How does the early years setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?
Our staff have various qualifications and experience within the childcare industry therefore meaning they have good knowledge of young children’s learning and developmental stages. We operate a key person system so that each family can build a close partnership with at least one member of staff from entry. Each child’s key person gets to know them and their family extremely well and is always available to talk to about any concerns. Each child has their own learning journal where their key person records their progress, paying particular attention to their speech, language and communication development. As a result they are able to recognise any additional support that may be required and with your permission contact the relevant outside agencies for advice and strategies (e.g. occupational therapy team or speech and language therapists). We have an INCO (Inclusion Coordinator) within the setting who attends regular training, and staff are always more than willing to undertake any further training where needed to improve the support they are able to provide to any child within their care.
We regularly observe our children during their play and monitor their progress in all areas including communication and language, to ensure they are moving forward and taking the appropriate next steps in their learning. Any parent/carer with concerns regarding their child’s learning and development should speak with their child’s key person who will then make contact with the appropriate agencies where required.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
At Scamps Pre-School we follow the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) framework. We take time to get to know each individual child, their strengths, preferred learning styles and interests, in order to become aware of and help them to achieve the next steps within their learning. We extend children’s learning by observing and interacting with them during their own play in order to move their learning forward in the most natural and appropriate way. The children are able to self-select resources that they wish to play with and staff pay particular attention to their individual needs within their learning and development. We monitor children’s individual progress within the setting regularly by making reference to the EYFS framework. By doing this we are able to easily identify any areas of concern and approach them sensitively in partnership with their parents/carers.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
Our practitioners are welcoming and friendly, and provide an inclusive, sensitive and positive approach to all those who attend the Pre-School.We feel strongly that children should feel secure and relaxed in the Pre-School and our settling in process is flexible to reflect this.We work together with parents/carers to jointly decide on the best way to help the child to settle into the setting.
On enrolment at the Pre-School we gather lots of information from a child’s family including any dietary requirements, medical conditions and/or special educational needs.
All staff within the setting have had training in paediatric first aid and child protection. We are able to administer prescribed medicines within the setting and all staff have a valid DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check to ensure their suitability for working with young children. Daily risk assessments are undertaken within the setting to ensure its safety.
We use visual strategies such as visual timetables, communication lanyards and now and next boards to support children’s understanding of the Pre-School routines.
We have a behaviour management policy within the setting as we believe that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are met in an environment which has clear and developmentally appropriate expectations for their behaviour. We encourage the children to consider the views, feelings, needs and rights of others, and also the impact that their behaviour has on people, places and objects by using positive behaviour strategies. We also have a feelings box accessible at all times in the Pre-School for children to explore and begin to understand the feelings of themselves and others around them.
What training are the staff, supporting children with SEND, had or are having?
We are part of the West Sussex Training Subscription which enables us to access regular training relevant to our setting and our children’s needs, such as the ‘Early Language Development Programme’. Our setting’s INCO attends regular network meetings and forums where support for children with any additional needs is discussed and cascaded back to the rest of the team in the Pre-School. Our team have accessed several types of speech, language and communication needs training and most of our staff team are Level 1 & 2 trained in Makaton. We have accessed training on Sensory Processing Difficulties, and several of our team have successfully completed a Level 2 in Understanding Autism. We work alongside all other outside agencies where relevant to support children’s needs, and share information accordingly. We have had experience of working alongside ‘Targeted Setting Support’, SALSS (Speech & Language Setting Support), Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. We have experience of working with children with various additional needs including Autism, Dwarfism, Global Development Delay, Cerebral Palsy, Visual Impairment and Speech and Language Delay.
How will the early years setting prepare and support my child to join the early years setting, transfer to a new setting/school?
We gain as much information as possible from each family before a child begins at the Pre-School using comprehensive registration forms, all about me sheets and discussions with parents/carers. We encourage each child to have as many settling in sessions as they require before they start with us. Using the all about me sheets and information from parents and carers we then ensure that appropriate activities are put out in the settling in sessions to engage the individual child. Contact will be made with relevant outside agencies if appropriate. On the registration forms, we ask if the child attends any other setting. If they do, we will share our observations and assessments to ensure continuity between the settings. The key person begins building a close bond with the child and their family right from enrolment to ensure the child feels safe and secure within the Pre-School. The child’s key person will work with the child’s family to gather information on the child’s strengths and areas of need so that they are fully supported in the setting from the outset.
We support families wherever possible in preparing their child for school, including when the time comes to choose and apply for a school. We share all of the information we gather on a child with their receiving school and where appropriate, arrange a transition meeting to discuss their individual needs. Schools are invited into the setting to visit the children.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
This is unique for every child depending on their individual needs. The settings INCO (Inclusion Coordinator) and child’s key person will work closely with the child and his/her family as well as any outside agencies to ensure the child receives all of the additional support required. An individual plan is devised with input from all agencies involved, the child and their family and this is reviewed every 6 weeks. This plan includes information such as the child’s intended outcomes and the strategies in place to reach these.
How are parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?
We believe in building strong partnerships with all parents and carers of children at Scamps Pre-School. We recognise that parents know their children best and are their best educators. Initially we ask parents/carers to complete comprehensive registration forms to ensure as much information about their child is shared with us as possible on entry. We operate a key person system so that each family can build a close partnership with at least one member of staff right from the outset. Each child’s key person gets to know the family well and is always available to talk to about any concerns and exchange information. All of our staff are friendly and approachable and always available to talk to at the beginning and end of sessions. Parents/carers are also able to book an appointment with their child’s key person to discuss their learning, development and individual needs. Reviews are held once termly for every child in order for staff and families to exchange information about their child’s progress and next steps in their learning. Meetings are held with parents for children with any special educational needs, particularly where an outside agency is also involved. We also send out termly newsletters to all of our families.
