ABC Rainbow Day Nurseries Ltd Rayleigh Branch, SEND
(Special Educational Needs and /or Disabilities) Local Offer
1) How our setting knows if young children need extra help and what our parents/carers should do if they think their child may have SEND (Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.)
We consider all our children to be special, unique individuals with unique needs. Before children start in our nursery we organise a home visit to the child’s home so that the member of staff who is to become the key person for that child in the nursery can have an understanding of the child’s family and home situation. A ‘key person’ is assigned to every child and they are responsible for observing, assessing, monitoring and planning for each of their key child’s needs in partnership with parents. The member of staff is accompanied by a member of the management team on the home visit and this enables the child and the member of staff to spend time getting to know each other in the child’s home environment while the parent and the member of the management team go through the parent welcome pack. This is the first opportunity for parents to discuss their child’s particular needs. In order to fully meet children’s needs it is important parents understand that by sharing even small concerns that arise with the setting, together we can ensure everything is done to meet children’s particular needs as early as possible. Following the home visit we offer a settling into nursery service involving free tailor made visits to suit each individual child. These visits also provide further opportunity for parents and the child’s appointed key person to build a clear picture of the child’s individual needs. Should the parents and carers identify a child has a particular need that requires support from external specialist agencies, working with the parents, a request will be made to the local authority SENDco (Special Educational Needs and or Disability Co-ordinator.)
2) How our setting supports young children with SEND.
The area SENDco will come into the nursery to observe the child and to make recommendations regarding referral where necessary to other agencies such as speech and language, paediatrics, physiotherapy etc. We gain permission from the parents when their child starts with us to communicate with external agencies such as physiotherapists. The child’s individual key person will liaise with the nursery SENDco and the Area SENDco and the family to support and plan for the child to ensure their specific needs are met. On entry into nursery we work with families to establish children’s starting points. On starting nursery all children are regularly observed throughout their day and their learning is documented indoors and outdoors. These observations are then recorded in each child’s individual Learning Journal and assessed. To assess the children we look at their starting point, the developmental norms for their age and map their seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage onto a graph which clearly shows the progression made as well as the areas of need. We monitor these assessments to ensure progress is being made. We will work with the family to plan and collect any specific additional resources or routines that give additional support to the child such as sensory equipment and visual prompts. As a nursery we aim to provide higher staff/child ratios especially for groups who have children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities so that each child’s specific needs can more easily be met. Our nursery will share any literature that we hold on specific types of Special Educational Needs and/or Disability that may be relevant to parents to support their understanding of their child’s education needs and/or disabilities.
3) How our setting creates learning and development opportunities for individual children with SEND
ABC Rainbow Day Nursery follows the principle of a “Unique Child”. We use information from the child’s family and the observations gathered by the child’s key person to create an individual next steps/smart outcomes plan to promote their development and learning. These plans identify needs within each area of the Early Years Foundation Stage with examples and strategies of how we are going to support the child to achieve them. These plans are always are available to parents and parents are encouraged to contribute to the planning, assessment and recording process. We regularly send home, “home observations” with the children for parents to complete and return in order to contribute to the observation, assessment and planning process. Children with SEND always have a home/nursery link book.
4) How our setting works in partnership with parents/carers.
When a child first joins our setting, information is shared between the key person and the parents. Each child has an “All about me” form completed by the key person and parent together. In addition, children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability will also have a “One Page Profile” to ensure all information is collected. The information will include the child’s specific routines, the child’s likes and interests, any support they may need and what others admire about them. The nursery shares plans, documentation and development graphs with parents and parental contributions to their child’s learning journal are actively encouraged. At the end of each session the key person will feedback to the parents: how their child has been; the activities they have participated in; any areas that may need to be supported. Parents are always encouraged to share any particular information relevant to their child during these feedback sessions. We also have an “Open Door” policy which allows parents and carers to come into the nursery to stay and play with their child. Parents are then able to work alongside our qualified staff to observe the best way to support their child and encourage them to achieve their goals. Parents are invited to all meetings around their child and copies are provided of all recommendations from support meetings that parents have not been able to attend. We also hold regular parents evenings and parent forums and invite parents to attend any in-house training taking place in the nursery.
