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Cardiff Council

Early years

​​There are many different types of childcare and nursery provisions in Cardiff, such as: 

  • playgroups, 
  • independent nurseries, and 
  • nurseries attached to schools. 

You can find out more about your childcare options

Inclusion for all children

Each child is different, and they can develop at different times for many reasons. Early Years practitioners (people who work in Early Years settings) are experienced in observing and gathering information about children. Settings work to reduce environmental and social barriers to inclusion and offer 606opportunities for all children to reach their full potential. 

Early Years practitioners will monitor your child’s progress. The practitioners should identify their strengths and any areas where they aren’t progressing as expected. If any concerns are raised about your child, the setting should use their expertise to meet their needs. Settings should provide an effective inclusive environment and do their best to remove any potential barriers that may affect development or learning.

If you have concerns about your child

If you have concerns about your child’s progress, you should discuss this with the setting or your health visitor. The setting can talk to you about what they have in place and how they are meeting your child’s needs. 

It should not be assumed that children have additional needs just because their progress is slower than others. When a child appears to vee making very slow progress, it may be necessary to give them other opportunities or use alternative approaches. 

If your child’s difficulties persist, they may have additional needs that require a level of support that is not available at the current setting. 

If your child may have additional learning needs

Some children may have complex needs that the setting cannot provide for. The setting may need additional provision to support your child’s development. 

If this is the case, the setting or a health professional involved with your child will need to notify us that your child may have additional learning needs (ALN). They can make a referral to the Early Years Inclusion Panel. The Panel is a multiagency group who make plans for, monitor, and review children with emerging needs, ALN or disabilities (in line with the Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Act (Wales) 2018).

Some children with complex needs may have already been identified as having ALN or disability before starting at an Early Years setting. The Panel or Early Years Inclusion Team will have already planned appropriate provision and will continue to monitor and review their needs. 

For more information about the Early Years Inclusion Panel, please email

Starting school

You should arrange a visit to the school so you can meet the teaching staff and consider how they will respond to your child’s needs. The school will also have a fuller picture of your child’s needs before they start.
If your child has an individual development plan (IDP), we will tell the school to maintain the IDP. All the transition agreements should be recorded in section 3C of the IDP. 

The school will not maintain the IDP if the child has become looked after. We will continue to maintain IDPs for all looked after children. 

Early Years Additional Learning Needs Lead Officer

Every council must have an Early Years Additional Learning Needs Lead Officer (EYALNLO) who is responsible for coordinating our operations regarding children who are under compulsory school age and not yet attending a maintained school (under the Additional Learning Needs Education Tribunal Act).

They will also develop and maintain effective relationships with all other services who work with our early years cohorts, such as health and children's services. 

You can contact our EYALNLO by email:​.

© 2022 Cardiff Council