Local Offer Q&A
- How does Phoenix Nursery know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?
Each child at Phoenix Nursery has a designated 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 discuss these with your child’s key person at any time or the designated SENCO (Luisa Erzingher).
Ongoing observational assessments are made of all children by their key person and are linked to the Development Matters ages and stages of development. This in some cases identifies individual needs. Using these observations and next steps in your child’s learning journey and the Early Years Foundation Stage (the children’s curriculum) allows us to assess your child’s progress and determine whether their development is age appropriate and discuss this with the SENCO (Luisa Erzingher). We have robust monitoring systems in place which monitor and review children’s development and progress through two year old checks, which can be shared with other professionals, half termly reviews of progress and parents evenings twice a year.
If we have identified a possible individual need, we will discuss this with you, and plan with you to support your child’s learning and development together as a team.
- How will you support my child?
Once we have identified that your child has a need that they require support with we will work with you to support your child together, listening to you and your child. Support can range from our SENCO contacting outside agencies for support and advice such as Speech and Language Therapists and Early Years Advisory Teachers to putting together an IEP (Individual Education Plan). If necessary children’s individual needs can be met by planning support using an I.E.P, this is an action plan produced by the SENCO working together with you, the child’s key person and any outside agencies involved. This is a document that specifies what targets are being set out for your child and how practitioners in the setting are going to use these to support your child in reaching them all. All practitioners will be shared this plan and you will meet termly with the SENCO to discuss the IEP and review what changes you think need making to ensure the best possible progress for your child. We will work in partnership with you, reviewing the IEP targets, and planning new ones together, and give ideas to use at home to support your child. This is very important as to ensure the best possible outcome consistency at home and the nursery is vital in this process. If we consider progress is not being made we will contact further outside agencies for support.
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
We will get to know about your child before they start and through ongoing observational assessments. Targets linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage ages and stages of development will be set on IEP’s to support the learning and development of your child. This enables planning for individual needs and learning goals. In addition to the IEP, they will have a Learning Journey; this will contain written observations, photographs and samples of your child’s work to support staff in assessing and planning to help your child progress to their next steps. Your child’s key person and our SENCO will work together to make sure that the environment, routines and activities support your child’s needs, and they will communicate with the rest of the staff to provide consistency and understanding within our team. We will ask for copies of assessments from other professionals before your child starts, and this additional advice will support us in matching the curriculum to your child’s needs.
At Phoenix Nursery practitioners differentiate the activities that they develop and the provision that is on offer to meet the needs of the children in their group. For some children a greater level of differentiation is required because they have additional or special educational needs. Practitioners are sensitive to the developmental needs of the children in their care and when they are differentiating activities and provision have this in mind so that all children are able to access the setting in a way that is appropriate to their needs.
Children are encouraged to express their views about their own learning through interaction with the adults and through their choices. We use group time and 1-1 time with children to talk about children’s interests, ideas and feelings and then this is used to plan the provision.
- How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Children’s progress and development is monitored mainly by the child’s key person and reviewed by management, to ensure they are continuing to make progress through the Early Years Foundation Stage. Each child’s development is recorded in a Learning Journey, which is used to show the child’s progress linked to the EYFS and identifying how we can plan for the next step.
Assessment systems are in place such as the 2 year old progress check and twice a year we invite you in to attend Parents Evening where we produce a written report on your child’s development through the seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage, discuss their learning journey with you and plan together the next steps to plan for to continue your child’s progress. We use these opportunities to discuss strategies that can be put into place to support your child to move on and achieve these next steps. Any parents with children with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) also have additional meetings with the SENCO where we discuss the child’s progress through their targets, their development at home, what next steps are to be put in place and the different strategies to be used to achieve these and any new advice from outside professionals to be implemented.
We are a very welcoming and happy nursery , with strong relationships with our families. We have daily opportunities when you are welcome to tell us of your child’s progress and gives opportunities for two way communication between us. Information is displayed in our main hall and entrance area. Which details what theme the children’s learning is currently focusing on and a list of learning intentions and activities are displayed enabling you to further support your child’s learning.
- What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
Our practitioners are welcoming and friendly, providing an inclusive, sensitive and positive approach. They provide good role models for positive behaviour and are consistent in the day to day care of all our children.
Personal health plans can be adopted if necessary and staff will be trained in giving the appropriate medication for your child if required. All medication is kept safely away from any children and should you child require any prescribed medication then you will be required to complete and sign a Medication Permission form. All staff at Phoenix Nursery are First Aid trained and management complete all medical forms. Claire Erzingher and Nicola Carey are the Designated Safeguarding Persons and all staff attend regular safeguarding training. All our Policies and Procedures are available for parents in our main entrance and our Manager (Claire Erzingher) and the Deputy Manager (Luisa Erzingher) are always available to discuss any problems you may have or sensitive issues.
We are aware that some kinds of undesirable behaviour may arise from a child’s special needs. We will refer to our Behaviour Management policy and will work with you and your child to provide a consistent and planned approach to improve behaviour. For further details, please see our Policy or speak to our designated Behaviour Management officer Claire Erzingher.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Phoenix Nursery?
