Our SEN and Disability Offer

How does the pre-school/ nursery know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?
Your child will be assigned a key person who is responsible for monitoring your child’s progress towards the Early Learning Goals as described in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. The key person will carry out observations and assessments to identify your child’s needs and plan for them accordingly. They will also monitor their progress and development, and refer to information previously gathered from other professionals (including previous settings attended, Health Visitor, Speech and Language specialist etc.). If the key person has concerns, they will discuss them with you and agree how best to meet your child’s needs. Similarly, if you have concerns, they can be raised at any time with the child’s key person, the setting’s Special Educational Needs Co-Coordinator (SENCO) or Manager. The key person will work with the setting’s SENCO and yourself throughout to ensure your child needs are fully met involving outside agencies as necessary. Your views are important and will be taken seriously.

How will the pre-school/ nursery support my child with special educational needs?
Robertsbridge Children’s Services (RCS) is an inclusive setting, committed to meeting the individual needs of all children that attend. Staff are trained to provide a high quality standard of care. Your child’s key person will plan next steps for learning and implement them along with other practitioners through play. Your child may require additional support on a one-to-one basis, depending on their level of need. This will be reviewed on a regular basis with the setting’s SENCO and changed when necessary. The setting’s SENCO is supported by the Board of Trustees and liaises with the key person to monitor progress and with your permission will source additional advice/support from outside agencies, such as East Sussex Children’s Integrated Therapy Service (ESCITS) or the Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability early years service (ISEND) if required.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
When it has been identified that a child has specific needs, a meeting will be arranged to enable a decision to be made about involving outside agencies such as the Specialist Early Years Service to assess those needs both at RCS and at home. Following on from this, the setting, you and outside agencies involved will work in partnership to discuss what type of support and resources are needed, in line with the SEN Code of Practice and Local Authority guidance. The staff will work in partnership with you as parents and any other professionals involved. An Individual Support Plan will be written to ensure that the correct level of support and resources needed are put in place and that everyone is consistent in following the same procedures and strategies to allow your child to reach a given target/goal. If your child has a medical condition and healthcare or social care-related needs the setting will work together with Health Care and Social Care professionals to consider whether an Educational Health and Care Plan may be appropriate for your child. These will be reviewed accordingly to track progress and decide on future support.

Your child’s key person will provide a range of resources within both the indoor and outdoor environment to meet your child’s needs, depending on their interests, to enable them to learn through play. The level of play may be differentiated accordingly to meet your child’s needs. Their progress and development will be tracked and assessed on an ongoing basis against the developmental milestones as stated in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. Individual Support Plans or Educational Healthcare Plans may be implemented to provide additional detailed learning development targets which will be shared with you at regular meetings to review/discuss progress. Children may work in small groups or on a one-to-one basis with a practitioner. Specialist equipment may be sourced to meet specific needs. Makaton is used to aid or support verbal communication using signs and symbols. Additional support and advice from other professionals, such as the Education Specialist Teacher advisors, ensures that your child’s needs are met.

For more information, visit: https://new.eastsussex.gov.uk/childrenandfamilies/specialneeds/send-education/sen/funding/early-years/

How will the pre-school/ nursery review my child’s progress and how shall they share it with me?
Your child’s progress will be tracked on an ongoing basis. Regular meetings will be held with you to discuss this. You are able to request a meeting with your child’s key person or the SENCO at any time. Suggestions to support your child’s learning will be included on their ’Next steps for Learning’ with parental involvement in next steps and Learning Journeys highly encouraged. A home contact book is used to encourage communication between home and RCS. Reports from outside agencies are shared and discussed with you. Parents are welcome to book ‘stay and play’ sessions at RCS and request advice /support at any time.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well being?
At RCS, we are committed to providing a happy, safe, warm and stimulating environment for all children to play, learn and develop freely. We recognise the importance of positive and effective behaviour management in promoting children’s welfare, learning and enjoyment with all staff following clear, consistent and positive strategies. Staff will administer any necessary medicines with signed parental permission and will seek further training if required in doing so. Most staff have first aid training. It may be necessary to draw up a Healthcare Plan to support your child and staff working with your child. Children spend time looking at their Learning Journeys and staff will listen, respond to and record their views and comments. Your child’s key person will be the primary point of contact for your child; if you have any concerns, please speak to them in the first instance and if further support is needed, please liaise with the Room Leader or SENCO.

What training do the staff have in supporting children with special educational needs or disabilities?
The named SENCO and other SENCO trained staff within the setting attend regular training, including inclusion support groups that are held across the year. Information and training is shared internally with our own staff and also with colleagues at other early years settings and members of the RCS Board of Trustees. Currently, we have staff with training or knowledge in: Special Educational Needs, Makaton, behaviour management, TALL training (Turn-taking, Attention, Listening and Learning) and Child Development.

What specialist services and support are available to the pre-school/nursery?
We have access to a range of outside agencies provided by the local authority such as Speech and Language Therapist, Health Visitor, Educational Psychologist, Early Years Specialist Teacher, English as an Additional Language service and the local Children’s Centre.

For more information, visit: https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/childrenandfamilies/specialneeds/send-education/sen/services-supporting-schools

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the pre-school/ nursery, including trips?
All children at RCS are fully included in all activities offered. Where necessary, risk assessments will be carried out and additional adult one-to-one support given to assist in your child being able to participate. Parents will be asked to meet the key person to discuss this before the activity takes place. Parents and carers will be invited to accompany their child if necessary.

How accessible is the pre-school/ nursery?
RCS is a modern building which is wheelchair accessible, all on one level. It has disabled toilets/changing facilities and easily accessed outside play areas. We will endeavour to communicate with parents and children using Makaton and visual prompts. Any additional equipment, resources or services to provide for children and their families’ additional needs will be sourced where reasonable. We ensure that the environment is fully accessible and inclusive to all families.

How will the pre-school/nursery help my child move on to school?
Before your child joins our setting, we will offer a settling-in session to enable them to become familiar with the environment and their key person. We will make contact with any previous settings attended. As a parent/carer, you will be given the opportunity to have a meeting with the child’s key person to share as much information about your child as possible to enable staff to provide play around your child’s needs and assist your child to settle, establishing a starting point for progression of their development. Your child’s key person and other staff will gradually settle your child. You are able to stay for as long as you feel necessary, until you are comfortable to leave your child; staff will guide and support you with this process. When your child is ready to progress within RCS, a meeting will be held with you to discuss the transition process. When your child transfers to another setting or school, RCS will make contact with them to see how as a setting, we can offer support with transition/induction sessions and advise them of any strategies in use or outside agencies involved to support the child’s needs. A summative assessment will be passed onto the school/setting explaining where your child is working within the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and parents will be given a copy of their Learning Journey.

Parents can request to meet with staff at any time and are able to attend all meetings.

Date issued: 5.1.17
Review due (one year): January 2018

More information, advice and support
The local offer which is available for children and young people with special educational needs in East Sussex:
www.eastsussex.gov.uk/localoffer

Information for Families (including SEN and disability advice service)
Telephone: 0345 6080 192
Text: 07797 870317
Email: informationforfamilies@eastsussex.gov.uk
Website: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/informationforfamilies

Give us your views about this information
Contact localoffer@eastsussex.gov.uk or call Information for Families on 0345 60 80 192