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Livewell Southend

Early Years SEND Support Service

The Early Years special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) support service is part of the wider SEND Team.

We provide advice, guidance and support to families and Early Years settings.

Our support helps them to meet the needs of children with SEND from birth to 5 years.

Meet the team

There are six in our team.

We have over 25 years experience between us. This includes qualified and specialist teachers and SENCO's.

  •  Angela Hera is our Early Years SEND & Advisory Services Manager

 Our two Early Years Advisors are:

  • Helen Smith - Vicary
  • Tracy Bakonyvari

 and our four Early Years SEND Support Workers are:

  • Rachel Cooper
  • Sarah Fuller

We asked Tracy to tell us about her role. Read what she had to say here

Our service

Our service provides:

  • specific support, on a case-by-case basis, to meet the needs of the child, family and Early Years setting.

Working with Early Years settings, school staff, parents/carers and other professionals we:

  • Remove barriers to learning.
  • Ensure successful transition into Early Years settings and then into school.
  • Monitor the support and outcomes for children with SEND and make sure that resources are used effectively.
  • Develop high quality SEND provision within early years settings.
  • Respond to referrals from Health professionals and early years settings.
  • Provide training, advice and support for parents and early years settings.

Our support

Our Advisors respond to all referrals and assess the level of support required to meet the needs of each individual child.

If a package of support is needed they will work with the setting and parents to put this in place.

This will be delivered by an Early Years SEND Support Worker.

 This package may include:

  • a block of support sessions

and/or

  • Inclusion Funding depending on need.


The type of support offered to parents and settings can be delivered in many forms, including:

  • Observations within setting or the home. This allows assessment reports and advice to setting/parents to be provided
  • Blocks of support in the home or setting (frequency agreed with parent and/or setting) as a result of the visit .
  • Working alongside the Nursery staff where support in the setting is required.
  • Participation at regular Team around the Child reviews to facilitate discussion around a child’s progress and needs.
  • Providing Transition support from home to setting and setting to school. This can include attendance at transition meetings, and a block of transition support from a Support Worker in the setting if required.
  • Supporting settings to write, implement and review Individual Support Plans (ISPs)
  • Providing Bespoke training for settings to meet the individual needs of the child. We also recommend other external training.
  • Advising settings and families on how to make referrals to other services. This may include:
  1. speech and language therapy,
  2. occupational health/physiotherapy,
  3. Early Help,
  4. Children with Disabilities Team,and others.
  • Explaining to settings the funding that is available to children and how to apply for these. This includes the Disability Access Fund (DAF), and Inclusion Funding.
  • Providing guidance and support to settings and parents with the EHC Needs Assessment process. This may include helping with filing in paperwork, explaining the process, attending co-production meetings and more.
  • Providing guidance and training for settings on how to conduct annual reviews of EHC Plans.
  • Supported visits for parents to view settings where appropriate.

All blocks of support are regularly reviewed. Further blocks of support can be considred if required.

Referrals to our service

These are made via:

  • a request for support from the setting

or a

  • Section 23 notification from the Health Service.

A Section 23 notification is a legal requirement of the Children and Families Act 2014.

It is often called a Section 23 referral.

It requires Health Practitioners to tell the Council if they believe a child under school age has, or is likely to have, special educational needs or a disability (SEND).

This will include sharing information about the named child on a Section 23 form with parents permission.

The Council must respond to all Section 23 referrals and ensure that advice, guidance and support is offered.

Our service responds to these referrals on behalf of the Council.

We work closely with service Providers to support the child and family in a holistic way. This would include schools and nurseries, Health and Social care.

What is a setting referral?

Please see the I am an Early Years Practitioner page for further information.

 Last updated: 24 Jan 2023

If you'd like to view this content in another format please email livewell@southend.gov.uk