What is a ‘Local Offer’?
A Local Offer gives children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families information about what support and services the Local Authority think will be available in their local area.
Every Local Authority must have a Local offer that is available to parents/carers of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and are responsible for making sure it is available for everyone to see.
We are part of Central Bedfordshire and their Local Offer is available at:
‘Meppershall Pre School’s Local Offer’
for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities’
We are a small village pre school managed by a committee of parent/carer volunteers. We run from a community village hall in the heart of the village of Meppershall.
We provide a warm, friendly, happy environment where children learn through play and are supported to achieve to their utmost potential under the guidance of well qualified, experienced and enthusiastic staff.
How will the setting know if my child needs additional help and what should I do if I think they may have a Special Educational Need or Disability?
We are committed to the early identification of Special Educational Needs and adopt a graduated approach to meeting Special Educational Needs in line with the SEND Code of Practice 2015.
Each child has a key person whose 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 a time when you can discuss this with your key person, in confidence at a time to suit you.
Ongoing observational assessments are made of all the children and are linked to the Early Years Outcomes and stages of development. This in some cases identifies additional needs. Parents/carers are kept informed at all stages in the process of identification and assessment of needs. You will be involved in discussions linked to the support planned for your child and the role that you can play at home.
Who can I talk to in the setting if I have a concern about my child?
If you have concerns about your child, however small they may seem, please raise them with your childs key person or SENCO in the first instance, who will discuss your concerns with you. However, if your child’s key person is unavailable our open door policy ensures that any member of staff can listen to your concern and will then liaise with the key person as well as the setting SENCO as necessary. Our ‘Who’s Who?’ notice board in the entrance hall displays details of all members of staff and their roles. We recommend that parents/carers share reports from other professionals who may have seen your child such as speech and language therapists, health visitors and health care professionals in order for us to plan appropriately to meet your childs needs.
Our dedicated Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENCO) is Tamsin Wiseman, who has completed the Local Authority three day training in SEND, providing additional qualification and attends termly Professional Study Groups to keep her up to date with the latest information, which is also fed back to staff at staff meetings. Tamsin has also completed the CYPOP16 training, giving her an additional qualification as an accredited SENCO. Tamsin offers support and advice to your child’s key person and will liaise with other professionals to seek advice and support in identifying childrens individual needs if necessary and only with your consent. Our SENCO has many years experience of working with children with SEND and has attended a wide range of additional relevant training. Staff training records are all available for parents to view on request.
How will I be informed of my childs progress whilst they are at pre school?
- We ensure we are available to parents/carers for a formal or informal chat when needed and you are always welcome to tell us how your child is doing on a daily basis. Children benefit from ongoing two way communication between us. Telephone calls can also be used if you work and are unable to bring your child in to pre school. We hold termly opportunities for formal parents consultations, and we send out newsletters at least termly to keep you up to date with what is happening at pre school.
- Children are assessed using developmental milestones taken from The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the Department of Education document “Early Years Outcomes”. This coupled with parental information, and practitioner observation and knowledge of child development provide the information required for assessing developmental levels.
- Where children are falling below their expected levels of development within a certain area we also refer to the Central Bedfordshire Guidance on SEND in the Early Years; a Graduated Approach 2015.
- In partnership with parents, the key person and SENCO consider each child’s needs on an individual basis and plan for their progress using the Central Bedfordshire SEND Support Plan. This sets out long and short term outcomes that everyone is working towards in the best interests of the child. Progress meetings are held half termly and involve the parents/carers, SENCO, the childs key person and any other outside agencies or staff that may be supporting the child.
- Each child who attends before their 3rd birthday will also be assessed using Central Bedfordshires Two Year Old Assessment, which ensures potential gaps in children’s development are recognised early and interventions made where necessary.
- A referral may be made to Central Bedfordshire Early Years Allocation meeting requesting and Early Years Initial Assessment by one of the Early Years professional teams.
- As stated in the SEND Code of Practice 2014 in a very few exceptional cases where there are severe and complex needs an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) needs assessment request may be necessary.
- Our SEND policy recognises that partnership working with parents/carers is paramount in enabling children with SEND to achieve their potential. We recognise that parents/carers hold key information and have knowledge and experience to contribute to a shared view of the child’s needs and make valuable contributions of how to support them.
- We may ‘sign-post’ parents to other outside agencies and support groups such as the Parent Partnership and Speech and Language Therapy drop in sessions.
- Medical Needs are addressed as required by a care plan in partnership with parents and relevant Health Professionals. Medicines are administered in line with our ‘Child Medication Policy’ see also ‘Asthma Policy’.
What is already in place to support my child’s physical and emotional wellbeing?
- Our practitioners are welcoming and friendly, providing an inclusive, sensitive and positive approach for your child to feel welcomed into our pre school.
- We run from a village hall which is a single storey building. All learning spaces are accessible to all, with double doors to ensure easy access for wheelchairs and double buggies
- Safety is paramount to us at pre school and all key staff hold a current paediatric first aid certificate.
- Where necessary, staff will undertake up to date Epi Pen or other accessible medical training.
- Risk Assessments for individual children and for particular activities are completed in conjunction with the SENCO where relevant and necessary.
- We will follow advice given by Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists. Practitioners will work with children either individually or in small groups.
- We comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (2010) in making reasonable adjustments for children with SEND.
What happens if my child is not toilet trained?
