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
  • Communication and Play Programme (CAPP)
  • 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/cognition, fine/gross motor, and self-help. All children follow an individualised programme tailored specifically for them.

The duration of a Portage Programme is dependent upon a child's individual needs, progress and the ability of the family to commit to the programme. Programmes will be reviewed termly. Weekly or fortnightly home visits may be offered.

Portage Referral Criteria:

  • The child being referred is aged between 12 and 30 months
  • The child's development is delayed by 1/3 of their chronological age in 2 or more areas of development.

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

Communication and Play (CAPP)

The Communication and Play programme (CAPP) is an effective early intervention which has been developed in Surrey. It provides information and support to families of children who have Social Communication needs or who have been diagnosed as Autistic. The programme aims to support families with practical ideas and strategies to help their child's learning and development. This is a home-based programme.

Evidence based strategies are modelled and shared with parents according to child's needs and family priorities.

CAPP Referral criteria

  • The child being referred is aged between 24 months – 30 months.
  • Main area of need is social communication difficulties or Autism

Local Early Autism Programme (LEAP)

LEAP is a highly effective early intervention which was developed in Surrey. LEAP provides intensive support to families of children who have severe and complex social and communication needs. This includes children who are awaiting or who have been diagnosed Autistic. 'SCERTS' (an autism specific framework) is used to assess, plan and review each child's individual programme. Key visual and rule-based strategies are promoted which focus on developing children's skills in social communication and emotional regulation

Typically, one home visit and one pre-school visit is made each week, although local community visits can be made if appropriate. There will be a formal termly review of progress using SCERTS data to identify whether the child continues to meet the criteria and whether the family and pre-school are engaging with the programme.

LEAP Referral Criteria

  • The child needs to be referred for LEAP between the 1st of April and the 20th June in their -2 National Curriculum year (NCY) and LEAP is delivered in their -1 NCY (preschool year) e.g. a child due to start school in September 2024 would be referred between 1st April 2023 and 20th June 2023 to be considered for a place starting September 2023.
  • The child has severe and complex social and communication needs. This includes children who are awaiting or who have been given a diagnosis of autism.
  • LEAP places are allocated based on severity of need.
  • The child is not in receipt of other specialist educational support services such as a specialist nursery, ABA or Portage.
  • Once LEAP places are allocated for the academic year there will be no additional places available for that year group. (We do not keep a waiting list)

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 being referred will be in their preschool year.
  • The child presents with extreme behavioural difficulties that have had impact on their learning and home environments.
  • There are no other developmental concerns such as social communication needs or Autism.
  • Parents need to have accessed parenting support such as parenting puzzle, behaviour support from health visitor or early years setting prior to referral.

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.

For information, contact your local area team.

  • Social and Learning Activities Groups are organised locally to provide support to families and children.
  • Parent/carer and professionals training/workshops.

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)

Subscribe to our newsletters for latest news and events.