Parents FAQ

What is Portage?

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

Find out more about Portage

Why is it called Portage?

The name Portage comes from a town in Wisconsin, USA where the first home teaching scheme began. It was developed there as a way of supporting parents in rural areas in helping their children in their own homes.

Portage has been established in the UK since 1976.

More about the history of Portage

Who are the National Portage Association?

The National Portage Association (NPA) is a national charity supporting Portage services, families and professionals involved in Portage.

Find out more about the NPA

How do I find my local Portage service?

There are currently over 100 Portage services across England and Wales.

To find your local service please search within Portage in Your Region which details all Portage services registered with the NPA and their contact details.

How do I request Portage for my child?

The NPA recommend that all Portage services offer an open referral system, accepting referrals from families themselves as well as other agencies.

Request for involvement forms will be available from your local Portage service.

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.

Find out more about the Portage Stamp of Approval