Early Years Graduated Approach for children with SEND

Wigan Early Years Team support children with SEND from birth to the end of reception. The team support early years settings to follow the Graduated Approach to meet the needs of children.

The team support the identification of need and provide, when appropriate Early Years Support. This can be in the form of a visits from a SEND Officers who use a modelling and coaching approach to support both the child and setting staff and or funding depending on the outcome of the Early Years panel.

A child has special educational need if they are likely to have a learning difficulty or disability that calls for special educational provision when they reach compulsory school age. Special educational provision means educational provision of any kind.


The Early Years Team also deliver Portage, this is a home teaching service for young children who have an additional need and are not yet accessing a nursery provision. It supports children’s development by helping parents to learn together.

Portage helps parents and children play and learn together in their home through regular home visits, this involves planning for family focus time, child led play and structured teaching activities.

Portage groups are also available. These are set up in a nursery style environment, providing opportunities for families to network and plan for their child’s transition into an early years setting.

A referral to Portage can be made by using the Professional and Parents/Carers Request for Involvement form.

Wigan Early Years Graduated Approach is a child centred approach to supporting children with SEND, involving parents and carers through each of the stages.

Resources and forms

The following documents are to support you as part of the Graduated Approach.

Flowchart of Early Years processes

Information and guidance

Request for involvement forms

Early Years Support Review documents

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