in touch with the right team? I am in the process of completing the correct qualifications to be able to add a SEND swimming provision into our classes specialising in baby and preschool SEND. Thank you, Emma

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