Special Educational Needs
How does Giant Steps know if a child needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs? How do you identify children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)? How will I be able to raise any concerns I may have?
Each child has a key person whose role it is to develop a close and sensitive relationship with the parents. If a parent has any concerns about their child’s development this information should be shared with the key person. The key person will be responsible for regular observations and assessments that link to the development matters age and stages of development.
If the key person has identified a possible individual need, this will be discussed with you and together you can plan how best to support the child. The nursery SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) may be asked for advice in order to support the key person and your child. The SENCO may also liaise with other professionals, with your permission, such as the Area SENCO, the Speech and Language Therapist , the Children’s Centre or the Health Visitor. This advice might involve meetings and reports in order to enable the key person to plan for the individual needs of your child.
How will Giant Steps staff support my child? How will you oversee and plan the education that my child will participate in? Who else will be involved with my child and what will their role be?
We offer an in-depth settling in period which can be flexible depending on your child’s needs. At this time you will meet with your child’s key person and spend time sharing information in order for us to provide informed support. The child’s well-being is central to everything we offer and the settling in period will be tailored to the child’s individual needs. Parents are welcome to spend time at the nursery during the settling in period and familiarise themselves with the staff and, in particular, the key person. These early days will provide the foundation for a trusting and strong relationship between the whole family and the key person. Your key person will be responsible for the day to day care of your child and for the observations and assessments that help to inform us of your child’s current stage of development and of their next steps in learning. You are able to contribute to these recordings so that we have a complete record of your child.
Your child’s development will be regularly evaluated and the nursery SENCO may be asked for advice if this is felt necessary in order to plan appropriately for your child’s individual needs. As parents, you will always be included in planning for your child’s needs.
How will Giant Steps prepare and support my child to join the setting, transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life? What preparation will there be for both the setting and my child before he or she joins the setting? How will he or she be prepared to move on to the next stage? What information will be provided to his or her new setting? How will you support a new setting to prepare for my child?
The first settling in visit will provide an opportunity to meet your child’s key person and to start talking about your child’s interests and care requirements. You will also be asked to complete a record detailing your child’s starting points. This will provide the key person with an indication of your child’s stage of development and is a foundation for future planning. It is recommended that the first and second visits are opportunities for your child and yourself to get to know the setting and the staff who will be responsible for your child. If your child feels quite settled, it may be appropriate for you to leave your child for a short period of 2-3 hours but the duration should be discussed with the key person so that everyone feels confident.
If your child, has a favourite comforter, name or way of sleeping, for example, it is important that you share this information with the key person as this will aid the settling in process and ensure continuity of care. If your child is going to need some additional support, we will arrange for you to meet with other care professionals or to arrange appropriate staff training.
Transition to another setting or to school:
With your permission, your child’s Learning Journey (a record of their observations and assessments during their time at nursery) will be shared with the new setting. If possible, we will meet with the key person at the new setting or contact them to share relevant information. We will attend team around the child meetings. We will visit the new setting, if possible, to advise on any adaptations to provision or routine and to meet the key person/class teacher. The new key person/class teacher will be invited to meet the child at Giant Steps if this is possible.
Who can I contact for further information? Who will be my first point of contact if I want to discuss something about my child? Who else has a role in my child's education?
Your child’s key person is your first line of contact, who will be supported by their room leader, Early Years Professional/Early Years Teacher, Nursery Manager or SENCO. There is a staff board in the entrance to the nursery and staff photos on the website. Your child’s key person, together with the SENCO will be able to signpost you to care professionals who can offer support and advice. We can also make a referral for specialist help with your permission.
Information can also be obtained from your Health Visitor, Children’s Centre, the Family Information Services and the Local Education Authority website, this address is on our parent board. We also have very close links with the Children Centre to ensure that we can signpost parents to the right agencies to help offer support if needed for parents/carers.
What are the responsibilities of the Nursery team in enabling and supporting inclusive practice? How are they involved?
The Manager is responsible for all the practices and policies relating to inclusion, i.e. that they are current and fully implemented. We will ensure that the staff team have access to training. We provide an environment that is enabling for all children and is stimulating and nurturing. We will make suitable changes where possible. We aim to create a positive environment that values and respects each child and we welcome families to be part of the nursery and share in their children’s learning. We encourage our staff to have regular, honest and meaningful communications with parents and to share information, with external agencies, if it is in the child’s best interests.
How will I know my child is progressing? What opportunities will there by for me to discuss my child’s progress with his/her key person? How does the nursery know how well my child is doing? How will I know what progress my child should be making? What opportunities will there be for regular contact about things that have happened at nursery?
