Diversity and inclusion

Guidance and strategies to support and extend inclusive practice.

Early Years Individual Support Plan (EYISP)

The aim of the Early Years Individual Support Plan (EYISP) is to draw together information to provide an overview of the support needed by an individual child and the progress that they have made with that support. The resulting document will support settings to share information with parent/carer(s) so they can input into planning and review, as well as gaining an insight into the support provided for their child and the progress made in the setting.

The document will also inform other professionals who are involved in supporting the child and will include their recommendations. It will be particularly important to use this document at points of transition and to support a request for formal assessment, including an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA).

Early years providers may choose to complete and store this documentation in different ways, but will be required to share the EYISP document when a child with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is starting school or if evidence is being gathered to consider an EHCNA.

We recommend that the EYISP documentation is completed by the child’s key person with support from the setting’s special educational needs coordinator (SENCO).

Within West Sussex, we expect a child’s key person to speak to a child’s parents as soon as they identify any delay in a child’s learning and development. Together, they should plan to carry out actions to support the child and review their progress. If the child’s progress continues to be limited, the key person should speak to the setting SENCO to discuss additional support that may be needed. Practitioners may decide to start an Individual Plan at this point and begin to pull together the records held elsewhere into an EYISP as the child’s additional needs emerge.

For children with more complex or high-level needs, setting may decide to start completing an EYISP as part of the transition planning for a child before they start at their setting.

It is likely to be appropriate to refer a child with SEND to SEND Under 5s, if they have not been previously referred by another professional. The SEND Under 5s meetings are a multi-agency professional meeting used to discuss children’s needs and next steps as they move through the early years and into school. Your Early Years and Childcare Adviser (EYCA) will share information at the meeting on your behalf and update you on the outcome of discussions for you to share with parent/carers.

An EYISP can be used to support the decision making at SEND Under 5s.

The templates below can be completed online or be printed to be written on. You may use some of the pages a number of times while you are supporting a child. It is important to keep copies of previous documents to give an overview of progress.

Section 1 - Information for key person and SENCO

To be completed by the setting, with information from the child’s family when this pack is being completed. This must be updated with the family before being shared with professionals and/or a new setting.

Section 2 - Universal records

To be completed with the family for all children. This information may be saved elsewhere but will be added to this pack when information is shared with other professionals.

Section 3 - Individual planning

To be completed with the family for all children with SEND.

Section 4 - Specialist planning

To be completed with the family for some children with SEND if appropriate.

Section 5 - Transition planning

To be completed for all children with SEND to plan for their transition to a new setting.

Section 6 - Evidence gathering

To be used when gathering information and sharing the documentation for assessment or transition.

Inclusion Funding

Inclusion Funding can be awarded to support the inclusion and participation of children with severe/complex needs and/or a disability that are accessing an Early Years Funded Entitlement (EYFE) place with an Early Years provider.

Visit our Inclusion Funding web page for more information.

Support for SEND under 5s in early years

The SEND Under 5s process seeks to establish proactive, practical support for families at an early stage, as well as identification of the support needed throughout their early years and into school. The process will be overseen by the Early Years and Childcare Advisers who provide inclusion support within pre-school settings.

For more information and to refer a child, view the Send Under 5 page on the Tools for schools website.

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:
1 May 2024
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