1. How does Little Explorers know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have a special educational need or disability?
At Little Explorers, every child is an individual and staff are experienced in observing and assessing the next steps for the children. Your child will be allocated a Key Person who will be responsible for your child's development. The Key Person completes observations on your child during their time in our early years setting. The Key Person will also share information with you about your child's development and we encourage you to also share information with the Key Person about your child's development at home. The information gathered from assessments, observations and with speaking to you, supports the Key Person in planning your child's next steps to support their development. Through this process if the Key Person has any concerns about your child's development, they will speak with you and the setting's Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO). For a child with SEND, a meeting with the SENDCO will be necessary so their needs can be identified before the child starts at Little Explorers and any reasonable adjustments can then be made to the nursery environment.
2. How will the Staff support my child?
Your child's Key Person will work in partnership with both you and your child. We fully encourage you to share information regularly with the Key Person. Our SENDCO will also be on hand to support you and your child. We also have regular contact with our Area SENDCO. We will involve you along the way and invite you to regular meetings where you will be included in the decision making of what aims for development are set for your child. If required, with your permission, we can make referrals to other professionals such as the Speech and Language therapist.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child's needs?
Every child is seen as an individual within our setting. The Key Person, through talking with you, your child and through observations, will get to know what your child's interests are. They will also get to know how your child prefers to learn. Using this information assists the Key Person in adapting activities to support your child in accessing the Little Explorers Early Years curriculum. Various strategies are used to support the children, for example, "first and then" cards of what to do now and what to do next, small group activities and differentiation of activities.
4. How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child's learning?
Your child's Key Person will speak with you at each session, you will have regular contact with the SENDCO and you will be able to speak with the Manager. Your child's progress is recorded in their Learning Journey through written comments, observations and photographs and with input from you as well, such as photos taken at home or on holiday. You will be invited to meetings with the Key Person, SENDCO and any other professionals involved. We can also give ideas of what to do at home to support your child's development and, if required, we can also visit you at home. At Little Explorers, we operate an "open door" policy and staff are always available to discuss your child's progress and development and to help you support your child.
5. What support will there be for my child's overall well being?
We offer "settling in" visits which will help familiarise your child with the nursery. Care routines will be discussed prior to starting Little Explorers, including nappy changing, sleep routines etc. We are able to administer prescribed medicines, however, we request that parents complete a "Medicine Permission Form" when they arrive at the nursery. If necessary, a medical care plan can be completed. If additional training is required to administer medicine, we will undertake this as necessary. Promoting positive behaviour is important to the setting; we have a behaviour policy and a named co-ordinator. We will discuss any behaviour concerns with you in order to maintain a consistent approach between home and nursery. The safety of your child is paramount, therefore parents/carers are requested to sign their children in and out of the nursery. If a family member or friend who we have not met before is collecting your child, we will ask for a password. (Children will not be allowed to be collected by individuals under 16 years of age.)
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Little Explorers?
We work with all professionals as required for each child and always encourage these people to come and visit the relevant children in the setting. With parental consent, we can contact our area SENDCO who can support us further. Our Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy provides a list of the professionals with whom we have worked. We work closely with other early years professionals who come into our setting. You will always receive a copy of any report written by us or by other professionals and you will always be invited to meetings. We also work alongside our local children centres that can provide further support if required.
7. What training have the staff had who are supporting children with Special Educational Needs?
The Little Explorers team of practitioners have experience of working with children and families with SEND. The SENDCO's has attended the most recent SEND Code of Practice training and been an experienced SENCO for 6 years. We have early years practitioners who have experience of working with children with Autism. The staff continually receive and refresh their training. All staff are qualified within Early Years or are currently studying for qualifications. Staff have attended the following:- "Promoting Positive Behaviour", "English as an Additional Language", "A for Autism" and "Down's Syndrome Training". We continually reflect upon our practice and will attend training when a particular need is identified.
8. How will my child be included in activities outside Little Explorers, including trips?
At Little Explorers, we visit the woods daily. Risk assessments are completed on all walks and we take a mobile phone and a first aid kit. Any medicine needed by a particular child who may be going on the walk will be taken along by the Key Person. The adults all wear high visibility jackets.
9. How accessible is Little Explorers?
We will work closely with all parents to access any specialist equipment that may be required. We are happy to make any reasonable adjustment to our environment that may be required. There is one step to the garden from the nursery, however we have access to a ramp if required. The garden area is flat with a small step down to the barked area. We have a disabled toilet in the building. Visual timetables are used to assist children with the daily routine and communications.
10. How will Little Explorers prepare and support my child to join the nursery or transfer to a new setting or school?
Before your child joins the nursery, we encourage you to visit the setting so that you can both become familiar with the environment. We work closely with each family to develop a settling in routine to match your child's needs. If your child attends another setting, we share the child's "Next Steps" with that setting. We liaise with local schools to arrange visits for their teachers to visit the children at Little Explorers to aid the transition process to the new school. During this visit, your child's Key Person will have time to discuss your child's needs and share their Learning Journey with them. As part of the transition, your child's Key Person can also visit the new school with your child if it is close by. A report is produced by the Key Person when your child leaves Little Explorers which can be passed on to the school.
11. How are Little Explorers' resources allocated and matched to children's special educational needs and disabilities?
We are able to apply for funding from Lancashire County Council to enable the nursery to employ an additional member of staff to work with your child if needed or we can apply for a specialist grant to purchase specialist equipment. Although each application is carefully considered, we cannot guarantee that funding will be awarded. Government funding is available for two year olds with special education and disability needs.
12. How is the decision made about my child's needs and how much support will my child receive?
The Manager and SENDCO will work closely with you to determine your child's needs. The SENDCO will have regular meetings with you alongside any other early years professionals involved with supporting you and your child. Regular staff meetings are held to ensure all practitioners are made fully aware of any additional support that a child may require. Also, the Key Person will be able to identify whether the child requires any extra support through observations made. A "provision map" will be made as necessary which will involve the parent and this will be regularly monitored and reviewed.
13. How are the parents involved at Little Explorers? How can I be involved?
Strong relationships with parents are important to the nursery. We operate an "open door" policy and share going home slips which are written daily. Newsletters are distributed every month and there is a parents' notice board advertising news and events around the local area of the setting. Every summer, we organise a Sports Day where all parents are invited to watch and participate. At Christmas, a craft event takes place where parents can come and make crafts with their children and share a mince pie. We also have a Face Book page to keep parents updated with all aspects of the nursery.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
More detailed information is available in our Policies, specifically "Special Educational Needs and Disabilities", "Medication" and "Promoting Positive Behaviour". Little Explorers parents are welcome to view our policies at any time.
If you would like to discuss your child's needs before making a decision about your child starting at Little Explorers, please contact the Managers Emma or Amy, on 01253 858748 or email