Diversity and inclusion

Guidance and strategies to support and extend inclusive practice.

The resources below can be used to support and extend your practice and provision but all settings must also have regard to relevant legislation and regulation.

If you can't find what you are looking for, please contact us.


Inclusion Funding applications

The majority of children with additional or special educational needs will not require special resources or enhanced staffing to be successfully included in a setting because most providers will meet the additional needs of their children very well.

For guidance on the expectations of Universal Inclusive Practice in Early Years settings refer to Chapter 3 of the SEN and Disability in the Early Years Toolkit (Council For Disabled Children).

What is Inclusion Funding?

This funding can support the inclusion and participation of children with severe/complex needs and/or a disability that are accessing a Free Entitlement place with an Early Years provider.

These children may need Inclusion Funding for a time limited period only, or for the duration of their place.

Who can apply?

Early Years and Childcare providers registered to offer Free Entitlement funded places (for example, private, voluntary and independent providers) can apply for Inclusion Funding. The child must be accessing a Free Entitlement place with the provider in order for the provider to apply.


Important: Due to the current COVID-19 response, we are unable to respond to inclusion funding applications in the usual way.

If you have a child currently attending your setting with SEND for whom you feel you need additional support at this time, please discuss this with your EYCA.

Important: The completed application form must be submitted at least 15 working days before the Funding Panel date for the application to be considered.

Upcoming panel dates:

•   Autumn Term 2020 Panel - 19 October 2020 (deadline for applications is Friday 2 October 2020)

1. Read the following documents

2. Discuss the potential application with your local Early Years and Childcare adviser. They will tell you if you can make an application. If you don’t know who your adviser is, contact your local children and family centre.

3. Complete the application form

4. If your application is successful, read the following document thoroughly

If you are successful in applying for Inclusion Funding, you may be asked to complete a self-review form.

If you have had a child join your setting who has already had Inclusion funding and have spoken to your EYCA, complete the form below to begin receiving Inclusion Funding. A review will be scheduled at the next opportunity.


Early Years Planning and Review Meetings (EYPARM)

The purpose of the EYPARM is to discuss a pre-school child’s strengths and areas of need, and how best to support these within an educational setting. The SEN (Special Educational Needs) Assessment Team may seek information from the relevant early years setting of the child being referred to the EYPARM.

A template for this can be found on the Local Offer website along with further information on EYPARM.

Note that the form may also be appropriate if a report is requested by other agencies, such as a Child Development Centre.

Children with SEND who are likely to go on to need additional support in school should be referred to the local authority in which they live. For information on referral processes in a neighbouring local authority, visit their website:

Communication and language

Developing practice

Information to share with families

Key information to support the needs of individual children

Speech and Language Setting Support (SaLSS)

The Speech and Language Therapy Service and SaLSS therapists liaise with the Early Years and Childcare advisors to ensure appropriate support is available to Early Years settings.

Improving practice

Supported transition (pre-entry and moving to a new setting)

Where individual transition planning will be beneficial for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), we have developed materials in conjunction with partner organisations. These can assist practitioners in schools and early years settings, health professionals, parents and carers to work together to ensure a smooth transition into a new setting.

The following documents from the Transition Plan above, are provided here in Word to adapt for your setting:

Person Centred Planning

This approach is based on the values of inclusion and helps adults plan the support a child needs to be included and involved in their community (which includes you as their childcare setting).

This pack is intended to provide the tools needed to plan for children who have an identified special educational need or disability (SEND), or where there is a concern about the child’s learning and development. It also provides support  in meeting the principles of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (January 2015).

The following parts of the pack are provided in Microsoft Word format to adapt for your own setting:

Personal, social and emotional development

Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) and Disability Access Fund (DAF)

The Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) is additional funding for early years settings to improve the education they provide for disadvantaged 3 and 4 year olds.

Children looked after by the local authority

A child who is being looked after by their local authority is known as a child in care. They might be living with foster parents, at home with their parents under the supervision of social services, in residential children's homes, or other residential settings like schools or secure units. They might have been placed in care voluntarily by parents struggling to cope, or children's services may have intervened because a child was at significant risk of harm.

Last updated:
2 July 2020
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