SEND (Special education needs and disability)

At Clare’s Little Bears we work closely with parents and local authorities to support children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Early Years Extended Local Offer Response

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?

At Clare’s Little Bears we treat every child as an individual. Your child will be allocated a key person who will be responsible for your child’s development. Through use of observations and planning for next steps we are able to identify any delays which we will share with you, with your consent we will contact other professionals if required.

2. How will staff support my child?

Our setting staff will support your child by providing activities and experiences specifically tailored to their needs for a specified time each session or week dependent on their individual needs. This may be one to one, in small groups or key groups. This will be documented in a Support Plan which will outline any delays or areas needing support, what activity may help this, and how often this should be done to achieve development. These support plans are reviewed usually on a termly basis or sooner if your child achieves many sessions per week. Staff always use a consistent approach and will encourage your child sensitively and age appropriately. Staff will use their knowledge of your child's strengths and interests to help them achieve their goals/targets. Staff will share these plans with you to enable you to support your child at home with similar activities.

Your child’s key worker will support your child primarily, with the support of the SENCO however, other staff involved in meeting your child’s needs will also be made aware of their individual needs and the strategies put in place. This ensures your child will always receive the care and support needed at all times.

3. How will I know how my child is doing?

Your key person will work with you and your child. This relationship will ensure that we share knowledge concerning your child and development. This ‘knowledge’ begins with our home visit to you and our ‘all about me’ page on your child’s learning journal, continuing with regular meetings relating to their next steps. Every term we also invite parents to a development consultation where we offer a unique child summary that outlines your child’s achievements as well as areas we are supporting. Through continual observations we can plan for your child including assessing additional support from other professionals if appropriate.

Alternatively, you can discuss your child’s progress in private with our SENCO (Special Education Needs Coordinator) at any time.

With your permission, our setting will contact the Early Years SEND team for additional support and advice.

4. How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child's needs?

Every child is viewed as ‘unique’ therefore we plan for child’s development based on observations of your child and evidence gained for their learning journal. Your child will also have a ‘tracking grid’ which shows your child’s development in every area of learning.

You are welcome to see your child’s learning journal and grid at any time. We operate online journals. Here you will have your own parent login and can view your child’s learning within the setting, as well as add to this by uploading photos from your child’s experiences at home. This enables us to really support our parent practitioner relationship and keeps you up to date with your child’s interest and progress each week.

We will endeavour to involve your child, enabling them to make choices and engage in activities and experiences that interest them. Through observations we can monitor your child’s progress ensuring that we have a clear understanding of your child interests/progress and their level of involvement.

We will create support in our setting, such as a visual timeline to support your child’s understanding of the routine if appropriate.

The SENCO will aim to seek additional training of staff (i.e. signing etc) if appropriate, to meet your child’s individual needs.

5. What support will there be for my child's overall wellbeing?

All our staff are welcoming friendly, providing an inclusive, sensitive and positive approach.

Practitioners provide good role models for positive behaviour and are consistent in the day to day care of the children. Should your child display any unwanted behaviour we will work with you and your child to provide a consistent and planned approach to improve behaviour.

Personal health care plans can be adopted if necessary and a member of staff trained to provide prescribed medication, however you will be required to fill out and sign a ‘medication administration Form’.

Activities will be adapted to ensure your child can participate within the setting. Choosing cards, signs, time lines and photographs are used for children so that they may interact fully within their environment.

There is always a quiet area within the room providing a retreat for your child if they are tired or just need to rest.

Our pre-school will ensure all personal care needs such as nappy changing and potty training are undertaken when required.

6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by setting?

We have regular contact with the following professions:

Children centre (Bridge Road Stevenage) we attend early year’s network sessions to keep updated with new information and work closely with family workers to support our children within the home if required.

Early Years SEND team (Specialist SEND teachers and workers who attend and support settings)

The setting’s SENCO's attends regular updates and training.

Speech therapists

We can request outside services to provide support for your child where applicable.

Parental agreement will always be obtained before we contact the professionals listed above.

7. What training and/or experience do the staff, supporting children with SEND, have?

- All staff are first aid trained apart from one apprentice

- 2 members of staff are trained SENCO

- 1 member of staff is training for full SENCO

- 3 members of staff hold level 3 qualifications

- 4 member of staff hold level 2 qualifications

- 2 members of staff are working towards level 3 qualifications

- 1 staff member also holds a degree in other subjects.

We believe all our staff are inclusive and treat allchildren with the same uniqueness they each deserve.

8. How will my child be included in activities outside the setting?

All children are welcome on our trips; we ensure parents are involved on the planning of our trips to identify any needs with your child.

If necessary we can prepare your child for a trip using visual aids such as a photo book. Our setting would take along any medication or aids/equipment needed along with a first aid kit.

All visits would be risk assessed and planned for all children to be included.

9. How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child's learning and development?

You will be asked to be involved in meetings with your key worker and SENCO and if necessary, other professionals with your permission.

You are a very important part of your child’s developmental progress and you will be involved at every step along your child’s journey.

10. How accessible is the building / environment?

The building has one step in/out at every entrance and exit. We have an open plan environment and furniture that can easily be moved to accommodate for adaptation. We have two small toilets with support bars installed.  The ceilings are high and wooden floor makes the space quite loud. We do have a snug story area for quiet play or reading.

If you are a parent who has English as an additional language we will try hard to aid communication by various means including perhaps communicating through another family member, finding another member of staff / parent who speaks your language (with your permission) or involving the children centre. Signs posters and visual pictures will be translated in your home language.

Visual clues will be used to ensure your child feels included within our setting.

We can explain the limitations of the building (e.g. high ceilings making hearing difficult) and would make adaptations to existing resources.

11. How will the setting prepare and support my child with transitions between home, settings and school?

Our pre-school provides a home visit and session prior to starting (it may not always be possible to do home visits prior sometimes we carry them out after if need be) this is so that your child and you are already familiar with the environment and their key worker.

We encourage you to stay until your child is settled and have a flexible settling in period, if your child is having difficulties settling in.

We will meet other professionals, team around the child or multi disciplinary meeting (Health and Care) to put in place good transition for your child.

If your child should attend another setting or leave to goto another school we would invite the other setting for a visit and discuss the right transition steps for your child’s transition and give the new setting time to make any changes to their setting to ensure your child has a very smooth transition.

If possible your child’s key worker could attend the new setting with your child to become familiarised with the environment.

All necessary documents will be passed over to the new school and grids and learning journals passed to parents.

12. How will [the setting's] resources be used to support children's special educational needs?

We endeavour to ensure all children have resources linked to their development /interests and learning.

We often borrow toys from our toy library or ‘make’ equipment to reflect your child’s individual learning.

13. Who can I contact for further information about the Early Years Offer in the setting?

If you wish to discuss your child’s needs prior to starting you need to contact the Manager, Clare Cole or the Deputy Manager and SENCO Miss Adelaide  on 07501 211176 or you may talk about your child’s needs at the home visit prior to starting.

You are welcome to discuss concerns with your key worker, SENCO or Manager at any time.

Clare’s Little Bears Email: or 07501 211176.