Early Years Forum

What is the Early Years Forum?

The Early Years Forum is a monthly meeting of professionals who work for a range of agencies that provide services for young children. The Early Years Forum is for pre-school children aged 0 -5 with additional needs.

Some of the agencies include:

Why does the Early Years Forum exist?

  • To consider the needs of young children who may have special educational needs and/or disabilities.
  • To bring together all agencies that support the child, or may need to support them in the future.
  • To help all agencies work closely together to ensure each child has the best possible start to learning.

Why are children referred?

  • Children are referred when on-going needs are identified which may impact on the child's future education.

Who can refer to the Early Years Forum?

Children can be referred by:

  • Health professionals (such as a Paediatricians, Physiotherapist, Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists or other health professionals)
  • Early Years settings supported by the Early Years SENCo SEND Advisor
  • Children's Centres (Play and Learning, Family Support Worker etc.)
  • Social workers or Family Support Worker
  • Portage - Home Teaching Service

What do parents/carers need to do?

  • Agree that their child can be referred and that information can be shared between professionals.
  • Share their views and preferences in writing if possible by using the Parent/ Carer comments form.
  • Parents and carers cannot refer their child to the Early Years Forum

What support is available for private and voluntary early years settings and childminders ? 

Settings will be allocated a member of the EYILS Team to provide advice and support visits at least once every term.Regular training opportunities are available for practitioners from early years settings. A range of advice sheets are available for settings to refer to.

What happens next?

  • Once a child has been referred a member of the EYILS team will contact the family to introduce the Early Years Forum, answer questions, offer advice and support and provide parent/carer views to the Early Years Forum.
  • All information that has been gathered will be shared with all professionals at the meeting.
  • The Early Years Forum will consider the child's needs and services that are currently being accessed and will make recommendations to support the child further.
  • The Early Years Forum recommendations will be shared with parents/carers.
  • If it is felt that a child may require additional support when they start school the Early Years Forum will liaise with Parents and the SEN Monitoring and Assessment Service(SENMAS) to request an Education, Health and Care Assessment. This may lead to an Education, Health and Care Plan for the child. Not all children known to the Early Years Forum will need an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

And finally...

  • The Early Years Forum will continue to monitor the child's progress until they go to school. They may also exit the Early Years Forum if they are making good progress with their development.
  • Parents/carers will be involved throughout the process.

Related documents

Early years forum parent comment sheet (.docx)

Information for early years forum (.docx)

Referral form (.docx)

Setting summary

Contact name Rachel Bentley / Sarah Barker / Rachael McGraw
Contact position Early Years SEND Caseworker
Contact telephone 01782 231285 01782 235489 01782 236859
Contact email EYIS@stoke.gov.uk
Venue name Hazel Trees
Duke Street
Venue notes

You can contact the Early Years Forum by telephone on 01782 231285, 232292, 235489 and 236859 or by email at EYIS@stoke.gov.uk.

We are based at Hazel Trees, Duke Street, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 3NR. For confidentiality reasons please do not email any forms or children's information to us; please post them to us at the above address.






Date Monday to Thursday 9am until 5pm and Friday 9am until 4.30pm
Time of day MorningAfternoon