Our SENCO Luisa Erzingher has completed a level 3 award in Speech and Language Support in Under 5’s. She has worked with a variety of children in the last five years with different needs and is experienced with adapting provision to support their needs and training staff members to support all children with SEND effectively. Luisa has in the past worked with a range of outside professionals and is confident in working closely with them to help support your child. In addition she can also signpost you to the relevant professionals if you require further support. We attend regular training and have worked with children on the Autistic Spectrum, Global Delay, Hearing Impairments, Cerebral Palsy, and speech and language difficulties. We will work alongside the specialist services involved with your child and they are encouraged to visit the nursery. Working closely with you and your child will enable us to build stronger relationships and understand your support needs better. Our SENCO is experienced in successfully applying for Additional needs funding which can be used to fund a one one on one worker to support your child if they require help whilst at nursery to ensure they can fully participate in all aspects of the curriculum.
All staff are experienced working with the Early Years age group and understand Child Development. We have experience of working with children with English as an additional language and seek Bi-lingual support. The setting endeavours to cater for children from other cultures and religions and has multi-cultural resources within our setting. We have links with our local Children’s Centre and can sign post you to support which is available through there and any other services you may find beneficial.
- What training are the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
Our SENCO Luisa Erzingher supports all staff in supporting children with SEND, her qualifications/training can be found at the beginning of this Local Offer. It is the SENCOs role to take the lead in communicating with parents and in developing any SEN strategies to address a child’s specific needs. However it is all staffs responsibility to effectively support children with SEND. Any training Luisa Erzingher attends or support strategies she is advised about will be then extended to all staff members to ensure they are confident and knowledgeable in developing children with SEND and adapting effectively to their specific needs.
- How will my child be included in activities outside Phoenix Nursery including trips?
All visits or trips would be planned in order to include all of our children. We will endeavour to include parents/carers in the planning of the visit off site to identify the needs of your child. All parents are invited to join us on our trip. A risk assessment would be carried out prior to the visit. We would also take along any aides or medication your child as requires.
- How accessible is the Playgroup environment? (Indoors and outdoors)
We operate from a large open planned room and a large enclosed garden area with a small step. An adult can help any wheelchair users with this step as required. We provide multi-sensory activities as part of our planning. Although we have limited funds we shall endeavour to seek out suitable equipment or adapt equipment and facilities to support children with special educational needs.
If you are a parent/carer whose first language is not English, we will work closely with you to ensure any translations needed can be obtained so you understand and are confident in your child’s development.
Regular Risk assessments are carried out to ensure our environment is safe and secure.
- How will the Playgroup prepare and support my child to join the playgroup/transfer to a new setting/school?
Phoenix Nursery offers adaptable settling in sessions for you and your child prior to your child’s start date, when they will be an opportunity to discuss your child’s needs, this helps with any children who have difficulties settling in. These sessions give us the chance to get to know you and your family, and provides the opportunity for you to share with us details of your child’s needs and the involvement of other agencies, and to agree with you a consistent approach to ensure the continuity of care for your child.
When transferring to another setting or moving on to school, we will invite the Key Person/teacher to visit the nursery to help them become familiar with them, model effective strategies and to discuss your child’s strengths and needs. If the new setting is willing we will offer to come to the new setting with your child and model in person how to effectively support your child and help them to become comfortable with their new school. Your child’s Learning Journal, IEP’s and any other information that may be relevant to your child will be passed on to the new setting giving them the time to make necessary plans for any changes they may need to make.
- How are Playgroup’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
We have an extensive range of resources available at Phoenix Nursery. The Children’s Centre offers us a Lending Library of toys and Sensory Equipment in addition to this. We can also apply for Additional Needs Funding which can then be used to fund any other resources we may require to support your child’s development or to fund a one on one support worker for your child.
- How is the decision made about what type and how much support will my child receive?
Through the observation process linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development, and in discussion with you, the Key Person and the SENCO will identify what support is required. Extra support will be put in place if necessary. Ongoing partnerships with you and other professionals will support the decision making process. Together with our SENCO they will support the decision making process to plan targets on the IEP’S. The IEP will be written after consulting with you and will include how you can support your child at home. Through regular observations we can track your child’s progress. Our SENCO will give advice on meeting your child’s needs within the nursery in consultation with you and other professionals where necessary with your permission. Reports from health care professionals and other professionals, who are working with your child, will be used to plan support within the setting.
- How are parents involved at Phoenix Nursery? How can I be involved?
We value parents/carers involved with the playgroup. At Phoenix Nursery we have a suggestion box for parents, a parental comments book, our planning is in the main corridor for you to see and write any suggestions for future planning on too. When relevant we invite parents in to spend some time with the children and teach them about their own professions. We speak daily with all parents and have formed close relationships with them all.
You are involved in identifying needs, information sharing identifying targets and next steps to focus on at home and in the setting and reviewing progress towards these targets. Your permission will be sought before involving outside agencies and you will be invited in to the setting to regularly discuss your child’s progress.
- Who can I contact for further information?
All staff members are available to speak to about your child’s needs during their sessions. The SENCO is able to offer advice about other professionals who will be able to support your child, such as the Children’s Centre, Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists and other relevant professionals..
If any more information is required please feel free to contact:
– Claire Erzingher (Manager) on 01438 352366 or firstname.lastname@example.org
– Luisa Erzingher (Deputy & SENCO) on 01438 352366 or email@example.com