Portage was one of the very first services our family was

provided and oh my gosh did we love it! Not only were they

wonderfully welcome and fun they gave us advice we will never forget.

The service is provided to help your child get the best from their abilities. It is quite a negative world to be in most days, but I found portage to be super positive experience. Between singing nursery rhymes, playing games and sharing support I was able to see what Delilah was capable of and what her strengths may be. We were then able to take all this and build upon it. Delilah has a massive love for music and dancing so she thoroughly enjoyed the sessions. 

Still to this day whenever someone says "what's in the box?" Dan and I can't help but say "Delilah Huggins" haha...

If you know, you know...
Read below for more information!

Our Story

Portage is a home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with SEND and their families.

Portage aims to:

  • work with families to help them develop a quality of life and experience, for themselves and their young children, in which they can learn together, play together, participate and be included in their community in their own right.

  • play a part in minimising the disabling barriers that confront young children and their families.

  • support the national and local development of inclusive services for children.

Portage is a home based service for pre-school children with significant additional needs that are aged 0-3. Children can be referred to the service by a professional working with the child or by the parent themselves. The Portage team consider the requests for service against the agreed guidance and referrers and parents are informed of the decision.

An initial visit is made by the Lead Portage Teacher to explain the service and arrange for a Portage Visitor to visit the home at a mutually convenient time.
Portage Visitors assess the needs of the child and work in partnership with their parents to build on their abilities and develop new skills. Portage Visitors and parents discuss and agree long term goals. The Portage Visitor then outlines carefully structured activities to enable parents to support and encourage effective learning for their child.

How Portage is Delivered

Traditionally Portage is delivered by Portage Home Visitors who are employed as part of a Portage service to support children and families within their local community.

Find out how to become a Portage Home Visitor

Each Portage service is different and the model of delivery will differ from area to area. 

Will there be any financial cost for Portage?

Parents should not be charged for Portage home visiting which is usually delivered as part of a local authority service offer.

What does Portage home visiting involve?

Portage will offer a framework of support with regular home visits, generally weekly or fortnightly, by a trained Portage Home Visitor.

Parents share with the home visitor their understanding of their child’s individual gifts, abilities and support needs.

Profiles or developmental checklists may help with this process of identifying strengths and goals for future learning when Portage visits begin.

What age does Portage start and finish?

Portage is a pre-school service with some services offering support to families from birth and some supporting through to statutory schooling.

Each individual Portage service will have it’s own referral criteria which may include start and finish information.

To find out more please contact Your Local Portage service.

Does pre-school/nursery attendance affect my child’s ability to receive Portage?

This will vary across regions.

To find out more please contact Your Local Portage service.

How do I attend Portage training?

Portage Workshop training is available to parents, with many services offering some free parent places. Find out more about the Portage Workshops and check for training in your area.

How do I know if my child’s pre-school follows the Portage model?

Some pre-schools will have staff who have completed Portage training: some will have achieved the Portage Stamp of Approval, which is a quality assurance mark from the NPA awarded to settings that offer good inclusive practice, adopting the Portage principles and Portage model of support.

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