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Choosing childcare for a child with special educational needs or a disability (SEND)

How to find childcare and what you should check if your child has special educational needs or a disability.

Find childcare

Search our family information directory. Use the keyword search section to find childcare providers who can cater for the special needs your child has.

Find childcare  

What to check

When you visit a childcare provider, you may want to check:

  • staff qualifications
  • how they'll prepare for your child going to their new school or room
  • how safe and secure the room(s) and outdoor area is
  • if the toilets are clean and suitable for children
  • what plans they have for emergencies
  • how play activities will be adapted
  • how many children there are to each member of staff
  • who is supervising and how they’re doing it
  • if the children seem to be happy and interested in what they’re doing
  • how you'll get updates on what your child has done, enjoyed and learnt and how you'll raise concerns
  • if the equipment is varied, high quality and creative
  • how they promote positive behaviour
  • how you’ll find out about your child's day and what they enjoyed and learnt
  • what food they give the children for lunch and snacks
  • how they work with other professionals who might work with your child

Find an Ofsted inspection report

Get advice

Contact our Family Information Service for advice to help you make the right decision. 

Free childcare

All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to free early education and childcare. Your child might be able to get free childcare from 2 years old if they have special educational needs and receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

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