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Where children have fun, learning

BANES SEND Local Offer

What does your service do and who does your service provide for?

We are a family run childcare organisation based in the South West with the majority of our day nurseries in Bristol.

Our first day nursery opened in Brislington, Bristol, in 2004 and our nursery group has grown on our reputation of outstanding and affordable childcare available to all families. We're passionate about providing babies, toddlers and preschool children with the best start in their early education and work diligently to ensure that this results in safe and happy children in our care.

Our objective is to be a bridge between the home and school by providing the highest standards of childcare and education for babies, toddlers and pre-school children from three months until they start Reception Class.

We aim to provide a friendly, clean, comfortable and safe environment, which the children will find stimulating and challenging. At Mama Bear's enjoyment and fun are linked with discovery and learning. Staff are sensitive and responsive to the individual needs of each child.

To meet these needs we are committed to:

  • Delivering a service of the highest standards that will develop and improve each child’s quality of life
  • Respecting each child as an individual, taking into account their appropriate needs
  • Ensuring that our service is in accordance with the latest standards for care and education
  • Ensuring that our staff are selected, trained* and supervised to meet the needs of the children in their care
  • Managing our services efficiently and effectively
  • Valuing partnerships with parents/guardians/carers


Who should I contact if I am considering whether my child should join the setting?

The nursery manager, details of all Bristol nurseries can be found on this website or by contacting or Head Office on 0117 9582030


How accessible is the setting?

  • Our setting is accessible to all, including those who use wheel chairs.
  • We have disabled toilets and changing facilities.
  • Careful consideration is given to the planning of learning to enable as much access as possible.
  • We endeavour to have paper communications translated wherever possible.
  • We undertake careful planning to ensure language support is available to as many children with English as an additional language as possible.
  • We want all children to access curriculum opportunities off site, including trips. The nursery staff  meets with the parents/carers of a child with specific needs to plan how to make adjustments to ensure accessibility. A risk assessment would be written with the parents/carers if necessary.


How do you identify if a child needs extra help with their learning?

Monitoring of individual children’s progress throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage is essential. Where a child appears not to be making progress then it may be necessary to use alternative approaches to learning. Ongoing difficulties may indicate the need for support above that which is normally available for children in the setting.

Each child has their own individualised record of development in place and through regular effective observation and assessment and liaison with parents, key persons are able to identify where children are progressing as they should or where there may be areas of concern. Once a possible concern has been identified the key person will consult with the settings  Special Educational Need’s Coordinator (SENCO)  and the child’s parents and we will conduct focused observations to identify if additional support may be required.

The 2 year progress check is key in identifying where early intervention may be required and this will be shared with parents and health visitors as necessary in seeking any additional support required.


How will Early Years practitioners support my child and how will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

Who will oversee and plan for my child’s learning?

Your child will be allocated a key person who will be responsible for all planning, observation and assessment of your child’s learning. This is overseen by the Team Leader for your child’s room and also by the Nursery Manager.

Who will be working with my child and what will be their roles?

Your child will be allocated a key person upon starting with us, as well as the key person all staff deployed to your child’s room will be working with your child. The settings SENCo will also work with your child.

Who will explain this to me?

The staff organisation of your child’s base room and the nursery as a whole will be explained to you on your first settling in visit with us. This meeting is led by your child’s key person. You will have the opportunity to meet with our SENCo who will explain their role and part in your child’s learning and development.

What is the setting’s approach to supporting different children’s needs and how will that help my child?

All children have a fully individualised learning programme in place which is identified through individual ages, stage of development, their interests and current abilities. Ensuring each individual child’s needs are met through well planned activities. Each child has their own ‘next steps’ in place within each of the areas of learning and development – these are shared with parents and key persons plan activities and learning experiences to support each child to make progress towards their next steps.


How will I be able to raise any concerns I may have regarding my child’s development?

Each term we complete individual and cohort trackers so we can clearly identify where children are making adequate progress as well as highlighting any areas of concern which then allow for key persons to plan specifically for areas where children may not be progressing as well as expected.


What is the settings approach to supporting different children’s needs and how will that help my child?

  • All children are valued as individuals.
  • The class/room team is responsible for planning activities and experiences and all play and learning is based on building on what your child already knows, can do and can understand.
  • The key person will continually assess your child’s learning, plan to meet possible needs that they identify and support them to make the best possible progress.
  • If a child should make limited progress their key person will raise concerns with both the child’s parent and the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). The key person will plan specific activities to support your child, whilst continuing to work with you as the parent/carer and the SENCO.
  • Specific group/individual activities could be planned by a teacher or practitioner. For example, an adult playing alongside your child as your child plays using specific strategies, such as developing turn taking skills.
  • Support from outside professionals could be sought. For example: an Early Years Portage and Inclusion Specialist, a Speech and Language Therapist, Educational Psychologist, Occupational Therapist or Paediatrician. Specific, targeted strategies which reflect the advice given from an appropriate professional can then be used. These strategies may be carried out in a 1:1 situation, playing alongside your child or in a planned small group.
  • If your child has been supported as described above and has been identified as having a specific special educational need, we would discuss the development of a Support Plan (Non Statutory Education, Health and Care Plan) with you. The whole team supporting your child will be part of this.


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

Can you describe the decision-making process?

Dependent on the specific needs of the child we can of course make every effort to access specific support  to enhance the provision and care that the child receives. This support may be available internally or alternatively with outside multi agency professionals. The decision would be made upon reviewing all known information of the child and what support is identified as being required. Upon consultation and permission being sought from the parents we would then make a referral to the appropriate support service / agency and follow advice and recommendations from them to implement the support required.

Who will make the decision and on what basis?

