Early years and childcare

Toddler walking to parent

There are many advantages for both parents and children from using good quality childcare. For more details 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. For more details, visit: 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 on this, please contact:

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

Additional support for Ofsted registered childcare and early years providers

Additional Inclusion Funding (formerly Disabled Children's Access to Childcare or 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 18 years. The Inclusion Funding team is committed to ensuring that funding is put in place efficiently and without delay.

Note: This 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 on this, please contact Jill Greenwood by email: jill.greenwood@calderdale.gov.uk or phone mobile: 07825 357693.

2017 DCATCH consultation update: A decision has now been taken on future allocation and funding arrangements. Having listened to the feedback from parents and professionals, this funding has been protected by both the Council and Cabinet. We can confirm there are no immediate plans to change the current arrangements.

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. To find the nearest one to you, please see: Children's Centre .

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 the youngest children with SEND get the additional educational support needed.

The team gives:

  • advice and support to families with children under five with additional needs, SEN and/or disability;
  • 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 implementing the new SEND Code of Practice (2014);
  • training:
    • Portage basic workshop;
    • Basic inclusion;
    • SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) roles and responsibilities;
    • and Early Support key working.

PEYST also work with health and care services. This is to make sure that targeted support is put in a child's individual learning and development plan. Contact the PEYST team:

For more details, visit: National Portage Association .

See also