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Early years


The first 5 years of a child's life are very important for their development.

Special educational needs and disabilities are often identified for the first time during early childhood. Getting the right support at this time can make a real difference.

Your health visitor, GP or paediatrician will make sure you have the right health support to meet your child's needs. The majority of children aged 0-5 years, with special educational needs or disabilities have their early educational needs met in a mainstream early years setting (i.e. nursery, childminder etc).

The early years can be a particularly challenging time for families. There are a number of charities, voluntary groups and parents groups both locally and nationally who can offer guidance, information and advice.

We make sure that children under 5 years of age with additional educational needs receive the support they need to access appropriate play and learning experiences.

We've produced a flow chart to show our process.

Related documents


Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust offers maternity and health visitor services.

Free early education and childcare places

Support to access the free early education and childcare places is available to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Related documents


For information on childcare services, visit our childcare section.

Children’s centres

Our children's centres provide free activities for the whole family. Everything we offer is aimed at giving your family the chance to have fun together, develop skills for school, work and life.

See Children's centres for more details.

Portage and pre-school home teaching

The Portage and pre-school home teaching service is offered to children with special needs in North Tyneside.

The Beacon Hill school for more information.

Language and communication

The Dene Communication Centre offers small group, intensive, multi-agency intervention for pre-school children who have speech, language and communication needs.

Visit the Benton Dene School for more information.

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