The decision would be made initially by the child’s key person, SENCO and parents based on what is known about the child and what additional support is identified.

  • We can apply for more funding if a child has “different from and additional to” requirements.

The team around the child will make this application. The Referral and Assessment Service for Children’s Social Care Panel will decide the allocation of funding using the “ Universal Descriptors”.

Who else will be involved?

If deemed necessary, following conversations with parents, SENCo and key person a referral may be made to the Early Help Assessment Team.  This is done through a form which parents ideally will assist in filling in.  The form is then sent and reviewed by the EHAT and they may offer advice or contact about additional support.

How will I be involved?

Strategies that have been implemented to support the child and record progress will be shared with parents at all stages and parents will be provided with the information from us about what additional support may be required and what is available, we will inform and support parents in making the right decision for their child, where age appropriate and where children are able, their views will also be taken account of.


How will I know if my child is making progress in their learning?

Through regular consultation with your child’s key person. Parents are welcome to and encouraged to contribute to their child’s record of development, through the EYLog.  The EYLog shows where each child is currently at – their planned next steps and what would be deemed as what would be expected for each age / stage of development.

 All children have annual parent consultations. The staff team discuss their child’s progress with parents/carers. Parents/carers are also invited to share their views on progress and raise any concerns they may have, regarding progress and milestones.

 If your child has a Support Plan (Non Statutory Education, Health and Care Plan) this will be reviewed three times a year. The progress children are making is compared to the targets set out in the plan. The targets are set by all the people, including professionals that work with the child.


What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?

Our staff team is made up of 50%  trained to a minimum of level 3 in early years. We also have level 2 staff who are working towards the level 3 qualification through a nationally recognised training body. We also have apprentice staff who are currently working towards this qualification. We have SENCos in post, often this  is the Nursery Manager who is responsible for supporting all staff and overseeing all children’s learning, development and progress.

All our nursery SENCos have attended BANES CC SENCo training and are supported by Lead Managers. In addition to this we offer a comprehensive training programme for all staff and many staff have attended training in specific areas such as behaviour, inclusion and equality and diversity. All training attended is cascaded to the full staff team.

There is a Staff Training Plan in place and staff skills are audited annually.

We would seek to access training from outside professionals involved with your child who may provide individualised training where necessary.


How does the setting manage the administration of medicines and manage personal care

We have a robust administration of medication policy in place, ensuring qualified staff are responsible for the administration of all medication. Any specialist training required to administer medicine will be sought. The child’s key person is where possible responsible for personal care of all children, but where this is not possible we operate as a key group ensuring that all staff within each room know each child really well ensuring all children are safe and secure with all adults responsible for personal care of each child.


What preparation will there be for both the setting and my child before he or she joins the setting?

We offer a fully robust settling in procedure where we would invite your child to come and have a look around and meet us, we then would facilitate ‘settling in sessions’ we place no limit on the number of settling is sessions or their duration – we work with individual families to ensure that the child and parents are happy that their child is settled prior to starting with us as required. Children and families will have the opportunity to meet with the key person and SENCO as appropriate and ask any questions or discuss any concerns they may have. Parents are requested to complete an all about me book providing information about the child’s likes, dislikes, abilities, interests and routines.

We also discuss our procedures for planning, observation and assessment and parents are invited and encouraged to support in the initial baselining of their child’s learning,


How will he or she be prepared to move onto the next stage within the setting or onto school?

We operate a ‘Transition Policy’ and transitions within the setting are managed much as when a child first starts with us with children visiting the next room prior to moving and becoming familiar with the new key person. Parents are invited to attend reviews with their current and new key person. The SENCO will support with the transition of all children between the setting.

We work closely with local primary schools and do a lot of work ensuring children is ready and well prepared for school. Prior to starting School the SENCO and child’s key person would meet with the reception class teacher and consult and share information that will support their transition to school. A pre-school transfer form is also completed detailing current stages of learning and development and this is shared with the child’s parents prior to sending to the primary school.


What information will be provided to his or her new setting?

Parental consent will be sought prior to any sharing of information and where possible we would endeavour to facilitate a meeting with the new setting, parents, child’s key person and SENCO as well as the child (where appropriate) to discuss the transition. We would share the child’s records of development and any further information relating to the child as well as discussing any concerns that the family may have.


How will you support a new setting or school to prepare for my child?

For children with SEND the SENCO of the next setting is invited to a review. Targets will be reviewed and consideration will be given to how the next setting can make provision to achieve the child’s targets.

A transition programme will also be decided upon at this meeting. This would include visits, photos and information for the parents/carers.

If a child may require a specialist setting in their school years, you or the setting may decide to request an Education, Health and Care Assessment to develop a plan. An EHC Plan is a way of providing support that puts children, young people and families at the centre of the assessment and planning process, to make sure that your views are not only heard but also understood. This process focuses on what is important for children and young people, i.e. what they and you want to achieve now and in the future. The EHC Plan will have long and short term goals for your child. It will set out what support they need and how they will receive this support.


What other services does the setting access, including health, therapy and social care services?

If through consultation with the child’s parents (the child themselves if appropriate), and the SENCO we conclude that a child may need further support to help them progress, all known knowledge of the child will be collated and if not previously sought, the support of multi agency professionals will be implemented with parental consent to best meet the needs of the child.


Who would be my first point of contact if I want to discuss something about my child?

This would be your child’s Key Person and/or SENCO


Who else has a role in my child’s education?

All staff based in the room with your child will play a role in working with your child as well as any professional from any outside team working with your child.


Who can I talk to if I am worried?

You can talk to your child’s key person, the SENCO or the Nursery Manager as well as any other professional working with your child.