Our Local Offer – Westcliff

ABC Rainbow Day Nurseries Ltd Westcliff 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. 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. 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.


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 helping 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; 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 Southend Borough Council regarding their child. These can be accessed by Southend Borough Council http://www.southend.gov.uk/contact_us. 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.

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.

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 your key person and the rest of the team, including the SENDco and you will spend the time encouraging your child to play. This enables the child and the member of staff to spend time getting to know each other. 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. If the child has already been identified as having Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities, a “One Page Profile” will also be completed. 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. 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. 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 Fireworks night, 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 Care Manager and Nursery SENDco Abi Byford, our Office Manager Ann Lamb or Deputy Manager Kim Vincent-Pryke.

Telephone: 01702 345959

E-mail: abcrainbow2@btopenworld.com

All of our policies are made available to parents in our hallway near the office.


Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Policy
This SEND Policy has been written and implemented in our setting in line with our “Local Offer” which is part of the SEND Code of Practice
0-25years of age.
(September 2014)


At ABC Rainbow we are committed to the inclusion of all children. All children have the right to be cared for and educated to achieve the best possible outcomes, to share opportunities and experiences and develop and learn alongside their peers. We provide a positive and welcoming environment where children are supported according to their individual needs.


We recognise that some children may have additional needs that may require particular help, intervention and support. These needs may be short-lived for a particular time in the child’s life or may require longer-term or lifelong support. At all times we will work alongside each child’s parents and any relevant professionals to share information, identify needs and help the child and their family access the support they need.


In accordance with our admissions policy, we are committed to providing a childcare place, wherever possible, for children who may have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities according to their individual circumstances, and the nursery’s ability to make any reasonable adjustments in order to provide the necessary standard of care. All children will be given a tailor-made settling in period when joining the nursery according to their individual needs.


Where we believe a child may have learning difficulties and/or a disability that has not previously been acknowledged, we will work closely with the child’s parents and any relevant professionals to establish the child’s needs and to secure any action that may be required. We recognise that children with disabilities may not have SEN but may need the nursery to make reasonable adjustments to enable them to make full use of the nursery’s facilities.


Where we have emerging concerns about a child and/or where a child has identified additional needs or a disability, we will find out as much as possible about the needs of the child and any support the child or family may need to ensure the child makes the best progress in their learning and development. We do this by:

  • liaising with the child’s parents
  • observing each child’s development, monitoring and documenting such observations regularly
  • liaising with any other relevant professionals engaged with the child and their family
  • seeking any specialist help or support
  • researching relevant publications/sources of help
  • reading any reports that have been prepared
  • attending any assessment or review meetings with the local authority/professionals and parents.
Legal framework and definitions


The relevant legislation underpinning this policy includes:

Special Educational Needs and disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years

The Children and Families Act 2014, Part 3

The Equality Act 2010

Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014

Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (from September 2014)

Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013


We use the definitions set out in the law to describe SEN and disabilities.

A child has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.


A learning difficulty or disability means that a child of compulsory school age has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of other children of the same age; and/or has a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of the sort of facilities generally provided for others of the same age.


For children aged two or more, special educational provision is educational provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children of the same age. For a child under two years of age, special educational provision means educational provision of any kind.


A child under compulsory school age has SEN if he or she is likely to have a learning difficulty or disability when they reach compulsory school age or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them.


A disability is defined in the Equality Act 2010 as ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. ‘Long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’. This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Children with such conditions do not necessarily have SEND, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and those with SEND. Where a disabled child requires special educational provision they are also be covered by the SEND definition.




The nursery has regard to the statutory guidance set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (2014). We have clear arrangements in place to support children with SEND. We aim to:

  • Recognise each child’s individual needs through gathering information from parents and others involved with the child on admission and through our procedures for observation and assessment
  • Ensure all staff understand their responsibilities to children with SEND and have regard to the guidance given in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014
  • Plan, provide or help parents to obtain any additional help or support for any needs not being met by the universal service provided by the nursery
  • Include all children and their families in our provision, making reasonable adjustments where needed
  • Provide well-informed and suitably trained practitioners to help support parents and children with special educational needs and/or disabilities
  • Identify any emerging concerns that might suggest a child has special educational needs and/or disabilities at the earliest opportunity and plan for those needs through a range of strategies
  • Share any information received and assessments made by the nursery with parents and support parents in seeking any help they or the child may need
  • Seek any additional help needed including requesting an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment where the nursery’s own actions are not helping the child to make progress
  • Work in partnership with parents and other agencies in order to meet the individual children’s needs, including health services and the local authority, and seek advice, support and training where required
  • Monitor and review our practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments and seek specialist equipment and services if needed
  • Ensure that all children are treated as individuals/equals and are encouraged to take part in every aspect of the nursery day according to their individual needs and abilities
  • Ensure that gifted and talented children who learn more quickly are also supported
  • Encourage children to value and respect others
  • Challenge inappropriate attitudes and practices
  • Promote positive images and role models during play experiences of those with additional needs wherever possible
  • Celebrate diversity in all aspects of play and learning.




