This sets out a common set of expectations about the provision and practice that is expected in all Early Years settings, mainstream schools and Post 16 providers for children and young people with SEND. It is what a young person, parent/carer or family can expect to be “normally” or “ordinarily” available to their child without the need for involving specialist support. For more info please visit SEND - Ordinarily Available (essex.gov.uk)
Speech, Language and Communication
Speech, Language and Communication are vital to your child’s development and provides a good foundation for learning, reading and writing. It helps your child develop friendships, communicate their needs and make sense of the world around them.
Parents/carers can help this by being a good role model and by providing stimulation.
- Speaking clearly, with age appropriate language and making eye contact can all help your child observe and copy your behaviour.
- Take time to listen carefully to what your child is telling you, correcting sentences if necessary.
- Comment on and describe what daily activities you are doing for example, describe the vegetables you are chopping for dinner or describe the clothes you are hanging on the washing line.
- Read books together and talk about the story, maybe discuss a different ending.
- Sing songs and nursery rhymes together.
- Play describing games and guessing games like ‘What am I’ or ‘What’s in the bag’.
- Encourage your child to role play with their toys and to tell you about what they are playing.
For more ideas and more information please click on the links below:
Talk, Listen, Cuddle Essex County Council Home - TLC (tlc-essex.info)
The Communication Trust I Can website I CAN, the children's communication charity
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
OUR LOCAL OFFER FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES.
The purpose of a Local Offer is to enable parents/carers to clearly see what services are available for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in their area and how to access them. The following questions and answers detail our Local Offer and how we provide for children with SEND
How does Little Doves Christian Pre-school know if a child needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?
- At Little Doves Christian Pre-school each child has a designated key person. Their role is to develop a trusting, sensitive relationship with the parents/carers and the child to enable a respectful sharing of information. If you have any concerns about your child's development, you can discuss these with your key person or our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). Our SENCO, Emma, has the Gateway Qualification Level 3 Certificate for Early Years Special Educational Needs Coordinators in Private, Voluntary and Independent settings. You can meet Emma here.
- Ongoing observations are made of every child at Little Doves Christian Pre-School and these are linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Development Matters 2021 ages and stages of development. This, in some cases, identifies individual needs and if concerns are highlighted, they will be discussed with the SENCO. If your child's key person has identified a possible individual need, they will discuss this with you and plan, with your support, your child's learning and development.
- Our SENCO will offer support and advice to your child's key person and other staff within the setting. They will also liaise with other professionals and seek advice in identifying individual needs if necessary. With your permission they will ask the Inclusion Partner to visit to ensure that we are meeting your child's needs and refer to other specialists if necessary.
- Reports from other health care professionals, such as speech and language therapists and health visitors will help to identify your child's individual needs. We welcome parents/carers and professionals to share these reports with the key person/SENCO in order to plan appropriately to meet these needs.
How will you as a setting support my child?
- Before your child starts at Little Doves Christian Pre-School, you and your child will be asked to come in for a build up session. You will be able to stay with your child and talk to your child's key person about any concerns you might have. This is part of our 'settling in' process and has proved to be highly successful. Parents/carers and children can find the transition to pre-school very daunting and it can be reassuring if you can get to know the staff and the setting first. This session also helps the staff build up a picture and gain information about your child.
- You will be asked to fill in an 'Initial Child Profile' form about your child which will be placed in their Learning Journal. This information about your child's strengths and needs helps the staff to settle them quickly and plan for their likes and dislikes.
- We will listen to any concerns you may have about your child and support you both. Our SENCO will explain how children's individual needs can be met with SEND support in the Early Years. We focus greatly on the partnership with parents/carers, you and your child will be consulted in any planning and decision making about all aspects of your child's SEND. In Essex this person centred approach is known as 'One Planning'.
- Observations, assessments and evaluations all contribute towards SEND support in the Early Years and your child's key person will oversee these aspirations with the help of the SENCO. Together they will, with your approval, identify needs and plan for SMART outcomes for your child. (S: Specific, M: Measurable, A: Achievable, R: Relevant, T: Time-bound). These will consider both what is important to your child and what is important for their development. Your child's learning style, interests and stage of development will be used to support their SMART outcomes. With your approval, the SENCO will access additional support from other professionals, including the Inclusion Partner who will support our SENCO to ensure that everything possible is being done for your child. These reports are always available for you to look at and are securely locked away after each session.
- The manager of the pre-school will maintain an overview of the progress and achievements of your child and the SENCO will work with all staff to ensure that we are providing the relevant and appropriate support.
- Your child's key person/SENCO will work in partnership with you, reviewing current aspirations, SMART outcomes and planning new ones together. Any information/ideas that you can give to your child's key person/SENCO from what you witness at home are of great value to us. We will also give the child a voice in their planning and will ensure that the SEND support is child friendly.
