A new survey has been launched to identify how early years funding affects children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The Early Years Alliance has launched the survey to gather views from early years practitioners on whether current funding levels are sufficient for children with SEND. This includes funding for both general early years provision and additional SEND-specific funding. The survey also seeks to identify any particular challenges facing practitioners in this area.

The survey asks respondents if they have experienced any delays in receiving SEND funding and whether they have had to fund additional support for children themselves.

All responses are anonymous unless respondents are happy to provide contact details for future follow-up work.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Early Years Alliance, said:

“We know that early years providers deliver excellent care to young children with special educational needs and disabilities day-in and day-out, but the growing funding crisis has meant that doing so in a sustainable way is becoming near-impossible.”

“This is an area that has been overlooked for far too long, and so we hope that our survey will help shine a light on the key challenges facing practitioners, and what can be done to ensure that children with SEND and their families are able to access the care and support that they need.”

“With the upcoming Budget and Spending Review, now is a key opportunity to make a strong argument to the government that more investment into both the early years, and SEND provision in particular, is needed. As such, we hope that as many practitioners as possible will respond to the survey and make their voices heard.”

The survey is available here and will run until midnight on Friday 14 February.

Last reviewed 7 February 2020