Birkdale Nursery Limited : Local Offer

Person submitting the offer: Karen Masters

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?

All children are observed from the moment they attend our nursery. The observations are intended to support planning and next steps. Each child's progress is documented and recorded so that we can always check on progress made.

Initial observations are made with parent/carer on a home visit or if preferred, during settling hours at nursery. A checklist which covers all of the Early Years Foundation Stage is used so that a good personalised understanding of each inividual child's needs and development are known. Our home visits offer informal chats so that any concerns or worries can be shared.

The compulsory two year check is also an opportunity where professionals and parents are able to 'flag up' any concerns. Forming a really good parent partnership always allows for exellent communication too.

If a concern is raised by either parent or key person then the nursery would seek permission from the family and with the aid of the SENCO other professionals could become involved and a support plan put into practice.

Our setting is completely inclusive, we do our utmost to include every child and to support them fully. Our contact/cooperation with all agencies is good and advices are always taken to ensure maximum help and support.

How will early years setting staff support my child?

Our children are assigned a key person and buddy and it is this 'key person system' that allows such vital support to be given to parents/carers and children. They share each child's Learning Journey with parents on a regular basis. They explain the planning and give ideas for activities at home which work in conjunction with those planned for at nursery.

They discuss each child's interests at parents evenings or when they meet to discuss progress. The provide a link between all that happens at nursery and all that happens at home.

To add to this support we must include our positive communication with other agencies and our policies and procedures - together with these our children are fully supported.

Our SEN policy - "Through our planning, observing and assessment system we work to identify and meet every child's needs".

In addition, for children that enter with additional needs we work even more closely with parents and professionals. We produce IEP's with our SENCO and these are duly updated and checked to ensure the strategies in place are working well.

Our staff attend courses which keep them updated in all areas. In addition to this, training is also made available for children with more specific needs.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?

Observations and interests are 'key'... Watching our children play, their interests and development are duly noted - children learn best when they are engaged and interested - and the planning follows. Interest sheets provided by parents add to our knowledge and understanding of each child.

The curriculum - The Seven Areas of Learning from The EYFS is broad, adaptable, has large overlaps for each age range and matches well to each child whatever their need and level of development. It acts as a guide for all professionals to follow.

How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child's learning?

Our parent partnership is strong. Working together our children's development is noted, supported and celebrated. This is how...

We have parents evening twice a year, an open afternoon in the summer term plus we offer a 'play and stay' morning. Our children'sw learning journeys are shared on a regular basis and they are always available to enjoy at other times too - they are the children's achievements, their property, to show as often as they wish.

We meet with the parents regularly to discuss planning, targets and next steps. Progress is charted in such a way that it can be seen at a glance. Each individual plan has a section which is dedicated for suggestions for each parent/carer to do at home, contributions from parents to their child's learning journeys are encouraged.

The two year check is the legal requirement that acts together with the health visitors check too, which together adds for good progress checks and support.

What support will be there for my child's overall well being?

All children have key persons/buddies with whom dialogue is shared and discussed.

However, the child's overall well being is supported by the correct policies and procedures which run alongside the ethos of our setting. As such, the ratios required for the different ages are adhered to but in some cases extra support is provided. This could be via funding from the local authority for a child that has additional needs or if we feel that a child requires a little more support we would automatically provide extra staff/resources.

Medically:- Our policies do support the admisitration of medication. "Although it is not the policy of Birkdale Nursery to care for poorly children, who we feel should be at home until they are well enough to return to nursery, we will agree to give medication that will help them to recover from illness."

Our policy also states that any child on antibiotics should be kept at home for the first 48 hours, giving them plenty of time to rest and to recuperate plus those that know them best are 'on hand' to notice any side effects.

Our policy states that if a child has a high fever at nursery we can, with verbal parental permission give calpol and for some long term conditions, staff will be asked to undergo futerh training to understand the illness/disability in greater depth.

