Early education and childcare | Oxfordshire County Council

Early education and childcare

Early education entitlement, finding a place and extra help available.

Local Offer logo - Support and services available for children and young people with SEND.

What children are entitled to

Children aged three and four are entitled to up to 15 hours of free nursery education.  

There are many organisations and groups offering early education and childcare. These include day nurseries, pre-schools, nursery schools and childminders.

Some two-years-olds are also entitled to up to 15 hours of free education. Some three and four year old children are entitled to the early years pupil premium.

For further information you can speak to your health visitor or local children’s centre.

Search for early education and childcare providers

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Supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities

Depending on your child's needs, there is a range of services available.

Early support

Early support is a way of working to improve the delivery of services for children who have need of support from a range of specialist community services.

Support in settings

Information is available for early years settings in Oxfordshire to help identify, assess, plan, provide for and support children with SEN

Early years settings also have a toolkit  of resources, activities and strategies.

Information for settings about the SEN support process.

Support services

Depending on your child’s needs there is a range of support services available including

Multi-agency groups

Multi-agency early years groups are part of a range of ways of meeting the needs of children with SEN or disability and their families. Professionals and parents have worked together to set out how we will run these groups. You can read our vision (pdf format, 76Kb)

You can also find out some of the things that parents have said (pdf format, 142Kb) about taking their child to a group.

What providers of early education are required to do

  • All early education providers must operate under the legal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • This requires them to carefully consider the specific needs of each child they look after in order to provide appropriate support.
  • Every early years setting is required to follow the SEND Code of Practice (2015) and will have knowledge about including and supporting children with SEN. 
  • They should have a special educational needs co-ordinator who will help to ensure that your child receives the right support.
  • For children with SEN or disabilities, their needs can be met from the resources of the setting, however where this is not possible, the setting is able to seek additional funding through a range of funding routes.
  • Where a child has a free entitlement to attend an early years provision, including the 30 hour free childcare, additional funding may be accessed through a variety of funding routes.
  • We have a duty to ensure that there is sufficient childcare for parents seeking to work, train or study.

SEN support for providers



Resources and strategies

SEN toolkit - resources, activities and strategies to help children with special educational needs

Useful information for providers as well as parents and carers.

Help and information


The special educational needs and disability information advice and support service (SENDIASS) offers impartial information, advice and support to parents of children and young people with SEN and disabilities. You can get in touch by completing this online form.

The service aims to help parents, carers, young people and educational professionals to work together to provide the best possible support to children and young people with special educational needs, by:

Finding support for parents/carers on your doorstep

Search for organisations and groups to support parents and carers of disabled children and young people and those with SEN and additional needs.

Enter a postcode or place name:



Last reviewed
08 March 2016
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