SEN and disability in the early years

The Children and Families Act 2014 defines SEN as:

  • a child has a special educational need if they have a learning difficulty or disability that calls for special educational provision
  • a learning difficulty is a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age
  • a disability is a disability that prevents or hinders a child from taking advantage of the facilities generally available
  • special educational provision is provision that is additional to or different from that which is normally available in mainstream settings. For a child under the age of 2, special educational provision means provision of any kind
  • a child under school age has SEN if he or she is likely to have SEN when they reach school age, or would do so if special educational provision were not made for them

Statutory document

Guidance documents


The Early Years SEN helpline - 

SEND Policy

Early identification of children not reaching age related expectations

Refer to:

Tracking children's progress

SEN support in the early years - a graduated approach

Assess, plan, do and review


Early Years Funding guidance and dates

Contact details

The Early Years and Childcare Team operate a Helpline Inbox for all Cheshire East Childcare providers.

Email the Early Years and Childcare Team


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