Local offer – Woodpecker Nursery
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?
At Woodpecker Nursery all staff are committed to early identification of special educational needs. progress checks are carried out for our children after they turn 2 years old to identify gaps in their learning and development. We observe and evaluate each child on a daily basis and note this information within each child’s Learning Journal. A Learning Journal is a document produced for each child attending the setting which is monitored and progress is tracked and shared with parents and carers. A letter is attached to the child’s next steps report requesting parents/carers to contribute to their child’s Journal by informing us of what their child is particularly enjoying at home and asking if there are any areas they would like the nursery to focus on. This process gives parents and carers the opportunity to be directly involved with their child’s learning and development and also gives regular opportunities for parents to voice any concerns they may have.
If you have a concern about your child’s progress or believe they have a special educational need, this can be discussed with the Manager (Amanda Punter) or your child’s key person. Additional assessment or support can then be discussed with the Inclusion and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (INCO/SENCO) (Kate Paice) and our Early Years Teacher (Clare Cane) who also provides additional support and advice. If appropriate a plan is produced incorporating activities that would help the child, drawing on the child’s interests and the discussions with parents. This initial plan is known as a` Play Plan’. Your child’s key person would produce this with the support of the Inclusion and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (INCO/SENCO) for Early Years. If required, we will also contact the First team (The FIRST Team forms part of West Sussex Early Childhood Service) for their support and work alongside other agencies.
How will early years setting staff support my child?
Our SENCO/INCO oversees all staff training to ensure staff maintain and enhance their continuing professional development. All training attended is cascaded during staff meetings ensuring continuity of care is maintained throughout the setting and enabling us to support the staff team if any concerns are raised about a child’s needs and development.
The level of support provided depends on the needs of your child. When the Play-Plan is written all staff working with your child will be aware of their particular needs but the child’s key person would have overall responsibility of ensuring the Play Plan is carried out and to discuss progress with you about your child. This Plan would indicate the support your child needs throughout the day focusing on the child’s particular needs. The Plan is regularly reviewed in consultation with you to see if the needs have changed in any way. The progress of each individual is tracked in the child’s Learning Journal as mentioned above and this is continuously reviewed to ensure progress is being achieved.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage guidelines set by the Government in addition to planning and implementing activities that meet one individual child’s interests and needs. We ensure that we incorporate the seven areas of learning for each child and provide a wide range of resources and opportunities both indoors and out.
Regular observations and assessments take place within each class which gives key persons the information they need about a particular child. This information feeds into the planned activities for each individual as well as the class activities. Every 6 weeks (or termly as a minimum dependant on how often a child attends the setting) the key person will look at each child’s development and set out the child’s next steps for the forthcoming 6 weeks. The next steps will be small developmental steps, which the key person feels the child can achieve within the 6 week cycle. The key person will produce a report that is passed to our SENCO/INCO (Kate Paice) who monitors each child’s development reports and sends the report out to parents/carers requesting their feedback ensuring we work in partnership with parents to match your child’s needs and enabling parents to continue to support the next steps at home. Any concerns will always be discussed with parents and the key person and also sometimes with the SENCO/INCO.
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 are always happy to discuss children’s progress or concerns with parents and believe this is really beneficial for everyone concerned. We have an open door policy within the office where all our children’s Learning Journals are kept and parent/carers are welcome to look at their child’s Journal at any time. You have the opportunity to have informal discussions with your child’s key person every day on drop off or pick up’s and if more time is needed an appointment can be made to discuss progress.
To aid communication we have a daily communication book for our under 3’s and a daily handover sheet is completed and discussed with you for our pre-school aged children where notable observations are shared. As mentioned above individual Play Plans are shared with parents and regularly reviewed. Throughout the year we hold parent/carers consultations, giving you the opportunity for one to one time with your key person to discuss and review your child’s progress observed within our setting.
We really value and understand the importance of working in partnership with parents/carers when completing your child’s progress on their next step reports. Your child’s key person will complete the report and a letter is sent requesting your feedback to ensure we are supporting the correct next steps for your child during their time at nursery. This document supports parents/carers in their child’s learning, outlining what we have observed and what we are planning for their child to encourage their next step development which parents can also continue to support at home.
What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
Your child’s well-being is at the heart of Woodpecker Nursery’s core values. Our vision is to provide a home from home environment for all our children, providing a loving, stimulating, safe, secure and happy environment where children can learn and grow to reach their full potential.
On starting at the Nursery we will ask you for all relevant information regarding your child’s health and developmental needs and dietary requirements. A Care Plan is completed by you and your child’s key person so we can ensure we can provide the best care based on your child’s individual needs. The Care Plan provides us with key information about your child’s current routines, family information, comforters, sleep routines etc. enabling us to have a good understanding of your child before they start at our setting to ease the transition for both you and your child. We hold regular staff meetings so we can ensure all staff are aware of any specific needs of individual children to support their well-being across the setting.
The Manager and senior staff administer medication when prescribed by a doctor and we ask parents/carers to fill in our medication form when dropping off their child in the morning. We undertake ‘opening up’ checks on a daily basis before the Nursery is open to the children, to ensure that the nursery is safe both inside and in the garden. The Manager risk assesses each room in the morning and afternoon ensuring all resources and equipment are safe for use and she is also aware of the activities during the day ensuring they are suitable and stimulating for our children.
Our nursery has numerous policies to support our children’s wellbeing which include Equal Opportunities and Inclusion, Health and Safety, Behaviour Management and Safeguarding. All staff complete safeguarding training and are Paediatric First Aiders and will assist the individual in the best way possible. Our Manager (Amanda Punter) and Deputy Manager (Samantha Searight) are our designated Safeguarding Officers and ensure procedures are followed at all times and staff are trained and maintain daily safeguarding practices.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?
All our staff are qualified to level 3 in child care as a minimum and complete regular training both in-house and externally assisting in their continued professional development. We subscribe to the West Sussex Early Childhood Training scheme, which gives us access to information, guidance, support and training in the Early Years and gives opporuntii4es to our staff to further their qualifications and attend continuing professional development courses (CPD).
Our Manager, Deputy Manager, SENCO/INCO and Early Years Teacher complete regular training and attend regular meetings with West Sussex County Council which is cascaded to all staff.
Our Early Years Teacher (EYT) – Clare Cane develops the social and communication skills of children and provides a safe and secure environment in which the child can learn. She builds and maintains relationships with parents/guardians to further support pupils as well as operating within multi-agency networks to ensure the correct support is available. Our EYT focus is on optimum child development and preparation for a successful transition to primary school education.
Within our nursery we also utilize the expertise of the FIRST Team which is part of West Sussex Council Early childhood service. The team offers training and advice to us in developing inclusive practice. The FIRST Team supports practitioners (childcare professionals) in meeting the individual needs of disabled children and children with additional needs to fully include them within our setting and provides links to external agencies to provide services such as speech and language therapy.
What training are the staff, supporting children with SEND, had or are having?
Staff attend Early Years Foundation Stage training and training recommended to us by West Sussex Council Early Childhood services and pass their knowledge onto their colleagues. We contact the First team when additional support is needed and welcome Speech therapists, Play workers, Physiotherapists, Occupational therapists, Portage and other agencies who will support the child with their development. Over the years we have worker with and supported children with varying special educational needs. Staff have attended training and worked with outside agencies to support these children.
How will my child be included in activities outside the early years setting including trips?
If a child has Special Educational Needs and Differences a conversation will be had with the child’s parents regarding any forthcoming activities or trips. Depending on the need of the individual, a plan will be made based on that discussion and a full risk assessment will be undertaken, taking all the children into account.
How accessible is the Early Years setting environment? (Indoors and outdoors)
The Nursery is located in a large Georgian building situated in a quiet rural setting. The building is split across two floors, with a main stairway leading up to the rooms upstairs on the first floor which are currently being used for our 2 to 3 year olds. The baby, toddler and preschool room are located on the ground floor.
There is easy parking access at the front of the building and the building is accessible from the main front entrance which has a wide door leading into the next security door which again has wide access. We have a ramp leading out to the garden via the dining room and a disabled toilet which is also located in the dining room.
How will the Early Years setting prepare and support my child to join the early years setting, transfer to a new setting/school?
Upon registering your child to start the nursery, parents will complete a registration form providing us with all parent/carer/emergency/Doctors/Dentist and any additional information initially required before you child starts with us, such as any dietary requirements, known allergies, medical needs or conditions etc. This information is passed to your child’s keyworker who will then contact you to arrange your settling in sessions which are completed prior to your child starting nursery to ease their transition.
We aim for children to feel safe, stimulated and happy in the Nursery and to feel secure and comfortable with all staff. It is of paramount importance to this Nursery that all children should be treated with great care and consideration. We also want parents to have confidence in both their children’s continued well-being and their role as active partners, with the child being able to benefit from what the nursery has to offer.
A new child should feel comfortable, cared for and integrated into the life of the nursery as quickly as possible. We offer 3 settling in visits to all children starting nursery, these are free of charge and usually arranged at least a week before the start date. During visit one, we invite you to bring your child in for a visit whilst you stay and have an informal chat with your allocated key worker and complete a care plan, this visit is usually for one hour maximum. A Care Plan is designed for us to learn as much as possible about your child prior to them starting so we can ensure we can follow their interests when settling them into nursery, for example if your child particularly likes a certain toy we ensure these are set out during their visits. Visit two you will bring your child for another hour visit settle them to be left for one hour to play. The third visit is again for an hour where you will leave your child to become accustomed to the new surroundings. If more visits are required we will work closely with the parents in order to assist in the settling in process.
If a child attends more than one setting we contact the other setting to gain information regarding the child’s interests and development at nursery and we would provide the same information to the other setting, ensuring a clear development plan.
When your child is ready for school we will invite their new teacher to our nursery where they can meet the child’s key person and discuss your child’s development and next steps. All Learning Journal information will be handed over to their teachers at school. The YET liases closely with Reception teachers to try and ensure that transition for the children is as smooth as possible.
How are the early years setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s educational needs?
All areas of the Nursery are well equipped with a range of specialist Early Years’ resources to support the children’s learning needs. These resources are regularly reviewed by the Manager and Early Years Teacher and if additional specialist needs are identified these will be looked into on an individual basis by the child’s key person and supported by the management team.
All areas of the nursery are well-resourced. We use resources from our local toy library and arrange for additional resources to be used by the setting for any additional developmental needs.
Staff plan activities and equipment around the children’s developmental abilities to ensure all children’s experiences are full of learning through a play based environment.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The Next Steps in learning are identified for all children in all areas of learning, For the under 2’s we concentrate on the three prime areas of learning which are ‘Physical development’, ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Personal social and emotional development’. We will produce a report alongside your next steps in learning sheet which is entitled ‘Your child’s progress check’ which is completed between the ages of 2-3 years. Where additional needs are identified a play-plan is written after meeting with parents. This plan is regularly reviewed by the key persons, INCO/SENCO and parents. Dependant on the child’s development over the term an ‘Individual Education Plan (IEP)’ is written if support is still needed with involvement from the West Sussex First Team. This IEP will be reviewed regularly and could involve other agencies dependant on the child’s needs such as speech and language therapists. Your key worker and ‘SENCO’ will work closely with you and outside agencies to ensure your child is receiving all the additional support required.
How are parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?
We carry out an annual parent/carer questionnaire to measure our performance and to help ensure we are meeting our parents’ needs and fulfilling their expectations. This also helps us to identify and focus on any areas of concern that are identified and strive for continuous improvement. This can be completed anonymously if wished to help ensure feedback is honest and impartial. We share these results to parents/carers and in particular highlight where we have addressed areas of concern.
In the main reception area we also have parent/carers comments box which you can access and provide feedback at any time.
Parents can speak informally with practitioners on a daily basis at drop off and pick up time where practitioners and parents/carers can communicate all aspects of their child’s time. Through this dialogue parents are aware of the learning taking place within the Nursery and can continue this development at home. To support this further each room completes a room Nursery Newsletter every 2 weeks, informing parents of what their children have been enjoying at nursery and what we have planned over the next 2 weeks of activities enabling parents and carers to follow this further at home. Within the newsletter we will often follow themes such as the change in seasons. For example when in Autumn we may ask parents to collect autumn objects on a walk with their children which they can then bring to nursery. We really encourage and value parent partnership and recognise this partnership in learning forms the best outcomes for the children. Twice a year parent evenings occasional talks/socials. We are always looking for parents who are willing to come in and share some expertise eg vet, nurse.
Who can I contact for further information?
If you have any queries or wish to register your child at our nursery please contact the nursery and our Manager and staff will be happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have. Our contact number is (01243) 839905 or you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information please contact the Family Information Service on 01243 777807, their email is email@example.com