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Children who have disabilities and their families are entitled to good quality, affordable, flexible childcare, just like any other child or family.
Finding the right childcare is important when your child has a special educational need or disability (SEND).
There are laws to protect children from discrimination and improve support and access to services, play opportunities, education and information.
Finding the right information and support helps you give your child the best start in life.
Sandwell Council is required by law to set out the support the Local Authority will give children and young adults with SEND. This is Sandwell Local Offer.
Support from birth
Sandwell Children and Young Adults Disability Register allows the Local Authority to keep up-to-date with the number of disabled children in their area and send relevant information to families, including information about childcare.
It is a good idea to join this register when your child is born or when their disability becomes clear.
You should speak to your health visitor, social worker or Sandwell Family Information Service about the register and the benefits of having your child on it.
There are a range of childcare options available for your child: some of these will be for children of all abilities, others will be specialist services only for disabled children.
It is worth considering what kind of childcare you want. You should think about whether you want your child to be cared for at home, in a group setting or in another person’s home.
Whether you are looking for part time or full time childcare, out of school clubs or holiday clubs, help is at hand to enable you to find the right type of quality childcare which best suits your needs and the needs and age of your child.
Will my child be safe?
There are a range of safeguards in place to ensure that your child will be well looked after by people who are required to go through a range of checks. Includes information on Ofsted Inspection Reports the Ofsted Registers and Disclosure and Barring Service Checks.
Support for families
Childcare providers are legally required to meet the needs of children with special education needs and/or a disability at their setting.
Inclusion Support - Early Years Team (ISEY)
ISEY supports children in their early years who have individual or special educational needs (SEN) / disabilities.
The service works in collaboration with other agencies to provide appropriate support packages and early intervention. The team works with children in their own homes, at the centre and in a range of early years settings, holiday play schemes and out of school clubs.
Disability Access Fund additional funding for 3 and 4 year olds
2,3 and 4 year old free childcare
Your child may be entitled to free childcare the term after their 2nd birthday. All children are entitled to 15 hours free the term after their 3rd birthday. In addition you may qualify for the extended 15 hours, the term after their 3rd birthday.
Experiences of families with SEND children
Families share their experiences of using childcare with SEND children, sharing their challenges and rewards