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Torbay SEND Local Offer

1. What special education provision is available at our setting?

How does Mama Bear's Day Nurseries in Torbay meet your needs?

The nursery group within Torbay benefits from experienced and specifically trained staff who can support and deliver exceptional care for a variety of needs. Each setting has a named SENCo in place, who co-ordinates support, training and resources for all children and practitioners.

There is a variety of equipment and resources at Mama Bear's Day Nursery and Pre-school to enhance the provision further in relation to needs of each child. These are readily available at any of the four settings.

We share support and expertise from relevant practitioners in relation to the needs of the child, helping us to utilise the knowledge held through various additional qualifications and specialise in additional needs of children under five. We are then able to cascade this information to practitioners and the extended family of the child.

2. What criteria must be satisfied before children and young people can access this provision/service?

What sort of needs would you have for us to be able to help you?

Mama Bear’s Day Nursery is an inclusive provider, caring for children aged from 3 months to five years. We are able to provide sufficient care and support for children with a variety of needs.

Upon first contact with the setting, we will gather information from the family and any other source available with authorisation from the parents/carers, (agencies, professionals supporting the child/family and/or any supporting documentation) in order to establish the needs of the child.

Once this information is captured, the setting will seek out all support available from within the nursery group and/or outside agencies/professionals who may or may not already be engaged with the family, in order to provide a service that fully meets the needs of the child/family in question.

3. How do we identify the particular special educational needs of a child or young person?

How do we work out what your needs are and how can we help?

Monitoring an individual child's progress throughout the foundation stage is essential. When 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 help above that which is normally available for children in the particular early education setting.

Once a practitioner has identified that a child has SEN the nursery will intervene through the 'Graduated Response' model. In conjunction with the SENco, child’s parents/carers and Key Person, this working group devise actions to further meet the needs of the child. These actions are captured within a documented plan that is shared between parents/carers, SENco & Key person. If this intervention does not enable the child to make satisfactory progress the SENCo’s may need to seek advice and support from external agencies within or outside of the Local Authority. Informing parents to contribute their knowledge and understanding of the child and raise any concerns they may have about their child’s needs and the provision that is being made for them is an initial step.

If after timed and planned reviews, it is felt by all working to the plan, that there has been very little or no progress made, in conjunction with the support of the LEA a ddecision may be made to undertake a ‘Education, Health Care Plan’.

4. How do we consult with parents and/or children and young people about their needs?

How do we find out what you and your parents think you need help with? 

The Key Person and supporting colleagues who work with the child within the key group will communicate daily with the parents/carers and of course the child in relation to their needs.  Regular meetings are held with the parents/carers/extended family with the Key Person and SENCo at the nursery, in order to provide the parent/carer with an opportunity to share updates and the impact of any support put in place. Written updates, assessments and scrapbooks which capture how the child’s needs will be shared regularly..

5.  What is our approach to teaching children and young people with special educational needs?

How will we teach you?

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 the action taken. 

The SENCO will ensure that appropriate records are kept including a record of statements. The practitioner usually responsible for the child, also known as their Key Person, will remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis and for planning and delivering an individualised learning programme.

6. How can we adapt our curriculum for children and young people with special educational needs?

What sort of things will you learn here?

The SENCo, in consultation with the child’s parents, will decide on the action needed to help the child progress in the light of any assessments. This action will compromise of individualised arrangements for learning and may include:

- extra adult time in devising the nature of the planned intervention and monitoring its effectiveness

- the provision of different learning materials or special equipment

- some individual or group support or staff development and training to introduce more effective strategies

- access to LEA support services for one-off or occasional advice on strategies or equipment

- staff training to provide effective intervention without the need for regular or ongoing input from external agencies.

7. How will we ensure we get the services, provision and equipment that children and young people need?

How will we make sure you get all the help that you need from different people?

If practitioners in consultation with parents conclude that a child may need further support to help them progress, staff should seek the help of the nursery SENCOs. All known knowledge about the child will be collated and if not previously sought, the support of outside multi agency professionals will be implemented with parental consent..

8. How is this provision funded?

Who pays for this?

Mama Bear’s Day Nursery is a private childcare company, open all year round except bank holidays and also between Christmas and New Year.

Every child is entitled to up to 15 hours free nursery provision per week during term time from the term after their third birthday until they start school. Although children are able to access this funding throughout the year, using 12 hours free nursery provision per week, for the majority of the year (48 weeks). These sessions are funded by the Local Authority and are known as the ‘Free Education Entitlement’. Parents / carers apply for the entitlement on a termly basis via the nursery. This is a simple process, which we will help you with. Some two year olds are also entitled to the same amount of funding (means-tested) through the LEA, after application. Their children may be able to access this funding if the select criteria is met.

When additional resources, support or nursery sessions are required, additional funding will be sought through the local authority or relevant organisation.

In some circumstances, dependant upon the current cohort of children attending, other streams of funding are used, through the LEA known as ‘Deprivation funding’ and ‘Early Years Pupil Premium’.

Where a child is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance the setting can claim DAF (Disability Access Funding) from the local authority. This is a one off payment per year and is spent in consultation with the family to best support the individual child’s needs, evidence of this and the impact on the child’s development is kept to assess and plan future support and activities.

9. What additional learning support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and how do they access it?

What else will we do to help you learn and how will this happen?

Learning support is available for children with special educational needs and ordinarily co-ordinated by the Key Person and SENCo.

