Little Angels (BWBC)

Early Years Offer

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? 

You can speak to any of our staff at Little Angels (BWBC) Pre-school if you have any concerns about your child.  Our Deputy Manager Alison Craig is our dedicated co-ordinator for special educational needs and disabilities (SENCo).

If your child has an identified special need before joining our setting, the SENCo will work with you to ensure that everything is in place (eg special equipment, staff training, classroom organisation etc) before your child joins us.

Your child's key person will work with the SENCo to continually monitor and review your child's development and progress in the setting through the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework.

We work very closely with other professionals such as health visitors, speech and language therapists, autism specialists and educational psychologists, to ensure that your child is given appropriate support and that we provide the very best care and educational opportunities for your child.

How will the setting's staff support my child? Our staff have a wide range of experience helping children with different needs. Your child's key person will develop a strong bond with your child, and will work with you to ensure your child is happy and settled whilst at pre-school. The SENCo will ensure that you and professionals are closely involved at all stages.

If necessary the SENCo and key person will work with you to complete an Individual Assessment of Early Learning and Development tool (IAELD). The IAELD is designed to help settings identify children who may have special educational needs, and can help pinpoint particular areas of need.

How will I know how my child is doing? You will be given feedback on your child's progress via a daily communication book, where you are encouraged to share your child's evening events, moods, temperaments and add any comments which may affect their behaviour during the following session. You are always welcome to discuss your child's progress informally at the setting, in person, telephone or email.  We will also review progress with you via your child's learning journal 'Busy Book', through 'meet the teacher meetings' which includes termly summaries of your child's progress.  We welcome you into pre-school at any time, where you can see how your child is getting on and what activities they enjoy and friendships they have made.

The regularity of formal meetings between staff and parents will depend on your child's level of need. There are many formal ways of communicating about your child's progress but nothing is better than an informal chat at the beginning or/and end of a session, so please always speak to us about any concerns.

How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child's needs? Through the EYFS staff at Little Angels will observe and assess your child and then plan their learning and development provision around these observations. 

We will follow advice from other professionals on how to support your child's particular needs and the SENCo will ensure that training is accessed for staff, where possible, to support your child's learning. We will also use the guidance of the IAELD tool kit.

What support will there be for my child's overall wellbeing? We will involve other professionals (e.g. Health Visitors, Autism Specialist, Educational Psychologist) to ensure that we support your child in all areas of their development.  We will support you and your child with toilet training, and any issues regarding eating, sleeping etc.  The pre-school is fully equipped with changing equipment mats/potties etc. Staff are happy to change nappies/pull ups and assist with any toileting requirements.

There is a strong emphasis on providing a caring environment, and this is supported through various strategies such as organising children into mixed key groups with older children helping some of our younger children.

If your child has any specific medical needs our staff will undergo any training - e.g. epi pen training, replacing breathing tubes etc - we will administer medication prescribed by a hospital, paediatrician or GP.

We have a behaviour management policy which outlines the procedures used at the pre-school, however, if specialist help is required to manage behaviour we can request the support of the inclusion development officer employed by the local authority.

All staff have a positive approach to all children's individual learning and development and are sensitive to their needs.  Unwanted behaviour and the testing of boundaries is often part of growing up, and we will work closely with you to put strategies in place to support and enhance your child's positive behaviours. All staff have attended behaviour management, protective behaviours and attachment training.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting? Our SENCo has 12 years' experience working with children with a wide range of needs and disabilities. The SENCo has training in basic Makaton to support speech and language with all children. She had advanced training with regard to safeguarding children and children with disabilities. Our SENCo has training in protective behaviours and integrated practice.

Children with speech and language delay and /or English as an additional language will be encouraged to join our 'Social  Communication Group times' here your child will enjoy small group work activities which will include learning to share and take turns whilst developing their positioning language skills.

We have very good links with our local children's centre and we work with a wide range of agencies, such as Advisory Teachers, Autism Specialists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Health Visitors, GPs etc. 

We also have a good relationship with all the local feeder schools, and this will make the process of moving to a new setting much easier for your child.

What training and/or experience do the staff, supporting children with SEND, have? The staff have worked with children with a variety of special needs and disabilities including Down Syndrome, Autism, Hearing impairments and managing Behaviour. All staff are trained in Makaton sign language and use this on a daily basis; some staff have had basic training in Peccs and Autism. Staff have experience working on a 1-1 basis with individual children with a variety of needs. All staff liaise closely with relevant agencies gaining extra knowledge and training at the same time. Staff have also worked or are working in a local play scheme for children with SEND during holiday times and all staff have training in Integrated Practice. 

How will my child be included in activities outside the setting? Your child will benefit from all activities outside the setting and full risk assessments will be carried out. We will discuss your child's needs with you to ensure they can be included.  You will not be required to accompany your child on outside activities within our local community. However, if you are unhappy about your child joining in a trip, visit or event without your presence you would be most welcome to act as a parent helper on the outing (during large group outings parents are always asked to take part).

How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child's learning and development? Your child's Key person will be available to discuss your child's needs at the beginning, during and at the end of the session however it may be necessary to arrange a mutually convenient time for a meeting.  Team around the Family meetings are carried out regularly. We also offer all parents 'meet the teacher' discussions every term.

If outside professionals come in to see your child we try to organise a meeting at the end of that visit for a brief discussion. If this is not possible any reports are always copied and given to you.

How accessible is the building / environment? The pre-school environment is very accessible and meets the current disability regulations. There are no stairs in our building and we have ramp access to the garden. We plan daily activities, toys and equipment to meet all levels of play, all of which can be adapted to suit your child's needs.

Our garden is all on one level and we have an artificial grassed area, paved areas, bark digging area, sand pit and small flower beds. We have a disabled toilet with wheelchair access.

How will the setting prepare and support my child with transitions between home, settings and school? Before starting pre-school we will ask you to visit the setting so our staff can meet your child and additional requirements can be discussed. If necessary a care plan is completed and signed at this meeting. Taster sessions will be organised at pre-school for you and your child to attend prior to their start date.

If your child receives care from any other setting (e.g. another nursery or childminder) we will work with them by introducing a daily 'home school communication book' we will also share learning journals 'Busy Books' on a termly basis.

When it is time for your child to leave us to start nursery or school we will contact the new setting and invite them to visit your child at pre-school.  During this visit the teacher or key person from the school will meet and play with your child and discuss their development and progress.

How will the setting's resources be used to support children's special educational needs? All equipment and toys are moveable and can be made accessible, they are age and stage appropriate.  We will seek to borrow specific equipment needed for particular needs.

The pre-school has a high staff/child ratio, so your child will receive plenty of adult support.  We are also a very inclusive setting and have a range of resources/strategies in place to support children with a range of needs. We use visual timetables (using photographs and/or symbols) this may be used with children who have a speech and language delay or if English is an additional language. 

We have a number of sensory resources and regularly visit the sensory room and borrow toys from our community Children's Centre.

Who can I contact for further information about the early years offer in the setting? For further information on the local authority's Local Offer of service and provision for children with special educational needs and disability go to www.hertsdirect.org/localoffer