Skip to main content


Portage is Stockport’s pre school Education Support Service which provides;  Early intervention, Parental support/ advice, liaison and supported transitions into Early Years Settings for young children aged 0-3 years with additional needs/ disabilities. 

What is portage?  Portage is an early educational service for pre-school children with SEND and their families. Any child with a developmental difference in two or more areas and indicating a potential SEND support need would benefit from Portage intervention.

Portage is delivered in the home, in a group or a combination of both. The team of trained Portage Early Education home visitors, work with parents/carers to offer an early intervention programme, aimed at supporting and enhancing the development of play, communication and learning which is tailored to the specific individual needs of your child. We work closely with the Health Visiting Service, Educational Psychologists, Speech & Language Therapists and the Early Years Send Consultants.

The groups offer hands-on opportunities for you and your child with lots of ideas for activities that you can repeat at home. They will support your child’s learning and development and encourage communication skills and physical activity through a variety of planned activities. Your child will be able to experience sensory play and develop personal, social and emotional skills to support their learning and development needs.

How can you access this service?  All referrals to the Portage Service are made via the Child development unit at Stepping Hill Hospital. If you are concerned regarding your child’s development please liaise with your Health Visitor who will be able to make the appropriate referrals.

How will portage help your child?  Portage together with parents, look at the skills a child has already acquired, and focus on encouraging emerging skills and planning future teaching objectives.  Each skill is broken down into a series of small steps, via a series of linked activities, to stimulate the child's development. Portage’s programmes are designed to meet the specific needs of the individual child.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Portage: Christine Smallwood, Start Well Team Leader (SEND)

Where to go

Stockport Portage Service
Stockport Family Site, St Marks Primary School
Redhouse Lane

Other Details


Age Ranges
Referral required
Referral Details

If a parent/carer is concerned about the development of their child, they can speak to their GP or Health Visitor who can make a referral to the Child Development Unit for Portage. They will normally complete a Developmental Needs Form to make the referral or may complete an Early Help Assessment with the family.

Other professionals working with families may also make referrals to the Portage service through the Child Development Unit in the same way.