Portage is an educational service that visits pre-school children with extra support needs and their families at home. You can find out more about Portage on the National Portage Association website.
We work with families to help them develop a quality of life and experience, for themselves and their children. They can learn together, play together, and be part of their community in their own right.
We support children and families from the age of 2 years up until their transition meeting with school. This will be in partnership with the early years setting if your child is accessing early education funding. Children receiving portage pre-school support may have a range of educational or medical needs, so not all will be attending an early years setting.
Support we provide
We understand that needs change over time, so the level and type of support needs to change to meet their needs.
Support can be offered in several different ways depending on the circumstances. This might be a combination of:
- home and early education setting visits
- group sessions in your local area
- stay and play sessions with your child in the school holidays
A portage consultant can advise parents, carers and early years settings about:
- appropriate learning experiences
- supporting children to enjoy learning through play
- the Local Offer
- additional funding
Watch this short video for more support and information
Portage consultants in Dorset work with different professionals during their involvement with your child and family. These professionals can include:
- early years practitioner
- educational psychologist
- speech and language therapist (SALT)
- occupational therapist
- health visitor
We also provide specialist training workshops to early years practitioners across the county.
How to access support from a portage consultant
Health professionals and early years settings usually refer a child to Portage. If you have concerns about your child as a parent, you can contact the Portage service yourself by requesting a call back from a portage consultant for your locality.