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Guide to childcare for children with special educational needs and disabilities in England - Family and Childcare Trust

Good quality childcare is beneficial for all children. It can play a hugely important role in your child's development, allowing them to become independent, to mix with other children and to learn new things. But choosing the right childcare can be a difficult decision for every parent, particularly if your child has a special educational need or disability (SEND).

There are laws to protect children from discrimination and improve support and access to services, play opportunities, education and information. Our guide is designed to help you know what your rights are as a parent and will cover the details about these laws.

About this guide

Our guide aims to set out what childcare and early support should be available locally in England. Our guide will provide you with your childcare options; offer tips on choosing the right childcare and guidance on what support your local authority (council), early years childcare and schools should – and in some cases must – offer you. There is a detailed section on the Education, Health and Care assessments and plans, an outline of the new 0–25 SEND Code of Practice and information on how you can challenge decisions that you are not happy with.

It also looks at the financial support available for parents of children with SEND, including help specifically for childcare costs. You will also find useful contacts and sources of further information at the end of the guide available in the External links section.