What is the Local Offer? The Children and Families Bill (2013) 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 have, for many years, provided for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
How does St. Gabriel’s Playgroup know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special education needs or disabilities? At St. Gabriel’s Playgroup every child is treated as a unique individual and each child has a key worker. 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 ask for a time when you can discuss this in private with them. Alternatively, you can discuss this in private with the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) – Mrs Becky Sparrowhawk. Reports from health care professionals, such as health visitors and speech and language therapists identify your child’s individual needs. We welcome parents and professionals sharing these reports in order to plan appropriately to meet these needs.Ongoing observational assessments are made of all children and are linked to the Development Matters ages and stages of development – This in some cases identifies individual needs. If your child’s key person has identified a possible individual need, they will discuss it with you in private, and plan together with you to support your child’s learning and development. We undertake a ‘progress check at 2’ which supplies
parents/carers with a short written summary of their child’s development in the 3 main prime areas; Communication and language; Physical development; and ;Personal, social and emotional development. Becky will offer support and advice to your child’s key person and other staff in our setting. She will also liaise with other professionals to seek advice and support in identifying individual needs if necessary. Support and advice can be sought from the West Sussex Early Years and Childcare Service Team with your permission. How will staff support my child? Every child at St Gabriel’s Playgroup has a key person. On starting at Playgroup you will be given an ’All about Me’ sheet to fill in about your child. This will help us to share information about your child’s strengths and needs. We will work with you to support your child together, listening to you and your child. Becky will explain how children’s individual needs can be met by planning support using an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and advice from their Early Years Improvement Advisor (West Sussex Early Years & Childcare Service). Becky can explain who may be involved and their roles. Observations, assessments and evaluations all contribute towards IEP’S and your child’s key person would oversee the targets on the IEP. Your child’s key person will be in most sessions your child attends, fostering a relationship with and understanding your child. They will identify individual needs and plan next steps, accessing additional support from other professionals where necessary. We will work in partnership with you, reviewing the IEP 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? Your child will have an IEP (individual Education Plan) made for them by the SENCO and key person based on the child’s needs. They will also have a ‘Tracking Grid’ which shows their development within each area of learning. In addition each child has a 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 & grid at any time. We will endeavour to involve your child, enabling them to make choices and engage in activities/experiences that are of interest to them. Through ongoing observations and knowing your child, we will have a clear understanding of what your child likes and the level of their involvement. 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. The SENCO 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, tracking grid and learning journey which are all linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) ages and stages of development. Every key person plans for their weekly activities based on the individual child’s targets and needs – this can be discussed informally at playgroup or emailed each week to the parents. Regular review meetings are held to discuss the child’s IEP targets and how the parent can support their child at home. Termly parent update meetings with the child’s key person & SENCO. Our open door policy means you are always welcome to tell us how your child is doing on a daily basis 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 you on your child’s progress. Newsletters are sent home on a half termly basis to keep you up to date with what is happening at playgroup.
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. Practitioners provide good role models for positive behaviour and are consistent in the day-to-day care of all our children. Should your child display unwanted behaviour we will work with you and your child to provide a consistent and planned approach to improve behaviour. Personal health care plans can be adopted if necessary and staff will be trained in giving the appropriate medication for your child if required. Should your child require regular prescribed medication then a named member of staff will be responsible for the administering of this and you will be required to fill out and sign a ‘medication administered form’ 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 can be used to help them understand our routines. The grey quiet screening area provides a safe, quiet area to retreat to if your child is tired or needs some quiet time to themselves. The playgroup is able to undertake personal care such as nappy changing. Activities will be adapted to ensure your child is able to interact fully with their environment and visual strategies, such as the ‘now and next’ board to help them to understand our routines. Flash cards are also available for your child to express how they are feeling about a particular activity/event. What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by St. Gabriel’s Playgroup?
All staff have accessed child development training and have experience working with the Early Years age group. We have good links with -
Billingshurst and Pulborough Family Centre. We will work alongside the specialist services involved with your child and they are welcome to visit the playgroup. Working closely with you and your child will enable us to build stronger relationships and understand your support needs better. We are supported by the West Sussex Early Years & Childcare Service (EYCS) who aim to help Early Years and Childcare practitioners provide the best possible experience for all children in our setting. The team will support practitioners in meeting children’s individual needs through offering phone advice, observing individual children in their setting, suggesting ways to support individual needs, planning next steps with practitioners and parents and sign posting to training. Parental agreement will always be obtained before the EYCS Team become involved with any individual child. EYCS will support settings in working together with other agencies that may already be involved with a child. Our SENCO and Manager attend network meetings to keep up to date with the latest information and news. We have regular contact with the following professions; Speech and Language Therapist, Paediatric Occupational Therapist, Paediatric Physiotherapist.