What is the Local Offer?
The Children and Families Act (2014) outlines the government's plans to require local authorities to publish information on services and provision across education, health and social care for children and young people aged 0 - 25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The purpose of a local offer is to enable parents and carers to see more clearly what services are available for children with SEND in their area and how to access them. The process extends to early years settings and all the information below forms our local offer and shows how we provide for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
How does Smarden Pre-school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special education needs or disabilities?
At Smarden Pre-school every child is treated as a unique individual and each child has a key person. Their role is to develop trusting sensitive relationships with parents and children to enable respectful sharing of information. Through the use of observations and planning for their next steps we are able to identify any concerns which we will share with you and with consent we will contact other professionals if required.
If you have any concerns about your child you should speak with your child’s key person who will be able to advise you further.
We undertake a ‘progress check at 2’ which supplies parents/carers with a short written summary of their child’s development in the 3 ‘prime areas’;
We will liaise with other professionals to seek advice and support in identifying individual needs if necessary.
How will staff support my child?
Your child’s key person will work with both you and your child. This relationship will ensure that we share knowledge concerning your child and their development. This knowledge begins with the “All About Me” paperwork completed when your child begins their attending our setting, and then through observations added to their Tapestry Learning Journal and continues with regular discussions throughout their time with us. This will help us to share information about your child’s strengths and needs.
With your permission, we will contact the relevant services, either for advice or to make a referral with any concerns. We will implement strategies and advice offered as appropriate.
Observations, assessments and evaluations all contribute towards an SEND Support Plan. Your child’s key person would oversee the targets on the plan.
We will work in partnership with you, reviewing the plan targets, planning new ones together and giving you ideas to use at home to support your child.
We promote an ‘open door’ policy to ensure we are welcoming and respectful to all.
How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Every child is viewed as ‘unique’ therefore we plan for your child’s development based on observations of your child and evidence gained for their Tapestry Learning Journal. The environment your child plays in, will be appropriate for their needs and additional support or resources will be supplied as appropriate.
Your child will have an SEND Support Plan made for them by the SENCO and key person based on the child’s needs. They will also have a Tapestry Learning Journey which contains observations, individual plans, targets and photographs of your child’s progress and development.
You are welcome to see your child’s learning journey at any time and will be provided with an individual login in order to view, add comments and upload photos from home.
We will create support within the environment, such as the use of a visual timetable to support the child to understand the routine as appropriate.
Sophie Young (Head of Early Years) will aim to seek additional training for staff, if appropriate, to meet your child’s needs.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
Assessment systems are in place such as the 2 year progress check, ongoing tracking of progress and your child's learning journey which are all linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) ages and stages of development.
Our highly skilled staff team work together to plan their weekly activities based on the individual children's targets and needs.
Regular review meetings are held to discuss the child’s targets and how we can all best support the child.
Our open door policy means you are always welcome to tell us how your child is doing and provide ongoing two way communication between us.
If parents/carers work or are unable to attend with their child, telephone calls or emails are welcome to update us on your child’s progress. We also use an online messaging service called 'Dojo' which allows you to communicate directly with Sophie Young (Head of Early Years) and Laura Rowland (Deputy Manager).
Emails and messages on Dojo are sent to you to keep you up to date with what is happening at Smarden Pre-school.
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.
We offer ‘settling in’ sessions which familiarise your child with the preschool and their key person. They also enable support for your child to be discussed before they commence at preschool. Care routines will be discussed prior to starting at the preschool, including nappy changing and naps. We are able to administer prescribed medicines once the appropriate forms have been completed. If additional training is required to administer medicine we will undertake this as necessary.
Promoting positive behaviour is important to the setting. We will always discuss any behaviour concerns with you in order to maintain a consistent approach between home and the setting.
Activities will be adapted to ensure your child is able to interact fully with their environment, and visual strategies-such as a visual time table and social stories can be used to help them understand our routines.
The book corner and cosy teepee provide a safe, quiet area to retreat to if your child is tired or needs some quiet time to themselves. We also have a 'calm corner' which is separate to the hustle and bustle of the main room which consists of a comfy beanbag and a range of carefully selected resources to support your child when they need a little 'sensory break'.