How will Little Doves Christian Pre-School create learning and development opportunities for individual children with SEND?
- We will know about your child from the build-up session, the 'Initial Child Profile' and through ongoing observations once they have started. Targets linked to the EYFS Development Matters 2021 will be set each week in their 'Next Steps'. This enables planning for individual needs and learning goals. In addition your child will also have a learning journal; this contains written observations, photographs and samples of your child's work. This supports staff in assessing and planning to help your child progress in their 'Next Steps'. You can ask to see the learning journal at any time.
- Your child's key person and the SENCO will work together to make sure that the environment, routines and activities on offer support your child's needs. They will communicate with the rest of the staff to provide consistency and understanding within the team at Little Doves Christian Pre-School.
- The manager will monitor and analyse progress of all children within the setting to address any areas of weakness. This information will be used to focus on specific areas and adapt areas that are not meeting a child's needs.
- Within Little Doves Christian Pre-school, the children's learning styles and interests are recognised and used to promote achievements and development. All children are involved in the planning and selection of activities.
- Your child's key person/SENCO will ask for copies of assessments from other professionals before your child starts or when you receive them after they start, which will include any helpful tips to their aspirations (such as speech therapy sheets). If your child's key person/SENCO feels that more advice is necessary they will ask for your permission to contact individuals or the Inclusion Partner.
How does Little Doves Christian Pre-School work in partnership with parents/carers?
- Assessment systems, such as the 2 Year Progress Check, are in place and together with the stages of development in the EYFS Development Matters 2021 an 'Individual Next Steps Plan' is formulated each term for every child. This informs you how your child is progressing in their 'Next Steps' and includes a section explaining what you can do at home to help your child.
- Parent/carer helper sessions are available every day and allow you to stay and witness how your child is developing within the pre-school.
- Little Doves Christian Pre-School is a very happy, welcoming setting which has an Open Door policy. You can talk to your child's key person, the manager, the SENCO or any other member of staff with whom your child has a good relationship, either in the morning before the session starts or at the end of the session. We pride ourselves on our excellent relationships with both our children and our parents/carers and believe that the opportunities we have to communicate freely with them are a great benefit to all the children.
- We have termly newsletters that are either given out on paper or are sent by email. A wealth of information is displayed in the pre-school foyer and on the pre-school website. Our interest topics for the term are displayed in the foyer so that you can talk about these things with your child at home. At the end of each session a white board is displayed to give you an insight into what has happened during our day. This allows you to talk to your child about their day in greater detail and enable you to support their learning even further.
- If your child is collected by a grandparent or child minder, we can relay information via them, with your permission, through the 'Contact book' you will have been given when your child starts at the pre-school. Your key person will start the 'Contact book' with a photo or comment about your child and you can then complete more information about their achievements at home, exciting moments and important milestones. This gives us a window into your child's life at home and is really important to monitor progress accurately.
- We will work with you every step of the way to assist your child; you will be included in the planning of their SEND support and we will work together to ensure that there is a continuum of care.
- If you are a parent/carer whose first language is not English, you can nominate a representative who speaks English, or if possible, we can arrange for an external interpreter.
What support will there be for my child's overall well-being?
- Our staff are friendly and welcoming, providing an inclusive and positive approach. They provide good role models for positive behaviour and are consistent in their approach in the day to day care of all the children. We are flexible in our routines to provide a positive environment for your child's needs and provide personal care such as changing nappies.
- Personal Health Care Plans can be adopted if necessary and staff will be trained in giving the appropriate medication for your child if required. Should your child require regular prescribed medication then you will be asked to complete and sign a Medication Permission form. You will be informed of the administration of the medicine and be asked to sign a form in accordance with Little Doves Christian Pre-School's Health Policy and Administration of Medicine procedure..
- Most of our staff are trained in First Aid and are able to complete accident forms if necessary. Our staff are vetted and a vigorous recruitment process is in place. The manager is our designated safeguarding person and all other staff are trained to the required safeguarding level.
- All our policies and procedures are updated regularly and available for all parents/carers to read in our Policies and Procedures File on the sign-in table in the main hall and copies can be provided upon request. Please ask a member of staff.
- Activities can be adapted to ensure that your child is able to interact fully within the environment. Visual strategies, such as visual time tables, are used to help them understand the pre-school's routines. Our quiet corner is welcoming and provides a space to read or rest should your child require a retreat.
- The children's views are always taken into account and your child's key person will have a good understanding of their likes and dislikes. Every week all staff help to fill out future planning ideas based on their key children's requests.
What staff training and experience in supporting young children with SEND is available at Little Doves Christian Pre-School?
All staff are experienced in working with the Early Years age and have a good understanding of child development. The majority of our staff have Level 2 or 3 in Children & Young People’s Workforce or an equivalent qualification. We have 3 Appointed First Aiders present at each session who are trained in Paediatric First Aid.
All our staff have:
- Level 2 Food Hygiene qualification
- Fire Safety and Manual Handling training
- Level 1 Safeguarding training
- Behavioural Management training
Two members staff have completed a course in the Makaton language programme.
All our staff are encouraged to attend extra Continuous Professional Development and relevant courses. If any additional training is required to meet a child's individual needs, then this is organised and cascaded down to all staff.
- We will work alongside the specialist services involved with your child and they are welcome to visit Little Doves Christian Pre-School or speak to us on the telephone. Working closely with you and your child will enable us to build strong relationships and understanding and therefore supporting your child's needs better. We can also sign post ways of getting support through the local children's centres, for example, speech and language drop in sessions.
- The Inclusion Partner aims to help Early Years settings, such as Little Doves Christian Pre-School to provide the best possible care and experiences for children with SEND. They will support our pre-school SENCO and your child's key person by meeting the individual needs through:
- offering home advice
- a telephone consult or observing individual children at the setting
- suggesting ways to support individual needs
- planning 'Next Steps' with the SENCO/key person
- giving direction for further training.
- Parental/carer agreement is always obtained before the Inclusion Partner becomes involved with any individual child. The Inclusion Partner will support the setting in working together with other agencies that may already be involved with the child.
- Our SENCO has the Gateway Qualification Level 3 Certificate for Early Years Special Educational Needs Coordinators in Private, Voluntary and Independent settings. She has also attended courses in Behaviour Management, A Focus on SEND, One Planning, the Role of the SENCO and Autism and has worked closely with children on the autistic spectrum. She has worked with children with speech and language difficulties and has attended speech and language sessions with some of our children and completes their sheets with them at the session. She also has experience with children with Cystic Fibrosis, Fragile X,William's Syndrome and those with Global Delay and Brain Injury..
- The pre-school is always looking to extend its knowledge of SEND by staff attending further training courses and cascading information to other staff within the setting.
- We have experience of working with children with English as an additional language and who seek bilingual support (see our ENCO policy). Visual supports are given, such as communication books, photos and visual time tables.
- Little Doves Christian Pre-School has links with St Paul's Bentley Church and although we are a Christian pre-school, holding those values as core in how we run the pre-school, we welcome children from all cultures and religions.
- We have a Positive Behaviour Practitioner and can help with advice and strategies to cope with undesirable behaviour.
What specialist services and expertise can you inform me about?
- When a child is identified as having SEND, professionals work together to help that child as part of a multidisciplinary team. They provide support not just for the child, but for the family as well. Some of the professionals that might be involved in helping your child may include:
- Health Professionals: Paediatricians, Health Visitors, Clinical Psychologists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Specialist Nursery Nurses.
- Education Professionals: Inclusion Partner, Specialists Key Persons, Educational Psychologists.
- Social Services Professionals: Social Workers, Family Care Workers.
- A list explaining the role of each of these professionals is available in our SEND policy.
How will my child be included in activities outside Little Doves Christian Pre-School including trips?
- All our trips and visits are planned to include every child in the pre-school setting and all parents/carers are invited to attend trips. We will endeavour to include parents/carers in the planning of the visits off-site, to identify the needs of your child.
- A detailed risk assessment will be carried out before the trip by the manager/trip organiser.
- We would take any aids or medication needed by your child on the trip.
- See Little Doves Christian Pre-School Short Trips, Outings and Excursions Procedure.
How accessible is the pre-school environment?
- The main access into the single storey building is flat, suitable for wheelchair use. The pre-school is in the main hall and an adjacent smaller room with easy access and movability between both rooms. There is double door access to an outside play area.
- We have one disabled toilet with a dedicated changing facility in the ladies' toilets.
- Disabled parking is available at the front of the main entrance to the building with unloading space.
- Additional funding may be obtained to help us meet your child's needs.
- Signs and posters are displayed around the setting helping children to identify the equipment and play areas.
- Multi-sensory activities are always part of our planning and we will always endeavour to seek out the best and most suitable equipment / facilities to support the child with special educational needs.
- Risk assessments are carried out daily before the session begins and at the end of the session. All staff are trained to Level 1 in Health and Safety and we have a dedicated Health and Safety Officer.
How will Little Doves Christian Pre-School prepare and support my child to join the setting/transfer to school?
- Little Doves Christian Pre-School offers Introductory Sessions that you can attend with your child (as explained in question 2.) Our Settling-in and Transitions Procedure builds firm relationships between the child, parents/carers and staff members. We know that every child and indeed parent/carer is an individual with their own needs and we are therefore very flexible about the length of time that it takes to settle a child. We work very closely with each parent to ensure that their child settles in well.
