The online survey seeks to gain practitioners' views on whether current levels of early years funding and additional funding aimed specifically at supporting provision for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities are sufficient. It also aims to identify particular challenges that providers are currently facing in this area.
It asks respondents if they have experienced any delays in receiving SEND funding, whether they have funded additional support for children out of their own pocket, and if that has had a negative financial impact on their setting.
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.
‘Every child, without exception, deserves to have the best possible start in life – but early years providers must receive the financial support they need to ensure that this is the case.
‘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 can be accessed here and will close at midnight on Friday 14 February.