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SEN Early Years Resources

This webpage has been created to give Early Years Practitioners and Parents/Carers easy access to relevant information and resources to support young children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. There is also a downloadable quick reference guide to the Most popular SEN Early Years Resources 2019.

Please click on the images below for information and resources relevant to that subject area.

Cogition and learning (SEN Early Years Resources) Communication and interaction (SEN Early Years Resources) Physical & Sensory(SEN Early Years Resources) Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEN Early Years Resources)


The following sections below have additional information and guidance that will further support your inclusive practice in settings, and assessment of individual children's strengths and needs. Please click on the images below to jump straight to these sections.

Developing Inclusive Practice Small Step Assessments Useful SEND Documents                                


Developing Inclusive Practice

Makaton Friendly places

Makaton Friendly

The Makaton Friendly places scheme recognises places that strive to make their services accessible for people who use Makaton to support their communication. For more information about the scheme, including frequently asked questions visit the Makaton Friendly section on the Makaton Charity website. The Let's talk Makaton Youtube Channel provides lots of video clips on useful individual Makaton signs and symbols.

Portage Stamp of Approval

The National Portage Association (NPA) Stamp of Approval Scheme is an award given to early year’s settings who have demonstrated they deliver inclusive early years education based upon Portage Principles. There are lots of other useful resources available on the Portage Support Hub, some are free and some require membership (£35 per year) to download. 

I CAN - The Communication Trust and Consortium

The I CAN website has a range of freely downloadable resources that will help adults to support young children’s communication and interaction, including resources developed by The Communication Trust.

The Autism Education Trust (AET)

The Autism Education Trust Early Years Programme offers training and resources for professionals working in various early years settings for children up to 5 years.

The AET has developed outstanding, evidence-based resources to support you in your practice. Specific tools, research articles, films, strategies and more…including some very useful ‘Bite-Sized’ learning resources

NASEN - Early Years Training and Resources

Nasen offers a range of training opportunities and resources specifically for leaders and practitioners, working in the Early Years (EY).

Small Step Assessments

Early Years Sensory Processing Profile

Sensory processing Resource pack: Early Years

Supporting children’s emotional responses using a STAR Chart – Settings, Triggers, Actions and Responses

Please see the guidance document and blank template added in the downloads section on the right-hand side of this webpage.

What to expect when?

This can be downloaded for free and hardcopies can be purchased from Action for Children. Click on the image below to open this document as a pdf.

What to expect when?

ICAN Charity - Early Talk Boost Tracker

welcome to Early Talk Boost Tracker

Attention Levels and Strategies

Please see the document added in the downloads section on the right-hand side of this webpage.

Early Support Programme Developmental Journal Materials

Although the DfE Early Support Programme is no longer currently running, all the materials remain relevant and up to date, apart from a few of the links, and are now available through The Council for Disabled Children website:

early years development journal

developmental journal for babies and children with downs syndrome

How to use the development journal for children and young people with multiple needs

Bilingual Development Matters

Please see the excerpt in the downloads section on the right-hand side of this webpage from the PLA book Bilingualism in the Early Years – A resourceful guide to theory and practice. More resources like this are available from the book and other resources found on the website

Speech, Language and Communication assessment resources

A whole range of resources can be found either by clicking on the title above or from and then clicking on the ‘Speech, language and communication’ tab

Autism Observation Profile

The purpose of the observation profile is to enhance the teacher’s ability to assess the young child’s progress in developing skills and understanding in those areas which are typically impaired in autism.

The Autism Observation Profile works well alongside the Autism Education Trust Early Years Competency Framework. This framework sets out the skills, knowledge and understandings that staff require to work effectively with children with autism.

Useful SEND Documents