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Plymouth Early Years Inclusion Service

The Early Year Inclusion Service support pre-school children with additional needs and disabilities. The service includes several teams; these teams can provide support through home visits, nursery visits or by attending meetings with parents and professionals. The support can be given in the child’s home or in their nursery, this is dependent on the needs of the child and the team involved.

Accessing our services

To request support, a referral should be made to the Early Years Intake Panel through SEND Access Early Help. Email

The referral may be from professionals or from parents who are concerned their child has a delay in their development. Not all children with additional needs qualify for support from the Early Years Inclusion Service, some children with additional needs can be supported through universal services such as their nursery and their health visitor. You may choose to discuss with your health visitor the need for support for your child with developmental delay.

Early Years Inclusion Service teams can support your child by:

  • liaising with other services, for example Speech and Language therapists, paediatricians, physiotherapists.
  • supporting proposals for Education, Health and Care Plans
  • attending multi agency meetings; this is where other professionals who work with the child meet to enable ideas and strategies to be share with all professional involved.  
  • signposting families to other information and services
  • promoting Step by Step Together Groups held in children’s Centres

The teams within Early Years Inclusion Service are listed below.

Plymouth Early Years SEN Inclusion Fund

Specialist Support Workers

A Specialist support worker’s role is to support preschools and parents to ensure they provide learning opportunities for children with additional needs and disabilities. Working in both nursery and home ensures consistency for the child and that advice is shared with parents and professionals.

The support offered to a child with additional needs and disabilities will be tailored to meet their individual needs. This will be determined by where the support is most needed.

This could be in the home, in the pre-school or a combination of both.

The support will be offered for up to three months and then reviewed to determine whether further support is required.

In the home the worker will show parents or carers how to help their child by modelling activities and may advise on strategies to help with challenging behaviours. Families are given support and strategies to develop their child's skills through play.

In pre-schools, advice can be given to support children in all areas of learning as well as recommending strategies to help with challenging behaviours.

Specialist Support Workers work alongside other professionals to ensure that the correct support is in place for a child. For example they may link with a Speech and Language Therapist and help the family and pre-school with the suggestions made by that service.

They will attend multi agency meetings to share ideas and strategies with all professionals involved and will support parents at the meetings. 

For children with social communication difficulties including those with a diagnosis of Autism, the Specialist Support Worker may provide an intensive intervention.  This support is given in both pre-school and home with several visits each week.  This will be provided over a maximum of 12 weeks.  Working in both the home and the pre-school will enable individual support that is consistent in both places.  The support given in pre-school helps the whole pre-school meet the needs of the child.

Enhanced Transition Framework

Useful Transition Resources

If you have any other useful resources or links that it would be beneficial to add below, please do not hesitate to email with relevant details.

Early Years

Person Centred Approaches

Plymouth Websites

Step by Step Together Groups

Step by Step Together Groups (term time only) located in Children's Centres in the City. Participating children's centres are listed in the document below.

Please check directly with the children's for any local changes. Groups are held at the following children's centres (term times only)

LARK Children’s Centre

Ham Drive Community Room (next to Ham Drive Nursery), PL2 2NL

Telephone: 01752 313293

  • Tuesday 9.30am to 10.30am
  • Tuesday 11am to 12pm

Green Ark Children’s Centre

Fore Street, Devonport, PL1 4DW

Telephone: 01752 565555

  • Tuesday 9.30am to 10.30am

DELL Children’s Centre

Barnardo’s Children’s Centre

Highview School, Efford, PL3 6JD

Telephonel: 01752 788992

  • Wednesday 1.30pm to 2.45pm

Onward House Community Centre

55 Greenbank Road, PL4 8PE

Telephone: 01752 662533

  • Wednesday 9.30am to 10.30am

Whitleigh Children’s Centre

FGCT HQ, Whitleigh Green, Whitleigh PL5 4DD

Telephone: 01752 875933

  • Thursday 1.00pm to 2.15pm

Tamarfolk Children’s Centre

Trelawney Avenue, St Budeaux(Access along the side of the library), PL5 1RH

Telephone: 01752 361052

  • Friday 9.30am to 10.30am

Step by Step together Groups are located in 6 children’s centres in the city for parents who have a concern about their child’s development. Parents can attend any group in the city which suits their needs. Groups usually run during the school term only. Participating children centre are shown on the link below.  The Step by Step Together groups are small groups which you can drop in to, there is no need to book or have a referral. The groups provided a safe place for children to learn to play. Advice and support is offered along with information about services to support the children.

Specialist Support Staff from Children’s Service give advice to families in the group. Children’s centre staff provide information on other opportunities locally.

The focus of the groups is based on the children having fun. Specialist toys and play activities are available for children of all stages and ages of development 0 – 4 years.

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