Find out about the help available with development, learning, behaviour and childcare for children in the early years.

If your child has a special educational need (SEN), disability or additional needs, lots of help and support is available to you.

A range of specialist support and provision services such as educational psychologists and early years advisory teachers work in partnership with schools and other settings to promote inclusion, achievement and to secure better outcomes for children and young people with SEND across North Yorkshire.

Disabled children's services provide specialist social work teams who work with children who have substantial and permanent disabilities. Support can be accessed by self-referring or by being referred by professionals working with families who believe they would benefit from an assessment or services.

As part of early years provision, portage home visitors provide support service to families of children aged up to five with SEND in the family's own home.

If your family is facing particular challenges, our children's centres offer a range of support for families with children and young people up to the age of 19.

See the SEND education section for more information about the services available to children of different ages.

Further information

The family information service is the first point of contact for early years, offering advice, information and signposting to the full range of council services. See our early education and childcare pages or contact the families information service for more information:

Families Information Service

Post: County Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 8AE


Telephone: 01609 533483

Mobile: Text “info” to 07624 802425

Frequently asked question

There are different routes for you to take depending on whether your child is pre-school or has started school.

If your child is pre-school

If you think your child is slow in developing or is not hearing or seeing properly, speak to your family doctor, health visitor, your nursery or pre-school setting leader, or someone at your local children's centre. They may give advice to enable you to support and help your child or refer you to a specialist for an assessment.

If your child is at school

Your child's teachers will consult you if they have concerns about his or her progress. If you notice any difficulties with your child's learning you should ask your child's teacher about them first. Schools are able to support and help children who have special educational needs by providing, for example, extra help from their teachers and/or adapting the curriculum so it is more accessible for the child.

Also, all schools also have a special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) who may meet you if your child has SEND.

Asking for an assessment for an education, health and care plan (EHCP)

You can talk to your child's special educational needs coordinator about having an assessment. You can also contact us for advice on 01609 535002 or email