TiggyWigs staff are trained in the care and education of children in Early Years. The knowledge and experience our staff have, as well as the assessment they carry out using the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, helps them identify where children need additional support. Our aim is to work as closely as possible with families to ensure continuity of care for the child.
Other professionals that have had contact with your child before they attended the nursery may have already provided you with information if they felt that your child needed extra support. For example, a health visitor could recognise a speech and language delay and signpost what you would need to do next. In this instance, if you are planning on enrolling in the nursery it is important that staff are aware of the advice that was provided by other professionals. The local children and family centre can provide you with an array of information and support so be sure to sign up there too.
If you are at all concerned about your child and think that he/she may have Special Educational Needs (SEN) you can talk to his or her key person at the nursery. Every child is assigned a key person in the setting who is responsible for assessment and personal care, they will be the person who gets to know the child. This helps staff build attachments and relationships but also helps the staff to identify where there may be SEN. Once your concerns have been expressed to the key person they will be able to advise you on what to do next.
Staff will engage with the children and will try to establish the best approach to use by taking into account the child’s personality, age and stage of development. The key person will work closely with the setting Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) to ensure that steps are in place that help the child to move forward. This could include creating a personal play plan for your child, or suggesting strategies that can be tried both at home and in the setting to help. Achievements to work towards are clear for the child, parents and the nursery staff so that everyone understands what the aims are, and the different things that we can try in order to achieve them.
The key person and/or SENCO may also access inclusion support with consent from the family. Inclusion support may provide targeted setting support, where someone comes out and visits the child to decide how best to support him or her in the setting. They will be able to provide strategies that may help the child in his/her development and help identify next steps and whether or not the child needs to see any other professionals. The nursery will work closely with the family at all times and parents or carers can express their concerns at any time.
We also work very closely with the health visiting team who regularly attend the setting to carry out integrated two year checks with the nursery staff and parents. The health visitor can also support the family and the setting if a child needs some extra support. This is discussed with them with consent from the parents.
The key person is responsible for the assessment of their group of key children. Staff observe the children during play and then use these observations to form part of the children’s learning journals. They then review the learning and carry out next steps for each child according to what the key person feels they need to develop. These next steps are shared with the child’s family so that the learning can continue at home. The next steps also inform the planning for the next term. Each child’s next steps are different and individual to each child, ensuring that the curriculum matches the individual child’s needs. There is ongoing dialogue between parents and the key person meaning that progress and learning will always be shared. We have online learning journals that parents have access to so that parents are always up to date with the learning that is taking place and the assessment.
If staff have a concern for a child under a specific area of learning they may create an individual plan that will outline specific targets that are an achievable challenge for the child to help them to progress in that area. This individual plan is completed alongside parents and outlines what we collectivity hope to achieve for the child as well as what can be done both at the setting and at home to support the child. This may be completed with the nursery SENCO. Our staff have access to a broad range of resources that can be used to help support a child that we feel may need additional support, staff are given guidance on how to access and utilise these resources in practice.
The children’s learning journal marks important milestones and progress and can be viewed at any time, parents are given their own login following a signed agreement. Staff are always available for informal or formal meetings and parents evenings give the chance for more detailed discussion of learning and progress. As well as this, next steps are shared with the parents every four months and can be discussed with the key person. The next steps will highlight what to do next with the child both inside and outside the nursery and can provide information for parents about how to support their child at home.
Parents are provided with information on the EYFS curriculum when they first start the setting, which can help to understand how the curriculum is put into practice.
Our toddler room staff complete detailed two year checks for each child if they are attending the nursery between the ages of two and three. These checks give parents an in-depth idea of how their child is doing and where we feel they are in the curriculum. As we do these two year checks with a health visitor it is great to discuss any concerns with them there so that we can all decide on what to do next together.
We also have an email address that parents can use to contact the nursery and a closed group on Facebook that allows parents to keep up to date with current practice and events in the nursery. Parents can discuss their concerns with staff at any time and staff will be able to provide parents with ideas on how to support their child’s learning and development at home.
The key person in the setting builds a relationship with the child to enable them to really get to know them. Providing the child with a secure attachment provides them with the confidence to explore and develop. The nursery has a number of policies and procedures in place that ensure the child’s overall wellbeing. Some examples of these are:
Staff are expected to follow these policies and procedures at all times. The staff are subjected to rigorous checks when they start at the setting to ensure they are suitable to work in an Early Years setting and the nursery is regularly inspected by OfSTED to ensure that standards are kept.
Children are provided with support in care and education matters within the setting by the child’s key person, who will know the child’s individual needs. Any medical needs would be discussed with the parent and we also discuss how we can best support the child prior to them starting at the nursery. This is done through our settling in procedure so that parents and the key person are given ample time to discuss the child and his or her care.
Staff in the setting can access different services that can help to support your child. When there is a concern about a child’s special needs we can access Inclusion Support and they will help us to refer the child to a specific team such as speech and language therapists, or behavioral specialists. We can also contact the local health visiting team to discuss a child’s needs.
The local children’s centre can provide a wealth of information for both parents and carers, and early years settings and they often run groups that parents can attend with their child. This can provide the parents with some great advice and support as well as giving the opportunity for parents to meet other parents.
Our staff regularly attend training sessions that help provide more knowledge in their roles. These courses can be specific to different ways of learning, for example staff can attend a communication for under three’s course to help them understand how and why children communicate in different ways. Our staff are also qualified to NVQ level three and those who have not achieved this yet are working towards it. This means that they have had some training based around child development. We also have an Early Years Teacher in the setting who has undergone training at university to enable her to identify and encourage good practice and support in children’s learning and development.
Our staff are either NVQ level three qualified or are in the process of working towards it. Within the Level three qualification staff gain knowledge in how individual children learn and develop. Our staff have access to Noodle Now courses that feature an array of information on several different areas of Early years, including supporting children with SEN. Our current SENCO has attended ‘the role of the SENCO’ course, where she gained information on what to put into place when supporting a child with SEN. All of our staff have completed training that can support the individual needs of a child in our care. As well as this, our nursery manager has also attended training for SENCO and can provide support where needed.
The staff at the setting say that the experiences they have encountered have taught them a lot about how to support a child’s additional needs. We continue to use Noodle Now training courses and can therefore extend our knowledge in different areas and use this in practice.
Staff also have access to a wealth of resources that are available through West Sussex online that can help them support a child's individual needs. There is also guidance outlining to staff how to use these resources.
Activities that we have outside the nursery will be risk assessed beforehand. During this risk assessment the staff in the setting will determine who will be going, and what measures that we need to put into place to ensure the safety of all the children that will be going on the outing. There would be a dedicated member of staff that will support a child with SEN during the trip. This member of staff will probably be the key person or SENCO, someone that knows the child and his or her needs. The member of staff would have a ‘tool box’ of strategies and techniques that are co-agreed with the family beforehand to help the child cope during the activity.
Our aim as a setting is to ensure that all children can be included in the learning experiences that we provide and we would discuss how this can be achieved with the child’s family and any other professionals that may be involved in the child’s care.
At ground level we have access to the kitchen, toilets, running water and this is where the baby room and entrance hall is situated. The second floor of the nursery has the toddler room and pre-school room which is accessed via the stairs with hand railings. Our outdoor area is accessible via the fire evacuation steps. It is difficult for a wheelchair to access the upstairs environment, however, measures can be made to ensure the toddler room or pre-school room can be moved to the ground floor as and when required. Our toilets are large enough to accommodate a child with a wheelchair and nappy changing facilities are available on both floors of the nursery. All of the child’s needs would be discussed prior to them starting at the setting in order for us to ensure that we have everything in place to support the child. We translate all of our newsletters and information for parents in their home language, if required, to ensure that all parents are receiving relevant information about the nursery.
Initially a parent is invited to view the setting, to have a look around, discuss a child’s needs and talk about any adaptations that may need to be made. The parent is then invited to attend free of charge settling in sessions. During these sessions the child will initially stay with the parents and then later on his or her own. Each child is also allocated a key person that will help settle them in and work very closely with the family. Families will be provided with a welcome pack detailing what goes on in their room e.g. routines, activities. Parents receive daily feedback forms which will let parents know what they have been doing for the day, how much they have eaten and when they have slept and been changed. As well as this staff are always willing and available to speak to you at the end of the session. You are also welcome to call the nursery at any time to find out how your child is getting on if you have any particular concerns that day e.g. if they are feeling a little unwell in the morning.
As well as this the staff at the nursery will help children transition to ‘big school’ using role play (School dressing up), stories at story time and general discussion with children about what happens at school. We also arrange visits to the school or for the school to come and visit us in the setting. During these meetings the key person will discuss key information about the child with the school teacher to ensure they have all of the information required to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
We also maintain a two-way flow of information between other settings so if your child will be attending two early year’s settings we are always aware of the child’s progress in both. This also ensures continuity of care for the child as we are able to discuss how we are meeting the child’s needs in both settings.
If a child moves to another setting we would provide the parents/carers with their child’s learning journal to pass on to the other setting. This allows the new setting to gain an understanding of the child’s current skills and progress. In some circumstances we may also contact the new setting to discuss the child’s needs with them to ensure continuity of care.
The nursery will assess, monitor and review each child’s needs. Equipment and resources are purchased according to what we feel the children need. Inclusion funding can be granted in some circumstances to allow the nursery to provide extra resources specific to an individual child if necessary. We also pay a subscription that enables staff to have further training and Inclusion funding may be available to help the setting enable children to have full access to the environment and equipment within the nursery.
The key person will plan individual activities for the child and will ensure the resources that are needed are available. If there is a lack of resource then they will consult with the manager, so that the manager can then obtain the resources needed. Regular audits are carried out by room leaders as well as the manager to ensure there are ample resources available to meet all areas of the curriculum.
The nursery’s SENCO and the child’s key person will plan for the child and use the resources available through the West Sussex County Council to support your child. The methods used are then reviewed and are assessed to evaluate if they are working or whether targeted support will be needed. This decision will be made with the parents and in line with what the key person and SENCO feels is best. The targeted support teams accessed can come into the nursery to observe the child and decide if and what additional support the child will need, and will help to get this support in place.
In some cases, staff create an Individual Education Plan (IEP) with the help of other professionals involved to determine the child’s needs and how they can be met. These IEP’s are regularly reviewed with parents and key person. Decisions are made following ongoing detailed assessment, it is then that we can determine what support the child needs.
We encourage our parents and carers to have a contribution in the setting by asking them to complete feedback questionnaires to help improve the service we provide. We also complete next steps every four months, and upload them to Tapestry, so the parents can provide feedback of their child’s progress at home. Parents are also invited to complete ‘wow’ slips, which are shared with the rest of the group. Parents can also access their child's online learning journal, following a signed agreement, so they are always able to see their child's progress and add their own observations.
As well as this we also have an open door policy so parents or carers can stay and chat with staff, or stay in the room with their child for a while. Suggestions are always taken on board and these help to contribute to the improvement of practice within the setting. We hold an open evening every six months for parents and carers to provide feedback on their child’s development and progress. It is also an opportunity parents to visit the nursery and talk to other parents and staff.
Once you have started at the nursery your child’s key person is the best person to talk to as they have knowledge of how your child is learning and developing. However, our staff are all knowledgeable in where extra help or information is available and will be able to guide you to where you can get further information and support. Within the nursery you can also talk to: -
Gemma Pena - Nursery Manager and SENCO
Dani Sawyers - Deputy Manager
You can contact either of these practitioners by calling the nursery on 01444-870797.
The local children’s centres, The Gatton’s and Sidney West, can provide parents with a wealth of information and they also run parent and child groups that provide the opportunity to meet other parents.
As well as this your family health visitor usually has further information available. You can usually contact your health visitor via your GP surgery.