We are a specialist home visiting service for pre-school children with special educational needs

What we do

  • We work in partnership with parents and carers so that they can support their child’s development
  • We take toys and equipment into the home and work with the child and parents/carers to help children to make progress in their development.
  • We support parents to break down developmental milestones into small achievable steps.
  • We offer support, advice and strategies for parents to use at home.
  • We suggest and model ways of encouraging positive behaviour.
  • We devise joint aims for the child and family with other professionals.
  • We support children as they transition from home to nursery.
  • We give strategies to support children in playgroup or nursery.
  • We aim to conclude support within a term of a child starting a school setting.
  • We work closely with the other teams within the Inclusive Education Service.

Our Philosophy

Portage believes that:

  • All children have the ability to learn and to achieve success.
  • We should work at the stage of development that a child may be at and not their age.
  • We should work in a positive way and celebrate success, however small.
  • In supporting parents we support the child.
  • We should respect differences of race, culture, language, ability and lifestyle.
  • We should acknowledge that parents have the right to be involved in all decision making about their child's education.

Who do we work with?

We can work with a child if:

  • They live in the city of Nottingham.
  • The child is one or older until they enter a school setting.
  • The child has a substantial and significant delay in two or more areas of their development.
  • The child has a recognised syndrome or disability.

Please note

We are unable to accept referrals for children that have medical problems but do not otherwise have a delay in their play or learning, or those with mild physical difficulties. These children's needs should be met by the relevant health services.

We are unable to accept referrals once children have started a school setting. Children who are in a school setting are supported by other teams within the Inclusive Education Service.

Who can refer to our service?

We accept referrals from:

  • Parents/Carers
  • Any professionals working with the child who have been given parental consent

Referrals should be sent on a full CAF form with information about the child’s development and evidence of any delay in the relevant sections of the assessment. This should be sent with a 'Request for Targeted Support' form or covering letter stating the reason for referral. Alternatively we will accept a detailed clinic letter with a covering letter with reason for referral.


Jo Shaw
Senior Portage Worker
Tel: 0115 8764000