Early years and childcare

Toddler walking to parent

There are many advantages for both parents and children from using good quality childcare. For more information about childcare, free early years education and other family services see Childcare providers .

All childcare providers should be able to welcome and include disabled children. The Council for Disabled Children has produced a guide to what your childcare provider could offer:  Disabled children and the Equality Act 2010 .


Network Childminders are a group of registered childminders that have passed a Local Authority assessment of the quality of their practice. Many have completed some additional training to enable them to support children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and their families. For more information contact:

  • Username Early Years Learning and Childcare Team
  • Email fis@calderdale.gov.uk
  • Telephone 01422 392576
  • Address
    Town Hall
    HX1 1TP

Additional support for Ofsted registered childcare and early years providers

Additional funding, administered by Disabled Children's Access to Childcare (DCATCH), is available to meet the individual needs of children with SEND flexibly, for example by enhancing staff to child ratios, providing training for settings to increase confidence and quality, and supporting with the transportation of children, where appropriate.

The funding is through a small grants process where early years and childcare providers check the criteria and then apply via a joint application in partnership with parents and other professionals. It is monitored regularly to ensure funding is appropriate in meeting changing needs. Funding is available for children and young people aged 0 to 25 years and the DCATCH team is committed to ensuring that funding is put in place efficiently and without delay.

Note: DCATCH funding does not pay for the child's or young person's place in the setting; that cost is met through Early Education Funding, parents or may be funded through other agencies or teams.

For more information contact Jill Greenwood:

Email: jill.greenwood@calderdale.gov.uk
Telephone: 07825 357693.

Children's Centres: education, health and care

Calderdale's children's centres provide a wide variety of support to children and their families. The support provided is diverse: learning to sign with your baby, antenatal clinics, and dads and male carers' groups are just some of the examples of what is available.

There are centres throughout Calderdale; find the nearest Children's Centre to you.

Home and setting based educational service: Portage

The Portage and Early Years Support Teacher (PEYST) Team is made up of nationally accredited Portage home visitors and qualified teachers. They work with families and Early Years providers to ensure that the youngest children with SEND get the additional educational support they need.

The team provides:

  • specialist advice and support to families with children under five with additional needs, SEN and / or disability;
  • specialist advice and support to Early Years education and childcare providers for children under five with additional needs, SEN and / or disability;
  • early support through person centred key working approaches to assess and plan for each child's individual needs;
  • support for statutory assessment processes towards Education Health and Care plans;
  • advice and guidance to Early Years education providers on the implementation of the new SEND Code of Practice (2014);
  • training: Portage basic workshop, Basic inclusion, SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) roles and responsibilities, Early Support key working, and works with health and care services to ensure targeted support is incorporated into a child's individual learning and development plan.

The PEYST team can be contacted by:

More information can be found at the National Portage Association