The safety of your child is paramount. Parents are requested to let us know if someone other than themselves will collect their child. We will not allow any child off the premises if the person collecting them is not known to the setting and we ask new people to have a password upon collection. We regularly undertake and review risk assessments on our equipment from both a 2 year olds and 3/4 year old perspective. Risk assessments are completed before any trip including short walks in the local community.
What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by, Smarden Pre-school?
All staff have accessed child development training and have experience working with the Early Years age group.
We have links with our local Children’s Centre-
Headcorn Children's Centre
Headcorn Community Centre
E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
We are happy to and will work with all professionals as required for each child and always encourage these persons to come and visit the relevant children in the setting.
If required we will contact and work with relevant services. We will obtain parental consent before contact is made and we will include parents in all decisions made and meetings held.
If speech and language concerns are identified by the setting, we will advise the parents to take their child to the Speech and Language screening sessions. We work with Speech and Language therapists and the reports they provide to support the children in their language development. We also use a highly successful speech program called 'EY Talk Boost'. All of our staff are trained to use this program and lead targeted interventions either 1:1 or in small groups where needed.
What training are the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
Our SENCO attends Early Years SENCO Forums to keep up to date with the latest information and news.
3 members of staff are qualified teachers and all staff have termly professional development meetings to ensure they are up to date with relevant strategies and information.
All staff have been trained to use Makaton sign language and this communication tool is used by all staff through all aspects of the preschool day in order to support speech, communication and understanding for all children.
We continually reflect upon our practice and will attend training when a particular need is identified.
How will my child be included in activities outside Smarden Pre-school?
All children are welcome to attend trips. We will endeavour to include parents/ carers in the planning of the visit to identify the needs of your child. If necessary, we can prepare a photo book for your child so they know what to expect on the visit.
A risk assessment would be carried out prior to the visit and, where appropriate, we will carry our individual risk assessments for specific children.
We would also take along any aids or medication – along with consent forms, that your child may need.
All visits or trips would always be planned to include all of our children.
How accessible is Smarden Pre-school's environment (indoors and outdoors)
If you are a parent/carer who has English as an additional language, we can arrange to get another family member involved who may speak English.
We have one disabled toilet with wheelchair access and our doors leading out to the garden are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. The garden is flat and suitable for all children to access.
We have three fire exits, all have purpose built ramps to ensure wheelchair access.
Signs, posters and pictures can be translated or use dual languages where necessary.
Visual cues will be used to support understanding.
We can explain the limitations of the building and would make adaptations to existing resources to ensure all children can access them, if possible. We will work closely with parents to access any specialist equipment that may be required.
How will Smarden Pre-school prepare and support my child to join the setting or transfer to a new setting/school?
Before your child joins the pre-school we encourage you to attend 2 free settling in sessions, although we can tailor these sessions to suit your child. We offer a flexible settling in period if your child is having difficulties settling in.
We will meet with other professionals e.g. health care professionals to put in place transition planning/health care plan, or to seek relevant training before your child starts.
If your child should attend another setting whilst with us or leave to go to another setting we would invite your child’s new key person/teacher and SENCO to attend sessions with your child to help them become familiar with them and to discuss your child’s strengths and needs. We will share targets on your child’s SEND Support Plan.
All necessary documentation will be passed onto the receiving setting/school. The learning journey will be passed onto the parents.
How are Smarden Pre-school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
‘High Needs Funding’ may be applied for from our Local Authority to support your child in our setting.
Bursaries and grants may also be applied for staff to attend specific training.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
The SENCO and your child’s key person will work closely with you and other professionals to determine your child’s needs. We have regular team meetings to involve all practitioners in any support required. In addition the key person will be able to identify any additional support through the observation procedure required by the Early Years Foundation stage and individual plans will be made as necessary.
How are parents involved at Smarden Pre-school? How can I be involved?
You are involved in identifying needs, information sharing, identifying targets and next steps to focus on at home and in the setting and in reviewing progress towards these targets at review meetings.
Your permission will be sought before involving outside agencies.
You are welcome to become involved in fundraising (this does not have to be on a regular basis). Parents can volunteer to be a parent helper for a session.
Who can I contact for further information?
If you wish to discuss your child’s needs prior to starting you need to contact Sophie Young (Head of Early Years)
You are welcome to discuss concerns or progress with your child’s key person, Sophie Young (Head of Early Years), or Laura Rowland (Deputy Manager) at any time.