- We welcome all children regardless of their toileting and intimate care needs and will work in partnership with parents/carers if and when the toilet training process begins. Communication regarding this is essential in the best interests of the child.
- All children who require intimate care are treated respectfully at all times; the child’s welfare and dignity is of paramount importance. Staff who provide intimate care are fully aware of best practice. Apparatus will be provided to assist with children who need special arrangements following assessment from physiotherapist/occupational therapist as required.
- Children will only be changed by staff with enhanced DBS clearance checks, and childrens privacy will be respected at all times.
- We ask that you provide nappies/pull ups. Wipes are provided by pre school but if you have a preference as to what wipes are used we also ask that these are provided and staff made aware.
- If a barrier cream is required, you will be asked to complete a ‘medication consent’ from to allow staff to apply the cream if necessary.
- See also our ‘Intimate Care’ Policy for further details.
How will my child be supported during their transition into pre school or on to school or another setting?
- We ask that all children and families come for an initial visit to pre school to stay and play. This gives you an opportunity to familiarise yourselves with the setting, to meet the staff and to ask any questions you may have and to inform us if you are aware of any Special Educational Needs or Disabilities your child may have.
- We then hold an induction visit closer to when your child is due to start, which is an opportunity for us to tell you how we run, outline our policies and procedures, how we settle children in, the role of the key person and how we monitor children’s progress. This is also a time where you can discuss in more detail any concerns you may have regarding your child and we can decide together if they will require any additional support. If this is the case Tamsin Wiseman will liaise with appropriate outside agencies to access support and/or training / funding if necessary before your child starts.
- Settling your child into pre school is very much parent/carer led. We understand that you must feel happy to be able to leave your child in our care and are extremely flexible on this. Please also see our ‘Induction and Settling In’ Policy.
- If your child attends another setting whilst with us or leaves to go to another setting we would invite your childs key person / teacher and SENCO to attend pre school with your child to help them become familiar with them and to discuss your child’s strengths and needs.
- We will hold a transition meeting with parents/carers and both new and existing professionals who are involved with your child, at your convenience. The purpose of this is to plan transition arrangements for your child into their new setting, giving the new setting time to make necessary plans for any changes they may need to make, sharing outcomes from your childs SEND Support Plan along with any other information that may be relevant to your child, with your consent.
How will my child be included in experiences away from the setting?
- We do occasionally plan pre school trips/ visits/ changes to routine and will endeavour to include parents in the planning of visits off site to identify the strengths and needs of your child. If necessary we can prepare a photo book for your child so they know what to expect on the visit, and parents will be invited to join us on the trip.
- We carry out risk assessments prior to any visits, linked to the visit and the needs of all the children, including parents if appropriate prior to our trip.
- Any mobility aids or medication your child may need will be taken on visits, and all visits are planned in order to include all of our children. Inclusion is paramount to us at Meppershall Pre School.
What specialist training and expertise do the staff have to support children with SEND at pre school?
Staff have a wide range of experience of working with children with Special Educational Needs, some of whom may have disabilities. In many cases, the action necessary to respond to an individual child’s requirements to access to play and learning will be met through greater differentiation of activities.
All key staff have extensive training in Child Development in the Early Years and experience of working with pre school children as well as relevant childcare qualifications which are displayed on our ‘Who’s Who’ board in the corridor, and on our website, along with each staff members specific roles and responsibilities.
Our SENCO has attended the three day training in SEND which provides an additional qualification and attends termly professional study group meetings to ensure her knowledge is current and provision is of the highest standard to meet childrens individual needs.
Tamsin Wiseman has also completed the Accredited Level 3 CACHE Unit CYPOP16 Coordinate Special Educational Needs (SEN) Provision.
Tamsin and Andrea have attended Lift Off To Language Training for 2 Year Olds, and Lift Off To Language for 3-5’s. This enables us to be able to deliver ‘Lift Off to Language’ sessions to small groups of children to support and develop their speech, language and communication skills, as well as developing their self esteem and emotional well-being.
Tamsin has also attended training to support children with Autism and communication skills.
Some additional training our staff have attended include the following:
- Speech, Language and Communication difficulties and disorders
- Autism & Autistic Spectrum Disorders
- ‘Early Talk’ and ‘Every Child a Talker’ training
- Managing Feelings and Behaviour
- Effective Communication
- Behaviour management coordinator training
- Parental Mental Health
- Understanding why behaviour happens
- Principles, Values and Inclusion
- Understanding two year olds
- Emotion Coaching
- Partnership Working and Sharing Information
- Childrens loss and bereavement
What other agencies can provide support to my child with SEND?
We liaise closely with a range of outside agencies in order to draw upon the expertise of a wide range of external professionals to support children with SEND. They contribute through providing observations, reports, and advice for staff and parents/carers and by attending professionals meetings.
Agencies may include:
- Local Authority Early Years SEND Advisory Teachers (Psychology and Advisory Support Service)
- Early Years Support Team (EYST)
- The Child Development Centre, Kempston
- Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT)
- Occupational Therapy (OT)
- School and Community Nursing Service
- The Virtual School for Looked After Children (LAC)
- The Hearing Impaired Team (HI)
- The Visually Impaired Team (VI)
- Child Bereavement, Trauma and Emotional Wellbeing Service (CHUMP)
- Parent Partnership Services
- Shefford & District Children’s Centre, Shefford.