Portage is a home visiting service for pre-school children, aged 0-5, with special educational needs or a disability (SEND). The team provide regular home visits which aim to:

  • support the development of play, communication, relationships, and learning for your child(ren)
  • support you and your child to participate in local activities
  • work to support you in taking the lead role in your child’s development
  • help you to identify what is important to you and your child, and set out some personal goals for learning and participation.

Portage is based on the principle that you, as a parent, are the key figure in the care and development of your child.  The team works in partnership with parents/carers and other agencies and information is shared with nursery, schools and other early years settings to provide continuous support for your child.


The Portage worker will have lots of good ideas which will help you to find out and build on what your child can already do.

Each visit will have:

  • a family focus
  • time spent sharing and addressing family priorities
  • child-led play
  • time spent reviewing and planning opportunities for independent play
  • structured teaching
  • time spent reviewing and planning your child’s progress and deciding on an activities for you to do with your child at home.

You can work together to record special moments in your child’s development creating memories and a shared record of what happens over the time you work together.

Activities are based on play and grounded in everyday situations to provide fun and success for your child.

We also run Portage playgroups which are sessions where you can meet other families with children with SEND in an informal, relaxed environment with coffee and cake!

Ruby’s Fund Portage Service can accept a referral for baby/child that does not attend a setting and that meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • significant developmental delay (this would be typically in a child aged 12 months and over)
  • born pre 28 weeks. Click here for downloadable resources
  • a birth diagnosis that implies long term developmental delay significant health issues impacting on long term development

*Please note that Ruby’s Fund Portage Service is a non-statutory service which we deliver through grant funding. If required we will operate a waiting list.

Click here for a referral form. We prefer that your Health Visitor or Family Support Worker refer your child to our service where possible and complete the sen-support-plan-early-years-final-v1.0

For more information please contact Alison Parr on email: