1. How does the setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs (SEN)?
TiggyWigs staff are trained in the care and education of children in Early Years. The knowledge and experience we have, as well as the assessment we carry out using the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, helps us identify where children need additional support. Our aim is to work as closely as possible with families to ensure the 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 some information if they felt the child may need extra support. For example, a health visitor could recognise a speech and language delay and signpost what you would need to do next. In cases such as this, if you are planning to enrol your child in the nursery then it is important that we are made 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 have any concerns at all about your child and think that he or she may have Special Educational Needs then you can talk to his or her key person at the nursery. Every child is assigned a key person in the setting who will be responsible for assessment and personal care; they will also be the person who gets to know the child best. This helps the staff to build attachments and relationships with the child, and helps 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.
2. How will early years setting staff support my child/young person?
Staff will engage with the children and will try to establish the best approach to use for the child’s personality, age and stage of development. The key person will work closely with the setting SENCO (special educational needs coordinator) to ensure that steps are put in place to help the child 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. Achievements to work towards are clear for the child, the parents and the nursery staff so that everyone understands what the aims are and the different things that we can try to achieve them.
The key person and/or SENCO may also access inclusion support, subject to 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 or her development and help identify next steps and whether the child needs to see any other professionals. The nursery will always work closely with the family and parents/carers are free to express their thoughts 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.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
The key person is responsible for the assessment of their group of key children. They 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 and assessment that is taking place.
If staff have a concern for a child under a specific area of learning they may create a play plan (PP) or individual education plan (IEP) that will outline specific targets that are an achievable challenge for the child to help them to progress in that area. The PP or IEP will also outline what the parents can do at home to help 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.
4. How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s person’s learning?
The children’s online learning journal marks important milestones and progress and can be viewed at any time as parents are given their own login, following a signed agreement. Staff are always available for informal or formal meetings and parent’s 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 and this can help to understand how the curriculum is put into practice.
Our toddler room staff complete detailed two-year checks for each child 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 we have with them there so that between us we can all decide on what to do next.
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.
5. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
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:
• Working in partnership with parents
• Health and safety
• Equal opportunities
• Behavior management
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 that they are suitable to work in an Early Years setting and the nursery is regularly inspected by Ofsted to ensure that high 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 their 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.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
Staff in the setting can access different services that can help support your child. When there is a concern about a child’s needs we can access inclusion support. They can help us to refer the child to a specific team that can support a child for example 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/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 them the opportunity 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.
7. What training are the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
As mentioned above, all of our staff are either NVQ level three qualified, or are working towards it, and within this they gain knowledge in how individual children learn and develop. We also have access to training schemes through the West Sussex County Council that staff can attend to enhance their knowledge. Our current SENCO has attended ‘the role of the INCO’ course, where she gained knowledge on what to put into place when supporting a child with SEN. She has had six years’ experience in being our SENCO and in this time she has helped support a number of children with additional needs. 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 that they have encountered have taught them a lot about how to support a child’s additional needs. We will continue to be part of the WSCC training scheme which means that staff will attend relevant training as and when it becomes available.
Staff also have access to a wealth of resources that are available through WSCC online services that can help them support a child's individual needs. There is also guidance for staff on how best to use these resources.
8. How will my child be included in activities outside the nursery classroom including trips?
Activities that we have outside the nursery will be risk assessed beforehand and as part of this risk assessment the staff will determine what measures need to be 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 and this member of staff will probably be the key person or SENCO; someone that knows the child and his or her individual 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.
9. How accessible is the setting environment?
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 that the toddler room or pre-school room can be moved to the ground floor as and when it’s 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.
10. How will the setting prepare and support my child to join the setting, transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life?
Initially a parent is invited to view the setting, to have a look around and 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 they will 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 them know what their child has 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 able to call the nursery 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 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 settings. This also ensures continuity of care for the child as we can discuss how we are meeting the child’s needs in both the 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.
11. How are the setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
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 be able to provide extra resources specific to individual children, if it is needed. We also pay a subscription that enables staff to access further training and inclusion funding may also 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 that 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.
12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The nursery’s SENCO and the child’s key person will plan for the child and use the resources available through the WSCC 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 team can be accessed and they can come into the nursery to observe the child and decide if and what additional support the child will need; they will also help to get this support in place.
In some cases staff create an Individual Education Plan (IEP) with the help of any 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.
13. How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?
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 send home next steps every four months and ask the parents to provide feedback on these sheets of their child’s progress at home. Parents are invited to complete ‘wow’ slips, which are shared with the rest of the group. Parents can also access their child's learning journal online, 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 contribute to the improvement of practice within the setting. We hold an open evening every six months which enables parents to visit the nursery and talk to other parents and staff, during this we are able to provide feedback to parents on their child’s development and progress.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
At our nursery the staff all have knowledge in where extra help or information is available, therefore asking the staff is usually helpful in guiding you to where you can get further information and support. Within the nursery the best people to talk to are:
Gemma Pena- Nursery Manager, SENCO support
Sam Stoner – Deputy Manager
Emma Fox – Nursery SENCO
You can contact any of these practitioners by contacting the nursery on 01444-870797.
Your child’s key person once you have started at the setting is the best person to talk to as they have knowledge in how your child is learning and developing.
The local Children’s Centre’s, The Gattons and Sidney West, can provide parents with a wealth of information and they also run parent and child groups that provide parents with 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.
Updated May 2018