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Portage home visitor

Alternative titles for this job include Portage worker, Portage support worker

Portage home visitors provide help at home for pre-school children with learning difficulties, physical disabilities or other special needs.

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter


£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

36 to 38 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends attending events or appointments

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a Portage home visitor

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • volunteering
  • applying directly
  • training from a charity or private training provider


You could do a foundation degree or degree in early childhood studies.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You could learn some of the skills you need for this job through a college course like:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care
  • T Level in Education and Early Years

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information


You could learn some of the skills you would need to get into this job through an early years educator advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information


Some local authorities may offer opportunities to be a volunteer Portage worker. Your experience of supporting children with special needs may make you a suitable candidate, even if you do not have childcare qualifications.

Direct Application

It may be possible to apply directly to employers if you've got experience of working with children aged 0 to 4 years, and knowledge of early childhood development and special needs. You may also need one of the following:

  • a relevant professional qualification in teaching, social work or nursing
  • a level 2 or 3 early years qualification
  • a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in early childhood studies

Other Routes

You could do a 2 to 3 day Portage Workshop led by a National Portage Association accredited trainer. This could be a good way for you to find out more about the role before applying for work. No knowledge or experience is required.

More Information

Career tips

You could do a portage awareness workshop to find out more about portage principles. It may also help you to decide if this is the career for you and get an insight into the skills and training you may need.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the National Portage Association for training and networking opportunities.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a Portage home visitor from the National Portage Association.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • knowledge of psychology
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

In some local authorities you may need to be able to drive and have access to a vehicle.

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • observe children and work in partnership with parents to identify their child's skills
  • assess which skills are most important for the child's future learning
  • suggest a programme of activities for parents and their child to practise together
  • break down tasks into small steps
  • show parents how to record their child's progress
  • encourage and provide emotional support to families
  • help parents to access other support services
  • check progress and agree on new goals
  • write progress reports and attend review meetings

Working environment

You could work at a client's home or in an office.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you'll travel often.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior Portage worker with supervisory or management responsibilities.

You could also study to be an accredited Portage trainer or look for work in a special educational needs school.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Early years Practitioner Apprentice Level 3 - Bishops Stortford

  • Wage: £22,464.00 Annually
  • Location: Bishops Stortford, UK

Level 3 Early Years Educator Apprenticeship at Axminster Community Primary Academy

  • Wage: £9,609.60 Annually
  • Location: Axminster, Devon

Courses In England

T Level Education and Early Years - Education and Early Years

  • Start date: 28 August 2024
  • Location: Hull

T Level Education and Early Years - Education and Early Years

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: South Shields

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