Early Years Inclusion Pathway


The Early Years Inclusion Pathway works with children between birth and five, who have additional needs, to develop their learning through play activities.

This pathway is delivered by Waltham Forest’s Early Years, Childcare and Business Development Service. The service will work in partnership with parents, carers and other professionals to plan and deliver a learning and development programme for individual children.

The aim of this pathway is to empower parents/carers to support their own child’s learning and development and to prepare children for starting at an early years provision (nursery, school nursery, preschool or childminder).

Children are accepted onto the Early Years Inclusion Pathway following a Section 23 notification to the Early Years, Childcare and Business Development Service from Specialist Children Health Services.

Once a notification has been received, the criteria for a child to be offered support is that they:

  • are aged between birth to 5 years old.
  • live in Waltham Forest
  • are accessing one of the following Specialist Children Health Services; Joint Assessment Clinic, Neuro-motor Clinic, Downs Syndrome Clinic or Visual and Developmental Assessment Clinic.
  • are not attending an early years provision (nursery, school nursery, preschool or childminder)

Children and families, who meet the criteria, will be offered a package of support based on the child’s individual learning and development needs.

Home learning sessions

Fortnightly sessions will be organised at the child and family’s home, which focus on individual children’s learning and development. An Early Years Inclusion Practitioner will be allocated to a child and will create an individual learning support plan for parents/carers to use to support their child through fun and practical play activities.

Inclusion learning groups

Weekly groups will be run by Early Years Inclusion Practitioners, who will arrange fun, interactive play activities for children and their families to take part in together.  An Early Years Inclusion Practitioner will be allocated to each family and an individual learning support plan will be agreed to help parents/carers to support their child’s learning and development.

Transition Support

When parents/carers decide they would like their child to access a childcare place at an early years provision, a transition support plan will be created in partnership with the family. This will help to provide a smooth transition from the Early Years Inclusion Pathway to an early years provision (nursery, school nursery, preschool or childminder).

Digital Learning Support

Chit Chat Pitter Pat is an online learning resource which empowers and inspires families to have meaningful home learning experiences. Learning activities that parents/carers can do at home with their child are shared weekly– including ‘Here’s More’ for children who may need further support with their learning. For more information, join Chit Chat Pitter Pat on Facebook or Instagram!

The role of the Early Years Inclusion Pathway is to support individual children and their families with their learning and development. However, we understand there may be other areas where families require additional support. Early Years Inclusion Practitioners will work with families to access other services who can support them further and provide information and advice on specific family needs.

As a parent and carer, we would like you to:

  • work in partnership with us and take an active role in helping your child take part in regular home learning activities.
  • be available for a fortnightly home learning session, of at least an hour, and/or attend inclusive learning groups.
  • practice and record the activities you do with your child between sessions.
  • Ask questions - we are here to help!
  • Understand this is a process for you and your child to learn and develop together.

After a block of 6 fortnightly home learning sessions or 12 weekly inclusion learning groups, the service will review their involvement and discuss the next steps. These may be further sessions or groups, or transition support to an early years provision.