We offer an individual settling in period, so that the child and family can become confident with the nursery and form a strong attachment with the key person. Parents will be provided with relevant information about the nursery and will share information with the key person to ensure that the child’s individual needs are met. All staff act as positive role models and promote inclusive practice.
Each child will be matched with a key person to ensure continuity of care and to form a strong working partnership with parents. The key person, through their knowledge of your child, will plan for their individual needs and interests in line with their stage of development and will liaise with the SENCO and Area SENCO if support is required. The key person will ensure that the resources are accessible and available and that they are positive and caring role models.
Staff are able to administer medication to all children and training can be provided if needed. Relevant documentation is put in place for permission to administer this medication. All of which are signed by the manager who is responsible for overseeing this. There are nursery policies to cover sickness and the administration of medication, as well as healthy eating and the key person approach. The key person will be responsible for your child’s personal care needs which includes nappy changing and overseeing their rest periods and eating.
What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed at Giant Steps?
All staff aim to be qualified to the equivalent of Level 3 in Childcare and Education as a minimum and many exceed this. All staff have access to a variety of training linked to child development and may have experience of specialist training such as Makaton, SENCO training, Paediatric First Aid, speech and language and some may have had training in caring for children with specific medical or dietary needs.
We work closely with the Local Authority advisory teachers and Area SENCO, the children’s centres and with other local external agencies such as Speech and Language and can signpost parents or make a referral with your permission.
The nursery has policies with regard to equality and diversity and behaviour management and staff attend relevant training.
How will Giant Steps help me to support my child’s learning? How will you explain how learning is planned and how I can help support this outside of the setting?
There are notice boards and displays throughout the nursery that have information with regard to the Early Years Foundation Stage, your child’s learning and items of particular interest, for example how to access the Early Years Entitlement for 2, 3 and 4 year olds, the members of staff with areas of responsibility, the complaints procedure, the details of the local children's centre.
There are boards used for displaying planning and your child’s key person can explain to you how the cycle of observation, planning and review operates and what this means for your child. Your key person will be able to tell you how we plan for your child’s next steps and it is important that we use the information that you provide us with to ensure that your child’s needs and interests are fully met. Much of the day will be spent observing and talking and listening to your child to ensure that the planning reflects those needs and interests. The management team oversees and monitors the planning to ensure that all areas of learning are covered and that your child is receiving a broad and balanced curriculum in order to make progress in his/her learning and development. There are opportunities for parents to continue this learning at home and your key person can provide examples of everyday activities that can help to support this learning.
If we have identified that your child has a particular need we will support you and them in accessing advice and guidance so that we can plan appropriately in order for them to reach their full potential.
There are a variety of ways in which we communicate with parents such as daily interaction, parents evening, day sheets, whiteboards, email, posters and letters, the website and the Learning Journey.
How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education? How and when will I be involved in planning my child's education? How are parents/carers involved in the setting more widely?
Parents/carers are involved from the very beginning, during the initial tour around the nursery, during the home visit or the first settling in session. Building a strong and trusting relationship and understanding your child’s needs and interests is important to us. We would like you to share information with us on a regular basis to enable us to appropriately plan for your child, so that we can plan for your child's next steps and review their progress against targets.
If particular needs are identified that require additional support, we will signpost you to the relevant agencies or make a referral on your behalf. You will be kept informed and supported through every step of the process. We will ensure that the daily planning reflects what we are doing to provide support in those areas and ensure that targets are achievable and relevant. If there is an Education Plan we will ensure that you are invited in to share and contribute to this as your contribution is essential to your child's development and progress.
You have access to your child’s Learning Journey and can take it home or contribute to it whenever you like. There is a lending library from which you can borrow books to share at home which can be accessed from the children centre.
Members to come along to certain events and be a part of the children’s time at nursery.
How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child’s needs? What are the settings’ approaches and how will they help my child?
Through the settling in sessions, it is important that we share information that will help us to plan for your child’s needs and interests. Your child’s key person will be your first point of contact but the Nursery Manager/SENCO, will also be there to support you. Using your child’s starting points, the key person will observe your child, plan a range of exciting and challenging activities and review their progress. You will be asked to share in the assessments we make and to contribute ideas and information relevant to their next steps in learning. We will ensure that the environment is enabling and offers a range of suitable and accessible resources. We will suggest ideas for activities to develop learning at home to reinforce the partnership between home and nursery.
If additional advice or expertise is felt necessary, we will ask for your input and your permission if we feel a referral would be beneficial. At all times we will share information with you and keep you informed. If you have any concerns we would like you to share these with us so that we can ensure that your child receives the best possible outcomes in their learning and development.