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Somerset SEND Code


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 (SEN)?

How does Mama Bear's Day Nurseries in Somerset identify children/young people with SEN?

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 I be able to raise any concerns I may have?

We offer an in depth settling in period where you can meet with your child’s key person and discuss any areas of concern you may have upon starting with us.

We encourage full parental involvement in children’s learning and provide monthly feedback sheets where any concerns can be noted which will then be addressed by your child’s key person. This of course does not take away the daily opportunities for discussing your child's development or any concerns you may have with your child’s key person.

We also offer parent evenings and regular reviews where we can share and discuss your child’s learning and development

We complete termly assessments which are shared with parents and discuss each child’s progress within each of the areas of learning and development – any concerns can be noted and discussed at this point.

We complete the progress check aged 2 years which is a valuable tool in identifying where early intervention may be 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 met 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 ahs 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.

The SENCO will take the lead in further assessment of the child’s particular strengths and areas of support in planning future support for the child in discussion with colleagues working with the child, and in monitoring and subsequently reviewing progress. The SENCO, together with the child’s key person will ensure that appropriate records are kept and shared with parents and other professionals as required.

Where a child may not be developing within an area or areas of learning and development as expected, the key person will share this information with the SENCO and the child’s parents and we will prioritise the next terms ‘next steps’ to support children in progressing in areas that require more support. This may require an individual learning plan being implemented with targets identified to work on through the coming term which will be monitored by the key person and SENCO and shared with the child’s parents.

How are the setting committee involved (if appropriate) and what are their responsibilities?

We are privately owned and therefore do not have a committee.

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

What opportunities will there be for me to discuss his or her progress with the staff?

  • Settling in sessions
  • Termly assessments
  • Review at completion of 2 year progress check
  • Reviews with key person
  • Parent evenings
  • Use of monthly feedback sheets
  • WOW moments
  • Opportunities to contribute to your child’s record of development

How does the setting know how well my child is doing?

Through ongoing observation and assessment. Each term an assessment is completed and shared with parents to detail what learning / progress has occurred within each area of learning throughout the previous term. From this next steps are identified within each area of learning nd development which then form the basis of the next month’s planning for your child.

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.

How will I know what progress my child should be making

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

What opportunities will there be for regular contact about things that have happened at the setting, such as a home/setting link book?

  • Daily feedback sheets
  • Verbal daily information exchange at collection
  • Diaries / link books are used if deemed necessary or requested for by the parent where there may be a need to do so

How will you explain to me how his or her learning is planned and how I can help support this outside of the setting?

During our settling in process we will explain all of our planning processes to you. You are welcome to take away your child’s record of development to look through and to contribute to.

We welcome regular feedback from you such as any learning / progress made at home and any current interests all of which will be incorporated into planning.

We send home monthly theme bubbles outlining activities that your child will be invited to participate in whilst at nursery as well as parent feedback sheets to welcome your suggestions for activities in the nursery. We also send home monthly newsletters detailing what we are doing in the nursery and learning that is being encouraged and promoted.

We have home links boards in operation providing suggestions on how you can extend children’s learning at home from what they have been doing at nursery and all of our planning is on display in each room for you to look at.

Key persons are always happy to discuss any area of your child’s learning and development.

How and when will I be involved in planning my child’s education?

At any time! We welcome and encourage your contributions. To facilitate this we have introduced parent feedback sheets.

We also consult with you at the end of each term when reviewing progress, completing assessments and devising next steps for the coming term.

Do you offer any parent training or learning events?

We send home regular questionnaires as well as operating a comments and suggestions box. If you would like any such event please use these methods or speak with your child’s key person or the nursery manager who will look to facilitating them.

What support will there be for my child’s/young person’s overall wellbeing?

What medical and social support is available in the setting for children with SEN and disabilities?

Our SENCO will work closely with the child and parents as well as any other agencies involved with the child and any identified additional support will be facilitated according to the needs of the child.

Any training for staff regarding administration of medicines that may be required will be facilitated and we have robust procedures in place for the administration of medication.

How does the setting manage the administration of medicines and providing 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 support is there for my child’s personal, social and emotional development?

