Frequently Asked Questions.
- 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?
- How will footprints staff support my child?
- How will the setting prepare and support my child to join the setting, transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life?
- Transition to school or next setting.
- How will you help me to support my child’s learning?
- How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?
- How will I know how my child is developing?
- How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs?
- What support will there be for my child’s physical and emotional wellbeing?
- How will my child be included in experiences away from setting?
- How is the decision made about how much support my child will receive?
- How are the setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
- What are the responsibilities of the setting Mangers in enabling and supporting inclusive practice?
- What training/experience have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are expected to have?
- Who can I contact for further information?
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?
At Footprints we do ongoing observational assessments of all children in our care. These are linked to the development matters ages and stages of development in the Early Years Foundation Stage, which can help us identify individual needs of the children. These observations will be discussed with the room leader, the setting SENCO (Kerry Root) and the setting Managers.
We operate a Key persons system at Footprints, with each child having a Key Person. Their role is to develop trusting, sensitive relationships with parents and children to enable respectful sharing of information. If you have any concerns about your child’s development you can ask for time to discuss this in private with them. If your child’s key person has identified a possible individual need they will discuss the matter with you in private and plan together to support your child’s learning and development.
Kerry Root, footprints trained SENco can offer advice and support to the key person and room practitioners. The SENco will liaise with other professionals to seek advice and support in identifying individual needs if necessary. Support and advice from the SENco and the area SENCo can be sought with parents’ permission.
Reports from health care professionals such as health visitors, speech and language therapists identify children’s individual needs. The setting welcomes parents and professionals sharing these reports with them in order to plan appropriately to meet individual needs.
On induction to the setting the key person and parents share information about the strengths and needs of the child. The parents will have the opportunity to accompany their child on visit’s to help settle them and develop a relationship with the key person. The child will always be at the heart of all we do. We work with the parents and support the child together.
Observations, listening, assessments and evaluations all contribute to Individual Learning Provision Plans (ILPPs). We will listen to you as well as your child. Our SENco will explain how children’s individual needs can be met by planning support incorporating advice from Area SENco and any other professionals. She will also explain who may become involved in your child’s development and their role. The key person will work with the SENco to oversee the support targets for your child. They will identify individual needs and differentiate activities to support your child, accessing additional support from other professionals where necessary (e.g. Speech and Language Therapist, health visitors, specialist teachers, social workers, ENCO, community nurse) this can all be reviewed with parents.
The key person’s role is to build relationships and understand the individual children. The SENco will maintain an overview of experiences and progress. She will also work with other practitioners to ensure provision is relevant / appropriate and seek support when needed.
How will the setting prepare and support my child to join the setting, transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life?
When joining footprints day nursery we offer all children free stay and play sessions to help them start to familiarise themselves and build relationships with key members of staff and get to know their environment. These sessions can be in the company of their parents or on their own. Each child is assigned a key person and their role will be explained. The Key person will form a relationship of trust and support with the parent and the child during these sessions and will ask for care plans and “all about me” forms to be completed with questions which will help the practitioners identify the children’s needs, interests and starting points and to discuss if any agencies are involved in the child’s development.
If required staff will attend training related to a child’s needs before they attend the setting. Meeting with the Health care professionals will help the child’s transition into the setting. Ensuring any relevant documentation is shared in the setting if necessary, e.g. All About Me forms, paediatric reports, to ensure appropriate planning is in place. Parents and key person should agree a consistent approach to ensure continuity of care from home to setting.
If a child is transitioning to school or moving on to a new setting, the child’s key person and SENco are invited to observe the child and discuss the child’s strengths and needs. The Key person and SENco can attend meetings and share targets and minutes of review meetings. When a child is transitioning their views and feelings can be shared through photographs, reflecting on what they have done, achieved and enjoyed. Learning journeys, and any other relevant documents are passed on to the receiving setting. Photo books can be created of the new setting /school that the child can share with parents / key person on a regular basis before the move. The use of role play with school uniform, books and lunch time practise is a good way to help a child become familiar with new routines.
Within the setting we have an open communication systems in place, for example; home/setting communication books, parents evenings, parents meetings, daily conversations with the parents when they collect / bring their child to nursery, newsletters with invoices, email and telephone. As a setting we can agree a comfortable form of communication with the parents including verbal, written, email or text. We invite parents to share their knowledge with the staff about their child’s development. We encourage practitioners to display and share children’s work and development, this allows the children to share their achievements with their friends and develop a sense of self-esteem. Children’s learning journeys and development folders are shared with parents at their request and at parent’s evenings. The setting SENco and key person will discuss with you how to support your child’s needs outside the setting and how they are supporting your child’s learning and development within the setting. This will occur at parent’s meetings and or reviews. If your child has particular identified needs the setting will work in partnership with the team supporting your child and explain to parents how they are acting on the advice from the support of other professionals.
Parents are involved from the initial visits at nursery when they register their child at the setting. The child’s strengths, need, like and dislikes are discussed at this point. Parents are encouraged to share information with members of staff from the on-set and on an ongoing basis about individual needs of their child and any agencies involved with the child/ family. Parent’s knowledge of their child is important and partnership working is at every point including Individual Learning Provision Plans (ILPPs) and reviews. Each child´s learning journey is accessible to parents on request. Planning is visibly displayed in each room for parents to view if they wish.
