At Little Skaters Nursery and Pre-school we strive to support all children to enable them to achieve in the setting. In order to do this, many steps are taken to support them through their learning journey with us. Quality early years care and education is vital in recognizing that some children may need additional support to help them achieve. Children and Families Bill 2013 The Children and Families Bill takes forward the Coalition Government’s commitment to improve services for vulnerable children and support the development of strong family units. It underpins wider reforms to ensure that all children and young people succeed no matter what their background. The Bill will reform the systems for adoption, children who are looked after, family justice and special educational needs. The government is changing the system for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN), including those who are disabled.  The Bill extends the SEN system from birth to 25, giving children, young people and their parents/carers greater involvement in decisions and ensuring needs are properly met. What is the local offer? The 'Local Offer' was first introduced in the Green Paper (March 2011) to detail what local services are available to support disabled children and children with SEN and their families. This easy to understand information will set out what is normally available in settings to help children with SEN as well as the options available to support families who need additional help to care for their child. What will the Local Offer do? The East Sussex Framework will allow the Local Offer to provide parents/carers with information about how to access services in their area, and what they can expect from those services. It will also show how early years, schools and colleges will support them, and what they can expect the support to include. There are 16 questions, devised in consultation with parents/carers, and other agencies, which reflect their concerns and interests. These will be answered by services to provide information to parents and carers which will enable them to make decisions about how best to support their child’s needs. Little Skaters Nursery and Pre-school’s response to the 16 questions.

1. How does Little Skaters Nursery and Pre-school know if children need extra help? We know if children need extra help if: Concerns are raised by parents/carers, early years practitioners or the child’s previous early years setting. Limited progress is being made. There is a change in the behaviour or progress of the child. All children attending Little Skaters Nursery and Pre-school are monitored and observed in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage. A 2 year old development check is carried out and shared with parents who are encouraged to share the check with their health visitor. During the development check any concerns are discussed. A baseline assessment is carried out during the child’s first five sessions in order for us to identify starting points for your child’s Learning Journey and appropriate next steps for your child.

2. What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs? Initially the key person will be the first point of contact for responding to concerns raised by parents/carers. Alternatively parents/carers can contact the SENCO for Little Skaters, Ruth Dicken.  

3. How will Little Skaters Nursery and Pre-school support my child? Each child is assigned a key person who will work with your child to build confidence and positive self-esteem, helping your child to feel secure emotionally and physically. The key person will share each child’s learning journeys with their parents or carers and communicate regularly and answer queries. In addition the key person will work with the SENCO to provide an individual education plan which is reviewed regularly to ensure that the correct, continuous support is implemented.  Occasionally a child may require more expert help from an outside agency, for example, speech or occupational therapy. In this instance a referral will be made with your permission and forwarded to the appropriate service. After a series of assessments a programme of support will be offered for Little Skaters Nursery and  Pre-school practitioners and parents/carers to implement if this is felt necessary.

4. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs? Planning in the setting is based on each child’s individual interests and needs. The planning for each session is ‘child led’, so that their learning is built around the child’s interests; with guidance from practitioners for their individual next steps. Specific activities are provided for your child to learn within the area of need. The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Guidance is used to support assessments and observations which are carried out monthly by the key person. If necessary your child will be given an Setting Based Support Plan which details more specific and manageable targets. If appropriate specialist equipment will be used.

5. How will I know how my child is doing? You will be able talk to your child’s key person at the beginning and end of sessions where possible, we also share observations and progress more comprehensively during consultation events held each term. Appointments can also be made with the SENCO for the setting at any time in order to discuss strategies used in the setting which can be shared for use at home.

6. How will you help me support my child’s learning? The key person and the SENCO will suggest ways to support your child at home, the partnership between parents/carers is vital if children are going to learn, develop and thrive. If outside agencies are involved programmes of activities will be provided for setting and home use, thereby providing a consistent approach.

7. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing? While your child attends Little Skaters Nursery and Pre-school we are responsible for ensuring your child is safe and secure; both emotionally and physically throughout the transition from home-based care to pre-school and later to full time education. We offer an inclusive service (please see Policies and Procedures) and the provision is risk assessed daily to ensure children’s safety. All practitioners have up to date DBS checks, first aid certificates and safeguarding training. Medical information is retained on each child to ensure their individual needs are catered for. Prescribed medication is kept in a designated area and a record of administration of medicine and accidents are recorded. We do not use photographic devices unless all other parents and carers have given their consent. Please see Policies and Procedures for a comprehensive account of our practice.

8. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting? At times it may be necessary to consult with outside agencies to receive their more specialized expertise. The services used by the setting include: Children’s Integrated Therapy Service Early Years Teaching and Support Service Key worker system Social services Educational psychologists Local hospitals NHS direct

9. What training have the staff supporting children with SEN had (or are having)? We have one  Early Years Teacher in the setting and a trained SENCO. Training is undertaken regularly to ensure necessary knowledge is obtained and refreshed. Little Skaters Nursery and Pre-school is committed to enhancing professional development as the need arises. Practitioners are dedicated to working closely with parents/ carers and outside agencies to learn specific skills to support children with additional needs.

10. How will my child be included in activities outside the early years setting including Nursery and Pre-school trips? Risk assessments are carried out before any activities are commenced outside the setting. We consult and work with parents to ensure that all children are able to engage with the local environment. If parents do not accompany us on trips the ratio is two children per adult unless it is considered necessary for one to one support.

11. How accessible is the early years setting’s environment? The setting has wheelchair access and no stairs. There is one toilet with disabled access. The outside area is flat and the rooms are resourced to allow easy access for specialist equipment that children may need to use.

12. How will the early years setting prepare and support my child when joining the early years setting and transferring to a new setting /school? On joining the setting parents/carers are asked to attend taster sessions before the start date, this can be for an hour or longer depending on the individual child. Parents /carers are given a booklet to complete with their child’s key person, this aims to provide the opportunity for the key person to get to know significant facts about the child and to start building a rewarding relationship with the parent/carer. Careful monitoring, both written and visual, is carried out during the first sessions and regular feedback given to parents/carers on how well their child has settled in. An online learning Journey will be available for parents/carers to see what their children have been doing and add comments to the observations/assessments. On transition to Primary School we support the children by arranging for the class teacher to visit the children at the Nursery when possible. In addition we will work with the feeder schools to provide a transition programme aimed at supporting the whole family. Parents/carers are given a booklet on helping their children to prepare for school with details of the expectations that schools will have about the children’s skills and knowledge on entry. As a setting we plan routine activities that support the children to accept the change with a sensitive and nurturing approach.    

13. How are the early years setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special education needs? Little Skaters Nursery and  Pre-school provides Government funded early years education places for eligible 2 year olds and all 3 & 4 year olds - ( Additional funding can be claimed for children with special educational needs (SEN).

14. How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive? Little Skaters Nursery and Pre-school will observe and make a decision on whether your child will benefit from extra support with the additional information from the 2 year check, when necessary. This will be discussed with the SENCO and an Setting Based Support Plan will be created for your child with your input. This is reviewed over a term to learn what impact the support has had on your child, and what support should be provided next.

15.  How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s care and education? You will be consulted whenever possible and kept up to date with your child’s progress and care. You will be regularly asked for any ideas for activities to extend your child’s individual interests through play. Targets set through either an SBSP or in collaboration with outside agencies will be shared in partnership with you at all times. In addition your child’s progress will be carefully monitored and verbal discussions, both informal and at formal parent consultation events, will be arranged to ensure we are working in partnership with you to provide a sustained and consistent level of support for your child. Little Skaters Nursery and Pre-school is committed to working in partnership with parents/carers (please see our Parent Policy).

16. Who can I contact for further information? If you wish to discuss your child’s needs, or other issues regarding your child’s care and education please contact your child’s key person or the setting Leader, Ruth Dicken.