With Personal, social and emotional development being one of the three prime areas of learning and development lots of emphasis is placed on this within the setting and it is established through all of our daily routines and learning experiences. Some examples include:

  • 1:1 activities with the child’s key person and or SENCO
  • Small group activities
  • Teaching of sensations, feelings and emotions
  • Supporting each child to develop a continuing sense of self
  • Teaching children to regulate their feelings and emotions
  • Practitioners embody and role model desired behaviours

How will the setting ensure they take account of my child’s views as appropriate?

How will my child being able to contribute his or her views?

The child’s voice is paramount and we offer plentiful opportunities for the children to make informed choices and contribute their views, children are given choices at meal times, choices of what activities and learning experiences they would like to engage with, take part in self risk assessments, devising golden rules for their room, self evaluating planning and learning they have been involved in. Where the child is able to communicate effectively children are involved with all aspects of their learning and development.

How will the setting support my child/young person to do this?

Through the types of activities offered above. We imbed into the children the ability to make informed choices and build trust that their voice will be listened to.

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

Are there practitioners at the setting with previous experience of supporting children with SEN and do they have relevant training/ qualifications?

All of our staff are trained to a minimum of level 3 in early years, excluding 2 staff who are currently working towards this qualification. We have 3 SENCOs in post, one of whom is the Nursery Manager who is responsible for supporting all staff and overseeing all children’s learning, development and Progress. We have a SENCO based in our 2-3s Room and one in our Pre School Room ensuring that support is always close to hand for both children and colleagues.

The majority of staff have attended and completed Somerset Total Communication Training and this is widely used in the setting.

The Nursery Manager has also attended and completed Portage training.

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.

Any additional training required to further support individual children and meet their needs will be sought.

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.

What training have the staff supporting children with SEN and disabilities had or are having?

Can you include recent and future planned training and disability awareness?

3 x staff members have completed SENCO training
2 x staff have attended and completed ENCO training (Equality Needs Coordinator)

Staff have accesses Somerset Total Communication Training, Behaviour Management Training and Safeguarding Training, including safeguarding of disabled children.

We have planned for one other staff member to attend SENCO training as well as one of our current SENCOs to refresh their training.

We also have staff booked to attend training to support children with EAL.

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

Will he or she be able to access all of the activities of the setting and how will you help him or her to do so?

As far as is reasonably practicable we will ensure all children can be included in all planned trips and outings. This will be done through full consultation with the child’s parents.

How do you involve parent/ carers in planning activities and trips?

We would inform parents of the intended trip/outing/activity and ensure their views are sought. Risk assessments are always completed for any trip or outing and again the views of the parents would be sought.

How accessible is the setting environment?

Is the building fully wheelchair accessible?

Our building is fully accessible for persons in wheelchairs.

Have there been improvements in the auditory and visual environment? Are there disabled changing and toilet facilities?

We have the use of an adult disabled toilet available for use by children as required.

How does the setting communicate with parent/ carers whose first language is not English?

We use visual prompts and signage and would endeavour to translate any documents into main spoken language as required.

How will the setting prepare and support my child to join the setting, transfer to a new setting or move onto school?

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

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

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.

Who else will be involved?

The Area SENCO may also be involved.

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 does the setting/school/college judge whether the support has had an impact?

Who can I contact for further information?

We continually monitor all support that has been provided, whether that is through and individual learning plan that has been implemented with key targets, 1:1 sessions with a key person / SENCO or through additional support from multi agency professionals. Regular review meetings will be held and we will continually assess the effectiveness of the support provided and this will help us decide if the support in place is effective or if we need to look at other strategies.

For further information you can speak to your child’s key person, the SENCO or the Nursery Manager as well as any other professional involved with your child / family.

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.

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

Taunton - The Nursery Manager, Kerry Sturmey This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or the Deputy Manager, Nicola Cooper This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or you can telephone the nursery on 01823 276261.

Yeovil - The Nursery Manager, Cathy Offord This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or the Deputy Manager, Kim Wolfe This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or you can telephone the nursery on 01935 433 347.

Our door is always open so you can also pop in and see us at any time.