Childcare and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

When choosing childcare you want to be sure that your child is safe, secure and happy however, finding suitable childcare for a child with a disability or special educational need can often require a little more consideration in regards to environment, setting and experience. Here you will find information on things to consider when finding childcare, relevant legislation and where to go for further information.

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Some childcare providers may have services specifically tailored for disabled children and those with special educational needs. Others may have inclusive childcare for children of all abilities. Here are some important things to consider when finding the right childcare.

Care and services:

  • Would you like your child to be cared for with children of mixed abilities, or exclusively with those with additional needs?  

  • Will your child be comfortable with large groups of children or will they benefit from a smaller, quieter setting?

  • Are the activities on offer suitable for your child?  Is there a good range of activities that your child can get involved in?

Environment and facilities:

  • Is the care setting easy to enter and exit?

  • Is the care environment suitable? If your child is susceptible to falling or fits, then they may need a setting that is well adapted to reduce or prevent injury. This could include cushioned walls and flooring or simply, an open plan space with less furniture.

  • Are the toys and equipment available appropriate? If for instance your child has difficulty using their hands, then toys that are fiddly or too small are going to be difficult for them to use and enjoy.

Show me childcare for children with SEND

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Under the Equality Act 2010, all childcare and early education providers have a responsibility to:

  • Not treat a disabled child ‘less favourably’ than other children. This means that your child should have the same play and learning opportunities as other children and you should not be charged more for offering the same service to a disabled child.

  • Make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to make sure that it is not difficult or impossible for disabled children to make use of a service.
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Show me SEND Childcare

Our SEND childcare search will find you childcare providers who specialises in offering childcare, activities and support (including respite care and short breaks) to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Our search allows you to filter by:

  • Type of Need
  • SEN Provision Type
  • School Pick ups and Drop offs
  • Age of Child/Young Person
  • Town and Postcode

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The Childcare Brokerage Service 

Can support you in finding suitable childcare if your child has a Special Educational Need, or a disability or is in receipt of early education funding (EEF)

Contact the Specialist Brokerage Officers:

  • Phone: 07785 591 139

Buckinghamshire Community Childminding Network (BCCN)

A specialised network in Buckinghamshire provides services to support families and children who have significant additional needs or are considered vulnerable. Offering respite care for children with special needs, disabilities, teenagers and teen parents they have a Level 3 Qualification and are judged by Ofsted to be Good or Outstanding. Information on the referral process can be found by following the link and clicking on Referral Documents.

The Family and Childcare Trust 

Have helpful information sheets for parents with disabled children on finding childcare and possible sources of help towards childcare costs.

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The Early Years Service provide support to childcare and early education providers including those in the private, voluntary, independent, maintained and academy sectors. They can help you to meet the needs of all children including those with SEND.

Email: earlyyears@learningtrust.net

Phone: 01296 387 037

Free funded childcare for 2 year olds

Is my child eligible? Your questions answered on free childcare for 2 year olds in Buckinghamshire. 

Free funded childcare for 3 and 4 year olds

Your questions answered and help in finding a place for your child via our Brokerage service.

30 Hours' Free Childcare (2017)

Eligibility criteria, FAQs and time frames for the new 30 hours childcare which replaces the current 15 hours funded childcare.

The Family Resilience Service run parenting courses that give you the help and support to build your confidence in parenting and help your parent and child relationship. 

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Local Offer home

Accessible SEND information in one place.

Choosing Childcare

A guide to the different childcare options available, things to consider and where to find help with childcare costs.