5) How our setting supports the wellbeing of young children with SEND
We have a vast range of policies to support children’s well-being including Safeguarding, Promoting Positive Behaviour, Medication and Health and Safety, that we implement in our daily practice. Our policy folder is located in our hallway and copies will be made if requested. We have named co-ordinators for the following: SEND; Promoting Positive Behaviour; Safeguarding; Health and Safety and ENco. We have many strategies in place that promote positive behaviour including “Lenny the Listening Lion” who helps children’s understanding of our rules, to use their listening ears, keep them safe and help their personal, social and emotional skills. We also use sand timers in our older rooms to encourage good sharing and turn taking skills. At our setting we regularly use pictorial guides and visual aids to discuss our rules and the children’s safety. Our staff also use puppets and Persona dolls with the children to discuss our daily routine, feelings and emotions. We use a SEND child’s EHC plan (Education Health and Care Plan) and One Page Profile on a daily basis to cater for their individual specific needs. Our Key Person System operates throughout our nursery and promotes children’s wellbeing effectively by ensuring children’s individual needs are identified and supported.
6) Staff training and experience in supporting young children with SEND.
At our setting our practitioners are aware of the SEND Code of Practice September 2014 and have experience in working with children and families with SEND. We have a trained named co-ordinator who has attended the relevant up to date training: ‘SEND Code of Practice 2014.’ We have staff who are Makaton trained and we use the signs during our everyday routines. Our staff have also attended training including: Safeguarding; Behaviour management; Autism; Speech and language; and Paediatric first aid. We access training in house and through Essex County Council and would undertake further specific training for a child with particular needs.
7) Specialist services and expertise accessed by our setting.
With permission from the parents, we can contact all specialist teams at Essex County Council regarding their child. These can be accessed by Essex County Council http://www.essex.gov.uk/Education-Schools/Early-Years-Childcare/Pages/Early-years-and-childcare.aspx. Our manager attends regular local hub meetings liaising with other professionals including health visitors and speech and language therapists. We also have links with our local children’s centre and often exchange information regarding workshops for both children, practitioners and parents. After any communication we have with external agencies, we will feedback to the parents and if applicable a copy of any report will also be forwarded on. Parents will always be invited to meetings. Should parents wish us to accompany them to any meetings we will aim to do so.
8) How our setting includes young children with SEND in community based activities and outings.
When a child first joins our setting we ask for parental permission from the child’s parent to allow their child to join us on outings into our local area. A thorough risk assessment is carried out before every outing that includes a detailed description of: the staff and children attending and the journey that will be taken. Our risk assessments are then checked before departure by a member of management. Should a child joining an outing have additional needs, these will be discussed with parents to see what measures can be put into place. We also have a 6 seated “Turtle bus” that allows us to take babies and non-walkers out into the local community. If a child requires any medication we would take this with us to administer if needed. Any other information that would assist the child on an outing, for example: photographs of the destination, are provided prior to the visit and would then be shared with parents to talk about at home. If applicable, extra staff will be provided to ensure all children are included.
9) Our accessible environment.
Although our wheelchair accessibility is currently restricted to the confines of a semi-detached property, we will be reviewing ways to improve the access when we expand into our adjoining property and carry out our refurbishments. We can currently offer some access for wheelchair users on the ground floor. We support other needs through offering documentation to both children and parents in different font sizes, coloured paper, visual aids and other languages. We also strive to find story books in dual languages specific to the children with English as an additional language who currently attend our setting. Our nursery has a range of visual boards and pictorial records of activities and outings which are used with the children and we are happy to share these resources with our parents. We have a range of communication methods for parents including email, SMS, telephone, in addition to face to face contact as we are aware that some parents may find this difficult.
10) How our setting prepares and supports young children with SEND when joining the setting and when transferring to another setting or school.
