Specialist early education service


Specialist early education service

Specialist Early Education Service (SEES) is a home visiting support service for families of pre-school children with additional needs. Collaborative working with pre-school settings is a feature of SEES programmes.

Specialist Early Education Service (SEES) professionals are highly trained in a range of evidence based approaches to support pre-school children with additional needs. SEES benefits from being part of the Educational Psychology Service, which provides quality supervision, training and advice.

SEES is primarily a home visiting support service.

SEES professionals are experienced in working closely with families. We endeavour to engage with and support young children through a play based approach.

SEES aim to work collaboratively with families to foster a clear understanding of their child's individual needs, and to build parental confidence to enable families to feel skilled in their ability to support the development of their child with additional needs.

SEES support is effective when the partnership between a family and the SEES professional is strong. Parents/carers need to be committed to the programme and carry out agreed activities to support their child between home visits.

The SEES team work closely with other relevant professionals to ensure that everyone works towards shared goals. This liaison may also include visits and support to pre-school settings.

SEES provide a range of early years home-based programmes:

  • portage
  • local Early Autism Programme (LEAP)
  • positive Play (PPP)


Portage is a nationally accredited and successful home-based teaching programme for families of young children who present with additional needs. A targeted, small step, developmental approach is taken to promote skills in communication and interaction, play, fine/gross motor and self-help. All children follow an individualised programme tailored specifically for them.

Portage Referral Criteria:

  • the child being referred is under three and a half years; and
  • the child's development is delayed by six months in two or more areas of development.

The length of a Portage Programme is negotiable (with a SEES support worker).

Programme length depends upon parent/carer availability and the child's needs but would be to a maximum of 30 visits (or one year).

Weekly or fortnightly home visits may be offered. Support is provided for children who transition into pre-school settings following a Portage intervention.

SEES is registered with the National Portage Association (NPA).

Local Early Autism Programme (LEAP)

Local Early Autism Programme (LEAP) is a highly effective early intervention, which has been developed in Surrey.

LEAP provides intensive support to families of children who are on the autistic spectrum.

SCERTS, an autism specific framework, is used to assess, plan and review each child's individual programme. The team use a range of evidence based strategies to help children to make progress with their social communication and emotional regulation skills.

LEAP Referral Criteria:

  • the child being referred is between three years and school age, priority given to children who are in their last year before starting school;
  • the child has a diagnosis of Autism or there is a consensus that autism is a likely cause of their significant social communication difficulties;
  • the family are not in receipt of other specialist educational support services; and
  • the family consent to and are able to commit to the programme.

Families are typically offered one home and one pre-school visit per week. Each programme is reviewed termly, but can continue for up to a year or until the child reaches school age.

Positive Play Programme (PPP)

Positive Play Programme (PPP) provides support for families of children with social and emotional needs that are evidenced by behaviours that are challenging within a family.

This play-based programme focuses on working closely with parents/carers to identify strategies to support their child's social and emotional regulation.

PPP Referral Criteria:

  • the child is aged between two and a half and four years old and is not attending school;
  • the child's social/emotional needs are causing significant concern at home; and
  • there are no other developmental concerns.

PPP may be provided for up to one term (12 weeks). It involves weekly home visits, as well as, collaborative working with key staff at the child's preschool.

Making a referral to SEES (Portage, LEAP or PPP)

Specialist Early Education Service (SEES) operates an open referral system (anyone can refer).

Before making a request, please ensure that parents/carers are available and committed to receiving regular term time home visits during school hours.

Referrals should be made on an SEES Referral Form. You can also contact your local area team.

Signed consent from parents/ carers must be obtained on the referral form.

Additional SEES activities:

For information, contact your local area team.

  • The Early Development Group offers fortnightly sessions for parents and their child with Down Syndrome.
  • Social and Learning Activities Groups are organised locally to provide support to families and children.
  • Parent/carer and professionals training/workshops.

Parenting Autism Together Programme (PAT-P)

Parenting Autism Together Programme (PAT-P) is a six-week parent programme. The programme helps parents to develop their understanding of Autism and how to support their child. Pat P also provides opportunities to meet other parents of children with similar needs.

For further information, please refer to:

SEES enquiries (contact your local area team)

North East SEES Team (Esher)

North West SEES Team (Woking)

South East SEES Team (Redhill)

South West SEES Team (Woking)