If your child is before school age and you are worried that your child might have Additional Needs or Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), there are people that can help. The Early Years SEND team can offer advice and support for children at home and in settings. There are also streams of funding available to support your child within an Early Years setting. Portage Portage is a home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with SEND and their families. Setting Support Our SEND Officers can work with the setting to ensure the successful inclusion of the child. Request support for a child You can request support for a child using the online form below. You will be asked to set up a MyWirral account before you complete a request form. This is so that you can save the form if you need to come back to it. Request support for a child Special Educational Needs Inclusion Fund (SENIF) The Special Educational Needs Inclusion Funding (SENIF) is available to promote the inclusion by Early Years Providers of children who have been early identified as needing additional support to access their funding entitlement. The SENIF can be used to enhance staffing, purchase resources or allow staff to access Continued Professional Development (CPD) opportunities. Disability Access Fund If your child is in a setting and is receiving Disability Living Allowance, the setting can claim a one-off yearly payment to support them in the setting each year. Short breaks for children with disabilities Wirral Council provides and commissions short breaks for children with disabilities, including: youth and play activities specialist play schemes sporting activities creative workshops sitting services residential overnight stays family-based overnight stays after school clubs direct payments leisure Link programme Find out more about SenseAbility Soft Play and Sensory Venue Local Offer Wirral For more information about SEND, visit the Local Offer Wirral website which provides information for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in Wirral. Delivering Better Value programme Wirral is one of 55 councils taking part in a SEND programme called ‘Delivering Better Value' (DBV). We provide services for children and young people with SEND from their early years into early adulthood, to age 25. The government’s DBV programme will provide support to improve SEND services, while we are facing financial pressures. The programme is split into two phases - diagnostic and implementation, which is explained below. This video provides an overview of the Delivering Better Value programme. Phase one - the diagnostic phase with existing partners The council is currently taking part in the diagnostic phase with existing partners, such as schools, education and health partners as well as parents and carers who will all be invited to take part in this process. Parents and carers are encouraged to take part in a survey to share their experiences. This will help us to make sure we're focusing on the right areas. This survey will close on 20 October 2023. Complete the survey for parents and carers Surveys have also been shared with schools. This will help us understand how we can support them in providing SEND support to families. This includes the practical changes needed and some of the barriers to these changes. This survey will close on 20 October 2023. Complete the survey for schools Partner workshops are taking place in September 2023 to explore how we can do things differently. Partner involvement is vital to ensure that we meet children and young people’s needs and outcomes. It will address any local challenges and identify areas where the biggest changes can be made. It will also look at how these changes would contribute towards improved financial performance. During the diagnostic phase, action plans will be developed to deliver the improvements. Throughout phase one, the government will collate information from councils to identify good practice and use it to inform future national policy. Phase two - the implementation phase This will be when we deliver on the opportunities identified. As well as making a difference for local families, the DBV programme offers an opportunity for sharing good practice and to improve the experience and outcomes for children and young people with SEND.