How will early years setting staff support my child?
We have an INCO (Inclusion Coordinator) within the setting who is responsible for coordinating inclusive provision within the Pre-School including for children with special educational needs. She attends relevant and regular inclusion training and network meetings. The INCO cascades the information gathered from these to the rest of the team at staff meetings. Although we have a designated INCO, we ensure that inclusive provision for all children is the responsibility of all members of staff in the setting. Staff have a wealth of experience within the early year’s sector including caring for children with special educational needs such as Autism, Speech and Language delay and Cerebral Palsy. Each child has a designated key person within the setting who collects vital information about each child during their very first settle sessions, to enable them to identify and respond to every child’s individual needs effectively and from the earliest opportunity.
We have had involvement with many outside professionals such as ‘Targeted Setting Support’, who are a valuable source of information regarding implementing effective strategies for children with any additional needs. Staff undertake any training recommended by an outside agency, and adapt resources and activities to suit each child’s needs. Staff have experience of introducing and supporting children with using PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and we offer a range of interventions at Scamps including Lego Therapy, Bucket time and Teachh boxes to support children’s social communication and attention skills. 4 members of our staff team are Level 1 & 2 trained in Makaton and we use this regularly during our everyday routines, stories and songs. We also make reference to the West Sussex Ordinarily Available Inclusive Practice Guide for further support in meeting children’s needs.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
We make reference to the EYFS framework regularly within our practice. The EYFS sets out developmental stages for children aged 0-5 years and therefore enables us to recognise children’s progress within the seven areas of learning. We observe each child’s developmental stages on entry to the Pre-School and continue to monitor their progress frequently throughout their time with us to ensure they are always moving forward in their learning. We take time to discuss this with parents/carers at least once a term during their child’s review. During each child’s review we talk about their next steps in learning and discuss ways in which their learning can be supported both at home and in the setting. We also carry out a 2 year progress check for children who attend the Pre-School between the age of 2-3. This helps to identify a child’s strengths and any areas where progress is less than expected so that a targeted plan can be developed with the parents/carers to support the child’s future learning and development. Staff are always available for informal discussions at the beginning and end of sessions or alternatively an appointment can be made with the child’s key person. We prefer to talk to parents and carers verbally, however we do also have an email address and mobile phone as an alternative means of communication.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?
At Scamps Pre-School, we have a highly qualified staff team, including 2 Early Years Teachers and 3 Level 3 Practitioners. We have 2 designated people for safeguarding and an INCO (Inclusion Coordinator) who has undergone various Special Educational Needs training. We also use the expertise of other professionals who are available to support us and any family with additional needs. Our setting’s INCO attends regular network meetings and forums where support for children with additional needs is discussed and cascaded back to the rest of the team in the Pre-School. We work alongside all other outside agencies where relevant to support children’s needs, and share information accordingly. We have had experience of working alongside TSS (Targeted Setting Support), SALSS (Speech & Language Setting Support), Sensory Support, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. We have experience of working with children with various additional needs including Autism, Dwarfism, Global Development Delay, Cerebral Palsy, Visual Impairment and Speech and Language Delay.
How will my child be included in activities outside the early years including trips?
By observing each child’s individual needs, preferred learning styles and interests, we are able to plan suitable and exciting experiences for all of our children. We take all of the necessary steps to ensure that all of our children can be included within the activities. We make the appropriate contact with outside agencies to source specialised equipment and access any additional funding required to support a child’s inclusion within our setting including where increased staff ratios may be necessary. We devise risk assessments and individual plans for children with additional needs where appropriate to ensure their safety, inclusion and progress within the setting.
How accessible is the early years setting environment? (indoors and outdoors)
Scamps Pre-School is based within East Worthing Community Centre. The community centre offers full wheelchair access as it is based on floor level only and has doors and a toilet which accommodate wheelchair users. We have access to a private and enclosed outdoor space at the community centre which all of our children are able to use daily. We take into account all of our children’s individual needs and adapt activities accordingly where required. For example, if a child is unable to reach the sand tray, we will move it down onto the floor. We make contact with the relevant outside agencies where specialised equipment may be required to make our setting fully inclusive for all children, for example by contacting an Occupational Therapist or our local Early Years Advisory Teacher. We have access to nappy changing facilities within the centre.
How are the early years setting’s resources allocated and matched to the child’s educational needs?
We are able to match appropriate resources to children’s individual educational needs by observing all children and our environment closely and regularly. The setting is organised into workshop areas where we try to ensure that as many resources are accessible to the children as possible. We believe that by doing this, children can learn through enjoyable and meaningful play and we can easily identify their personal interests and preferred learning styles. From this we are able to provide further learning opportunities and challenge for each individual child. We make the appropriate contact with outside agencies where additional resources may be needed to match children’s educational needs. Staff plan activities and experiences around children’s individual abilities and interests to ensure they are all able to progress and achieve their full potential. We take time as a staff team to discuss current resources and their effectiveness in order to ensure all children remain challenged within the setting and equipment is appropriate. We adapt our existing resources wherever possible in order to suit children with additional needs and/or disabilities such as moving activities onto the floor. Where required, we access and utilise inclusion funding from West Sussex to ensure individual children are fully supported in the setting and can achieve their full potential.
Who can I contact for further information?
If you wish to register your child at Scamps Pre-School or find out any more information, please contact Emma (Pre-School Manager) who will happily assist you and answer any questions you may have. Lynette is our INCO (Inclusion Coordinator) and is happy to discuss any concerns you may have regarding your child and his/her individual needs.
Phone: 07745 523 513