We will:

  • Develop and maintain a core team of staff who are experienced in the care of children with additional needs. Staff will be provided with specific training to help them make any special educational provision needed and meet the requirements of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2014
  • Identify a member of staff to be our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and Disability (SENDCO) and share their name with parents (see below for an explanation of their role)
  • Provide a statement showing how we provide for children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and share this with staff, parents and other professionals
  • Ensure that the provision for children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is the responsibility of all members of staff in the nursery
  • Ensure that our inclusive admissions practice includes equality of access and opportunity
  • Ensure that our physical environment is, as far as possible, suitable for children and adults with disabilities
  • Work closely with parents to create and maintain a positive partnership which supports their child(ren)
  • Provide differentiated activities to meet all individual needs and abilities to give a broad and balanced early learning environment for all children including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
  • Ensure that parents are consulted with and kept informed at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their child’s care and education, including seeking any specialist advice
  • Ensure that children’s views are sought and listened to
  • Use a graduated approach (see explanation below) to identifying, assessing and responding to children who have emerging difficulties, suggesting they may have special educational needs or a disability that requires a different approach
  • When planning interventions and support, agree the outcomes and the expected impact on progress and a date for review
  • Hold review meetings with parents at the agreed times and agree any changes or adjustments to support
  • Seek any further advice or support needed including multi-agency approaches, Early Support and requesting an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment where the nursery’s own actions are not helping the child make progress
  • Liaise with other professionals involved with children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and their families, including transfer arrangements to other settings and schools. We work closely with the next school or care setting and meet with them to discuss the child’s needs to ensure information exchange and continuity of care
  • Provide parents with information on sources of independent advice and support
  • Keep records of the assessment, planning, provision and review for children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
  • Provide resources, in so far as we can (human and financial), to implement our SEND policy
  • Ensure the privacy of children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities when intimate care is being provided
  • Provide in-service training for practitioners and volunteers
  • Raise awareness of any specialism the setting has to offer, e.g. Makaton trained staff
  • Ensure the effectiveness of our SEND provision by collecting information from a range of sources e.g. assessment information, targeted plans and outcomes, staff and management meetings, parental and external agencies’ views, inspections and complaints. This information is collated, evaluated and reviewed annually
  • Provide a complaints procedure and make available to all parents in a format that meets their needs e.g. braille, audio, large print, additional languages
  • Monitor and review our policy annually.


The role of the Special Education Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCO)

The role of the SENDCO is to provide a lead for staff in relation to SEND and disabilities and to make sure procedures are followed, appropriate records kept and parents are involved. The child’s practitioner (key person) will normally remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis and for planning and delivering an individualised programme. The particular responsibilities of our SENDCO are:

  • ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEND and the setting’s approach to identifying and meeting SEND
  • advising and supporting colleagues
  • ensuring parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting
  • liaising with professionals or agencies beyond the setting.


Our nursery SENDCO is Abi Byford.

Graduated approach

In line with requirements of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice, we take a graduated approach to working with children with emerging concerns and their families. This approach includes:

  • An analysis of the child’s needs including whether we should seek more specialist help from health, social services or other agencies
  • An agreement about the interventions and support needed and the expected impact on progress and a date for review
  • Implementation of the interventions or programmes agreed, including assessing the child’s response to the action taken
  • A review of the effectiveness of the support and its impact on the child’s progress by the key person, SENDCO, the child’s parent(s) and the views of the child, including any agreed changes to outcomes and support
  • Revisiting this cycle of action in increasing detail and frequency including seeking further specialist help to secure good progress until the SENDCO, key person, the child’s parent(s) and any other professionals involved agree intervention is no longer needed or decide to request an education, health and care needs assessment (see below).


Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment and Plan

If the help given through the nursery’s graduated approach is not sufficient to enable the child to make satisfactory progress, we may request, in consultation with the parents and any external agencies already involved, an assessment of the child’s needs by the local authority. This is called an Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment. The assessment will decide whether a child needs an EHC assessment plan. This plan sets out in detail the education, health and social care support that is to be provided to a child who has SEND or a disability. The local authority will consult with parents and let them know the outcome of the assessment.

Early help assessment

If we believe a child and their family would benefit from support from more than one agency, for example where a child may have difficulties linked to poor housing or difficult domestic circumstances, we may request or carry out an inter-agency assessment to get early help for the family. This early help assessment aims to ensure that early help services are co-ordinated and not delivered in a disjointed way.

Early Support

Where children have disabilities we may seek additional help and resources through the Early Support Programme which co-ordinates health, education and social care support for the parents and carers of disabled children from birth to adulthood. There is more information on the Council for Disabled Children website: http://councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/earlysupport