There will be opportunity for planned time to establish relationships between parents, child and Key person on entry to the setting and at the end of the child’s session, there are also opportunities for parents to attend parents evenings. We have in place assessment documentation for all children such as ongoing observational assessments, two year old progress checks and summary development reports which are completed every term. Each method of observation and assessment is linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development. Each child also has a learning journey that they take full ownership of with their key person, which are also accessible to parents on request.
We hold regular parents evenings which allow parents/ carers to come and talk with their child’s key person about their child’s development, progress and ask any questions they may have. We also have a SENco available to talk to if required. On a daily basis we provide a home communication book for each child so that parents / carers can share which activities their child has been involved in during the day.
The setting has an ‘open door’ policy and encourages practitioners to develop strong relationships, they are able to liaise with parents/carers and managers during the drop off and pick-up times as these are key to building parent partnerships and to help progress children’s development. Telephone calls can be used to communicate with parents during the day if the parent prefers.
Communication is key between parents and staff to support the child’s care and well-being. The key person will regularly liaise with the parents. During the initial meetings between parents and the key person the parents will be asked to fill in ‘All about me’ and ‘My starting points’ forms. If the children are older, parents can discuss and complete these forms together with the children. The information from these, along with on-going observational assessment is used to establish a starting point. The key person will observe the child in the first few weeks of them settling into nursery and complete daily sheets based on their observations and interests. These will be clearly documented and will be evidenced in the child’s learning journey. All documentation is linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development. Activities, experiences, routine resources and provision are planned for the individual child.
The staff approach is inclusive, positive and welcoming to all. All of the footprints team are provided and familiar with, Safeguarding policy, SEN code of practice and all policies and procedures.
'All about me' and 'My starting points' forms are given to parents to complete to help practitioners meet the individual needs of the children. Policies are available to parents.
We provide a flexible approach to routine and environment which is based around the needs of the children. Open, communication is encouraged from the start. All footprints practitioners act as good role models for positive behaviour and a continual positive approach to behaviour management is maintained. The key person builds relationships with child and family and they provide personal care respectfully to all children. The staff are trained to administer medicine.
During the daily routine visual time tables are used to support children in understanding routine. Older children are supported to manage their own personal care and manage risks for themselves. Resources are accessible to the children for independent choice. There are sensitive, warm interactions between adults and children. The Area SENco is always available with support for the SENco, Nursery managers and key person.
Our sensory room benefits all the children who attend our provision, offering them quiet time in a relaxed and calm atmosphere. The resources in our sensory room stimulate the senses through light, sound, texture and space, allowing children to freely explore at their own pace regardless of their ability. This room can be accessed by all age groups in our nursery, either through one-on-one time for an individual child or time in small groups, and supports the children’s physical and emotional well-being. The flexibility of this room allows practitioners to meet the physical and emotional needs of each individual, giving them the time and space they need as an individual to grow and develop.
All activities will be planned around all children’s individual needs and abilities. Risk assessments are carried out beforehand to ensure it is accessible for all to access. Policies are shared with parents on admission to reassure them that we are inclusive.
Decisions made about how much support a child will receive is monitored through observations made by the key person of the child in the setting and then discussed with parents, SENco and Manager. Observational assessment linked to the EYFS and knowledge of child development will be used to identify what support is required. Extra support will be put in place if necessary with the aim of enabling the child to become independent within the environment. On-going partnership working with parents by the setting and other professionals involved with the child/family will support the decision making process. The SENco will advise on the process of applying for extra support. The inclusion funding process will identify the level of need based on the evidence submitted to the panel from the setting and other professionals working with the child/family. Reports from health care professionals or others working with the child and family will be used to plan support within the setting. The area SENco or the Early Years Advisory Teacher or other professionals working with the setting SENco will support the decision making process linked to planned targets. Targets will be written with parents and will include how parents can support their child at home. Staff meetings within the setting will ensure all staff working with the child knows the child’s need and how to support them.
Inclusion funding and Two year old funding can be applied for to support the child being included in the setting. Delegated budget will be used to provide additional resources or to adapt existing resources.
The settings managers’ are responsible for enabling leadership within the setting to create inclusive policies, ensuring those policies are in place and up to date. To ensure that there is sufficient staff to enable staff to attend training to keep knowledge and understanding up to date. In addition they ensure that the open door policy creates an ethos that respects and welcomes all. They ensure that the environment is inclusive with resources that reflect diversity positively and encourage information sharing with relevant agencies. It is also their responsibility to manage finances and ensure that delegated Budget and Inclusion funding is used to promote inclusion.
Training/experience staff supporting children with SEND have or are expected to have:
- Setting SENco new code of practice and training
- Communication and language
- A is for Autism training
- Behaviour training
- Equality, diversity and inclusion training
- Managers work in close partnership with SENco helping support children and families in the absence of the SENco
- Some staff members have attended training linked to specific needs
- Training will be booked if needed for staff to help with specific needs
- SENco attends regular meetings with the area SENco and training to keep their knowledge and understanding up to date
- Information from these meetings is cascaded to other staff through room meetings and discussions
The first point of contact within the setting is your child’s key person. The parents can identify the SENco from the photograph on the parents notice board situated in the hall. The settings SENco and Managers will also be able to offer advice and will be able to signpost parents to other professionals that may be able to help such as Inclusion officer, Health visitor, Speech & Language Therapist or a Children centre.
The setting has a named practitioner for behaviour management and can also access support for parents from the Area SENco and the Early Years Consultant with parental permission.