All providers of childcare for under-fives must offer support children with special educational needs or a disability.

They must follow the SEND (special educational needs or disability) code of practice. So they must:

  • promote equality of opportunity for disabled children
  • include all children in activities by making reasonable adjustments and removing barriers
  • arrange for support for children with medical needs

Nurseries should have a nominated staff member as their 'special educational needs coordinator' (Senco). If your nursery is part of a mainstream primary school, they must have a Senco.

Common principles and commitments

All schools and registered early-years providers, including childminders, must follow the government's 'Early Years Foundation Stage' (EYFS).

It gives professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver high quality early education and childcare to all children. And it gives you the confidence that you'll get, by law, the same commitment wherever your child goes.

The EYFS describes the arrangements that must be in place to identify and support children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).

Guides and strategies 

Early years providers will also follow guides and strategies like: