SEND Local Offer

  • Local Offer for children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)

    What is a Local Offer?

    During consultations between Local Authorities, health and education authorities, and children with SEND and their families it was identified that:

    • There is a lot of information out there for families with a child with SEND but it is often located all over the place and can be difficult to find.
    • Resources or services tend to be found ‘by chance’.
    • It is sometimes difficult to find links to other information.

    Because of this each Local Authority has now set up a Local Offer. It brings together information for children and young people with SEND and their families across education, health care, social care and the voluntary and independent sectors. It is intended to help families find information about services or provision that are available or signpost them to somebody who can provide them with the information they need through one easily searchable website.

    stickman2At Fun Farm Day Nursery we have developed or own part of this Local Offer which explains the services that we can provide for children with SEND and their families, and how we provide these services to ensure that our setting is fully inclusive for all children. As a nursery we believe and promote that inclusion is a process of increasing children’s participation in, and reducing their exclusion from, their local schools and settings.

    How do we know if a child needs additional support?

    stickman1Prior to a child starting within the setting we operate a settling in process during which the parent/carer spends time in the setting with their child and gives the staff an initial opportunity to chat with parents and complete an ‘Assessment on Entry’. This is also an opportunity for parents to identify any areas they are concerned about and areas they feel their child may need support with.

    Fun Farm Day Nursery operates a Key Person System which is firmly embedded throughout the whole setting. A Key Person is allocated to each child and is responsible for getting to know that child’s strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes and personality on a more personal level than the rest of the staff within the child’s room. They spend quality time with the child and complete regular observations. The Key Person also spends time communicating with parents about special achievements at home or any concerns that parents/carers may have. Through having this special bond with the child and the parent, the staff are able to use their observations from nursery and home to inform their planning, developing activities which are based around the child’s individual needs and interests.

    The staff also use their observations to complete regular assessments on each child to ensure they are meeting developmental milestones. The results of these assessments are shared with parents and carers and feedback from home is encouraged.

    Assessments such as these enable early identification of a potential additional need for a child and enable the staff to identify how they can meet the needs of the child.

    How will the staff support the child and how are parents/carers involved?

    stickman3Within the nursery we have a SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) that has received specific training in identifying additional needs and how best to support children and families with SEND to ensure their individual needs are met.

    The SENCO has many responsibilities including regularly reviewing policies and procedures to ensure that our resources and environments are suitable and accessible for all.

    The SENCO will work closely with the Key Person to firstly develop personal plans based around a child’s abilities and interests which includes specific targets to work on to develop and build on a child’s strengths. The plans are developed in conjunction with the parents/carers and may include input and advice from other professionals. The SENCO will then work with the key person to ensure that they effectively carry out activities and make any necessary adaptions to the resources and facilities to ensure the child’s needs are met.

    stickman5The SENCO will liaise with other professionals such as Early Years Specialist Teachers, Speech and Language Therapists, Health Visitors, Paediatricians and more to gain further advice in how best to support the child.

    The personal plans and activities are reviewed regularly with the parents/carers and other professionals where appropriate to ensure we continue to best meet the needs of the individual child.

    How inclusive is our environment?

    With families who have English as an additional language we encourage parents/carers to share key words in their home language. This helps the key person to understand the child. These words are also shared with the rest of the staff and children and readily used meaning the child can be fully included in day to day activities.

    With regards to the environment and layout of the rooms the Manager, SENCO and key person liaise with parents/carers to discuss the child’s individual needs and provide the best space for the child to have the best access to all of the resources and activities daily to meet their needs.

     

    Helping with Transitions

    stickman2Transitions are a key time for any child, particularly a child with SEND. Transitions happen at many points throughout a child’s journey through the nursery and we are dedicated to ensuring that these transitions are smooth and not detrimental to the child in any way.

    During the initial settling in process when a child first starts in the setting the staff and parents/carers decide on the best amount of sessions and length of sessions as the parent/carer feels will benefit their child most.

    During transitions between rooms we use the same settling in process. Parent receive a transition letter and a welcome pack for the new room. Parents/carers also have the opportunity to have a settling in session in the new room with their child giving them the opportunity to meet the new staff who will be working with their child and have a good look at the room and how it works. The key person in the current room works closely with the supervisor/key person in the next room to ensure a smooth, gradual transition process. The children go to their next room for settling in visits. This could be just for a story time, a meal time, a couple of hours of free play, or a full morning or afternoon session. The staff will go with the child for their first visit and stay with them for a little while until they feel comfortable. The key person will pass on important information to the key person in the new room.

    stickman5When a child is ready to transition to primary school the SENCO and key person will work closely with the parents/carers during this process. The SENCO will liaise with parents if needed looking at the Local Offer to help parents make an informed decision about what school would be best for their child. The SENCO will liaise closely with the chosen school from an early stage to ensure information is passed on and that the needs of the child are best met. During this time the SENCO can also apply for additional funding to ensure that they and the key person can effectively support and meet the needs of the child during this important time.