- When transferring to another setting or moving on to school, Little Doves Christian Pre-School will invite the key person/SENCO of the new setting to visit your child in our setting. This helps them to become familiar with that person in our setting and allows us to discuss your child's strengths and needs. The key person or the SENCO from Little Doves Christian Pre-School may also visit the other setting to discuss your child.
- We have a very good relationship with all the schools within our area and they often provide us with books about their school to show to the children, or with a visit to talk to the parents/carers of the children going to the school.
- Your child's Learning Journal and Development Matters are given to you when they leave. It is up to you to decide if you wish to pass this on to the new setting. Most new settings would like to have a look at these, to give them an insight into your child's likes and dislikes and current stage of development.
- If the Inclusion Partner has been involved with your child they will also aid us on his/her transition. Our SENCO will produce a special 'Passport' for your child to take with them to school. This is written with the child and includes all their favourite and least favourite things to do. It also includes strategies on how they work best and a list of all the specialists involved with them.
How are Little Doves Christian Pre-School resources allocated and matched to children's special educational needs or disabilities?
- If required, additional funding can be sought to support your child within our setting.
- A dedicated Little Doves Christian Pre-school budget is available for staff training, which will include up to date training on SEND.
- There are lending libraries that can supply us with toys, sensory equipment and topic boxes. We already have some excellent toys and resources for children with SEND. Most of our current resources can be moved to allow better access, for example, toy cars moved from the floor to the table for children in wheelchairs.
How does Little Doves Christian Pre-School decide on appropriate support for young children with SEND?
- Little Doves Christian Pre-School SENCO will identify what support is required through observations linked to the 2 Year Progress Check and the developmental stages of the EYFS Development Matters 2021 and in discussion with you and your child's key person.
- A 'SEND support in the Early Years' report will be put in place. This will be done in partnership with you, your child and their key person. A graduated approach is then put in place where the SENCO and key person will assess your child and develop a plan for your child. A review, usually termly, will then take place with you and the key person where the SENCO will adapt the plan or leave it in place if good progress is being made.
- If 'SEND support in the Early Years' is thought to be ineffective the SENCO will ask for your permission to involve the Inclusion Partner who will speak to the SENCO and may come and observe your child. They may decide that your child should stay on 'SEND support in the Early Years' and offer suggestions as to how it could be more affective. Alternatively the Inclusion Partner can help us in implementing a 'Personalised Plan' for your child. This will involve assessments from other professionals and their reports will be used to help plan for your child within the setting.
- The ongoing partnership with you and other professionals will help us to create a 'Provision Map' which will identify our aspirations for your child and the SMART outcomes that we hope they will achieve. A time frame will be put in place for these aspirations and regular observations will help us ensure that the best possible progress is being made by your child. In Essex this process is called 'One Planning'.
- Regular staff meetings will ensure that all staff are aware of your child's strengths and needs, and how to support them. If your child requires further help an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Needs Assessment can be requested. This is where your child is referred to the Local Education Authority (LEA) for assessment. Reports and evidence from all the agencies involved with your child will be looked at and the LEA may or may not issue an EHC Plan.
How do we involve all parents/carers in our setting?
- We value the parents/carers within our setting and have excellent relationships with them. We are aware of the fact that no one knows your child better than you do, if we want to get to know them well, we need your help. We have an open door policy and parents/carers are always welcome to talk to any member of staff before and after the session. We can also arrange for a place to talk in private if you need to discuss sensitive matters.
- We have a lending library in the lobby from which you are welcome to select books to help with a range of topics from tantrums, bed wetting, starting school and fussy eaters.
- Parents/carers are always involved in identifying needs, information sharing, identifying targets and 'Next Steps' to focus on at home. You will be involved in reviewing the progress towards the targets. Within your child’s Contact Book, your child’s key person/SENCO will give you ‘How can you help me with my learning’ sheets to give you ideas of how you can help your child at home.
- All parents/carers are encouraged to help out in a session, so that they can gain a true understanding of life at our pre-school.
- Parents/carers can become involved in fund raising for the pre-school and we try to hold coffee mornings to help new parents/carers mix when their child first starts.
- We provide newsletters to keep parents/carers updated with life at Little Doves and children and parents/carers are invited to come to other events held by St Paul's Bentley Church.
Who can I contact for further information?
- Please visit the website www.littledovescp.org.uk or contact the manager, Pam Biddulph via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07756 029105 Tuesday to Friday, during term time, regarding any further inquiries.
- The Local Authority's Local Offer can be found on Essex county council's website essex.gov.uk