Personal care:- Our policies support the provision of personal care too - and are available for parents to view as this is so individual to each child.

Behaviour affects everyone:- Behaviour is monitored and support given to some children that are a little more challenging. Positive behaviour is always encouraged, with staff acting as positive role models supported by pictures and posters. Our policy has two named people who monitor and check that strategies are consistent and working.

Diet:- Another crucial area which deserves recognition. We cook handmade hot meals on the premises - we promote healthy eating.

A child's overall well being, their happiness is of the utmost importance and children must be able to express themselves freely. Circle time and story time are both occasions when feelings etc can be shared, explored and explained together.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?

We always work closely with any other professionals who are required for advices and support within our setting. Our staff are flexible and encourage good communication so that the needs of all of our children are met. Services that we have used are Speech and Language Therapists, and The Early Years Service. Attending meetings and liaising with local schools etc are also deemed important.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

We have two SENCO's that work together with other professionals. They keep updated with latest news and views by attending refresher courses. The training needs are always based on the group of children/child that are present at any one time. Both managers have personal experience of disability therefore knowledge is informal and good.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

A lot of our day is spent free flowing in and our of the building as the children so wish. Children with additional needs would be included, never excluded. Our activities would be risk assessed and the child's needs discussed with the parent/carers. We would decide if any extra equipment would be needed to access play as well as extra staff etc.

Outings are a special part of nursery life too. When a child enters our setting we always ask for signed permission to take a child out. Staff ratios are always more, a paediatric first aider is always present and locations are risk assessed prior to visiting. Parents are welcome if their work and circumstance allows.

How accessible is the setting?

The front of our building does have steps up to it - we are awaiting advices for a ramp and this is in our development plan. Stairs are also inside. We do have an upstairs book which can show parents/carers the layout of upstairs. The setting is however, accessible to all children.

We use makaton signs around the building plus photos, communication sheets/books to help parents/carers who have English as an Additional Language. A book is used for settling too. Familiar words are displayed in their home language and staff are asked to use them.

Help is given for all form filling and support regarding school entry etc.

Children who have EAL are also inclided in our TALL groups which aids understanding. Dual language library books are used and lent to parents.

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?

After an initial show round we arrange for a home visit. This involves a manager and key person visiting the new child at home so that a friendship can begin. Both the parent and child have the opportunity to speak informally to discuss any worries or concerns.

The parent pack is completed along with the initial checklist for the child's development. Hours are also arranged for settling. The first one involves mum staying to play, from then on a decision is made as to how long and when mum can leave. A settling sheet is completed over five sessions so that a decision can be made if more time is required.

If a child leaves our setting then the Learning Journey accompanies the child to the new nursery and we are always keen to communicate if the need so arrises. For children that attend our setting and another, a communication book is completed by both settings so that information on development is shared.

When children are ready to move on to 'big school' arrangements are made for local schools to visit. Preparation involves lots of stories, visits and discussions about 'big school'. Staff attend meetings to ensure that transitions are smooth. The child's Learning Journey is summarised and a summative assessment completed and forwarded to the schools in question.

For children with additional needs, extra information, visits and meetings are attended.

How are the settings resources allocated and matched to children's special educational needs?

Staff alert us to any new resources that are needed to meet the needs of any of our present children. Resources are purchased continually throughout the year.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

From the moment a child is registered within the setting decisions are made with regard to how much support a child requires. Meetings are arranged with parents (plus any other professionals if needed eg, early years). Observations are made of the child at play and throughout his/her sessions then decisions are made when and what extra support is needed.

How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved in the setting?

Our parents are included in most of nursery life. We are a very informal setting and always make ourselves available for parents to come and talk to us. We have regular parents evenings, newsletters, offers to stay and play as well as a suggestion box in reception. Alongside this the key person system ensures parent contact is always maintained.

Who can I contact for further information?

Parents/carers are welcome to contact us as often as they wish. The key person is the first point of contact but the managers and SENCO are always available.