At ABC Rainbow Day Nursery we participate in home visits for all children. The home visit will consist of the child’s assigned key person and a member of management coming into the family home and meeting the family and the child in a comfortable and familiar environment. This enables the child and the member of staff to spend time getting to know each other in the child’s home environment while the parent and the member of the management team go through relevant paperwork. The paperwork includes the “All About Me” form. This will be an opportunity for the parent to identify any Special Educational Needs and/or Disability. The “All About Me” form also asks for the child’s likes and interests which enables us to plan ahead for their first nursery visit. If, for example, a child enjoys playing with the cars we will make sure the cars are out during their first visit. If the child has already been identified as having Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, a “One Page Profile” will also be completed at this visit. At the home visit we will give you a “Starting ABC Rainbow” pack. This is an activity pack loaned to parents which has pictures of the nursery and staff that you can share with your child before starting with us. Following the Home visit we will book in a minimum of three free, flexible and tailor-made nursery settling in visits. These visits will usually be an hour long and preferably on the days that your child will be attending the nursery. For the first visit, you will meet the rest of the team, including the SENDco and you will spend the time encouraging your child to play. The following visits you are encouraged to stay in the room for short periods of time to allow the child to explore independently. We can also use these sessions to assess our physical environment to see if we need to make any adaptions to suit you or your child’s needs. If a child attends another setting we will work together with them and share any information, progress and documentation with consent from the parents. We will also arrange to exchange visits to the other setting if we feel this will benefit the child. Staff from other settings and schools are also welcome to visit our setting to spend time with your child in our environment. When transitioning to school, we communicate with all the schools that our children will be joining. We will meet with new teachers and discuss children’s development and any other information that needs to be shared, including any special educational needs and/or disabilities. Our “Big School” activity wallet is available to loan to parents for those who are anxious about the transition. At our setting we do our best to ensure children are confident when transitioning to school. We create a large transition to school display in our entrance area. The display becomes a talking point with both parents and children. Children are able to discuss and compare the schools that they and their friends are to attend and parents can see which of their child’s friends will be attending the same school. This allows the child and the family to become more familiar and more confident with the concept of transition to school.
11) How our setting organises its resources to meet the needs of young children with SEND.
All of our rooms and our garden area are well stocked with a wide range of age appropriate resources to aid the children’s learning and development. We also share resources between the rooms if we need younger/older resources to match each child’s individual needs. Our nursery is committed to finding and providing additional specialist resources where required such as auditory, visual and tactile aids to further support children. We are happy to work with all parents and share the resources that we have and make them available for home use if needed. As part of our assessment process, each child’s key person assesses children’s favourite resources and then ensures these are regularly used to support and extend each child’s learning and development. At ABC Rainbow staff ratios are always maintained and whenever possible where children with additional needs are in attendance, staffing levels are increased to offer smaller group and one-to-one opportunities.
12) How we decide on appropriate support for young children with SEND.
After initial observation, assessment and discussion with the nursery SENDco and parents, we will contact our area SENDco to request an individual assessment. Parents will be informed at every stage and if any meetings take place, parents will be invited to come along. The information gathered from the observations will then be assessed in consultation with the parents, key person, nursery SENDco and Area SENDco. Where appropriate, a decision will be made to contact further external agencies. We will then all work together with the child to create any documentation such as a “One Page Profile” including the views of the child where possible. The process will be monitored and support will be given by the manager regularly and when needed.
13) How we involved all parents/carers in our setting.
At ABC Rainbow we strive to ensure our parents are involved with every aspect of our setting. All of our policies and procedures are available for parents at any time. We ensure that our key people and SENDco can talk to children’s families on a regular basis and our management team are always available if needed. We have an “Open Door” Policy at our setting and we encourage our parents to stay and spend time within their child’s room. We also hold parents workshops on a regular basis such as Father’s Day messy play where the parents come into the setting during the day and carry out an activity with their child. We also hold workshops in the evening involving the staff and the parents. These give us the opportunity to talk about the benefits of an activity and encourage the parents to get “stuck in”. Parents are regularly asked to contribute to the running of the nursery and their child’s learning and development, for example through monthly newsletters and termly questionnaires regarding our practice, quality of service and to gather further information. In addition, parents are encouraged to complete home observation sheets that are used to document the child’s home learning in their Learning Journal. Our Learning Journals containing the child’s next steps/smart outcomes and developmental graphs are also sent home on a termly basis and more regularly if requested; they are always accessible to the child’s parents. Our Learning Journals are discussed in our termly parents evening and open evenings. We hold many social events throughout the year inviting our children, parents and families to join us including our annual Christmas Fayre, regular parent forums and celebratory parties.
14) Who to contact for further information.
If you would like to discuss your child’s needs before making a decision about your child starting at our nursery, please either visit (no appointment necessary), or telephone the nursery and ask to speak with either the Principal Myra Argentieri, the Quality and Improvement Manager and Nursery SENDco Ellie Powell or our Office Manager Toni Hogan.
Telephone: 01268 778 078
All of our policies are made available to parents in our hallway near the office.