Strategies employed to enable the child to progress will be recorded within an Individual Plan for the child, which will include the following ;

• The short term targets set for the child

• The teaching strategies

• The provision to be put in place

• When the plan is to be reviewed

• The outcome of the action taken

For very few children the support provided will not be sufficiently effective to enable the child to progress satisfactorily. It will then be necessary for the nursery in consultation with the parents and external agencies involved with the child to consider whether an Education, Health Care Plan is required.  The child will have demonstrated significant cause for concern and the nursery will provide supporting evidence to the LEA detailing;

•           Individual education plans for the child

•           Records of reviews and outcomes

•           The child’s health including medical history where relevant

•           Educational and other assessments

•           Views of the parents/carers and where appropriate the child

•           Involvement of external agencies

•           Any involvement by the Education Welfare Service or Children’s Social Care

All Education, Health Care Plans must be reviewed as minimum twelve monthly by the LEA.


10. How do we support and improve the emotional and social development of children and young people with special educational needs?

How can we help you learn about your feelings and relationships?

• At Mama Bear's Day Nursery in Torquay and Paignton we have a trained THRIVE Mentor, who supports children on an individual basis as well as creating support materials and training to all practitioners. All settings adopt the THRIVE ethos and within each setting staff have had specific recognised training to embed the following  practices further;

• Safety/Security-  security within the adult - child relationship

• Use the Adult-Child Regulating Functions -these are key skills for the adult to use in the relationship with the child so that the child can learn them through experience

• Attunement- Regulation and soothing- Containment- Validation.

• Attitudes- practitioners are – Playful- Loving-  Accepting-  Curious - Empathic  - PLACE  an approach adopted by THRIVE - (Hughes, 1983)

• Practitioners that understand the role of emotions in learning. This includes understanding the role and function of the limbic brain and how to develop frontal cortex capacity to think about feelings. This involves understanding the impact of facial expressions, body language, gestures, looks and voice (tone, pitch, pace, intonation).Use your eyes and face to communicate interest, care, connection and value.

• The teaching of differentiation between:- Sensations- Feelings / emotions / ‘affect states’- Thought- Associated vocabulary.

• Creative, imaginative and arts-based activities to build a bridge between right brain and left brain capacity, in particular to be able to sense, communicate and express feeling states safely.

• Supporting each child to develop a continuing sense of self.

• Teaching children how to regulate their emotions by role modelling how to use their breath; how to recognise tension and how to relax;

• Practitioners that embody and role model behaviours desired in the child.

11. How do we support children and young people with special educational needs moving between phases of education and preparing for adulthood? 

How can we get you ready to change to a different place or to leave here? 

As part of the transition process to school the SENCo at the nursery will normally visit the Primary School the child will be going to and transition meetings will be planned between school staff and the SENCo. The school staff will usually visit the child at the nursery to see them in their familiar surroundings. These processes enable information sharing and ensures the transition process runs as smoothly as possible.

Throughout the Nursery children are supported between transitions to new ‘rooms’ as they progress through the provision. The SENCo oversees transitions meetings between the current and future Key Person with the parents/carers, sharing relevant information, targets and assessments, and most importantly feedback from the child and family.

12. What other support is available for children and young people with special educational needs and how can they access it?

What other help can we give or help you to get?

Depending 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 child receives. This support may be available internally within the select setting or within the nursery group, or alternatively within outside agencies.

13. What extra-curricular activities are available for children and young people with special educational needs?

What other activities can you do here?

Each setting has specific activities and additions to the nursery provision that may benefit children with specific needs. When those activities and additions do not fully meet the needs of the specific child, additional support, equipment and resources are sought from a variety of means in order to adapt the provision and/or practice.

14. How do we assess and review progress towards agreed outcomes, and how are parents, children and young people involved in this process?

How do we know that the help we are giving you is working? How can you and your family tell us what you think? 

Strategies employed to enable the child to progress will be recorded within an Individual Plan .This will record only that which is additional to, or different from the differentiated curriculum already in place as part of normal provision. The plan will focus on three or four key targets and will be discussed with the parent and where appropriate, the child. The plan will be kept under continual review and parents will be consulted as part of the review process. During review meetings (which are held as required) an action plan will be agreed and documented, recording what actions are to be complete and who will be responsible, eg, parent, SENco, portage worker or health visitor.

15. How do we assess the effectiveness of our special needs provision and how are parents, children and young people involved in this assessment?

How do we make sure that we are being the best that we can be? How can you and your family tell us what you think?

Regular feedback is collected from all parents, carers and professionals through a variety of methods.

Our quality assurance schemes and the monitoring systems in place within the company require each setting to reflect fully on the inclusive practice and provision and encourage methods and guidance on driving quality further.

16. How do we ensure that teaching staff and other staff have the expertise needed to support children and young people with special educational needs?

How do we make sure that everyone that works with you has the right skills and can do the right things to help you?

Within the group there are a variety of key staff who are able to coach and mentor every Key Person to fine tune their practice in relation to the needs of the child they are supporting. This is accessed regularly in addition to the continuous professional development of all practitioners being developed further through in house training workshops and training, forums held by the LA and other agencies/organisations.

Observation, supervision, appraisals and assessments of the training needs of the entire staff team highlight skills in need of further development/enhancement..

17. How do we keep parents informed where children and young people have special educational provision but do not have an Education Health and Care Plan?

How do we make sure that your parents know how we can help them?

Parents/carers are informed ordinarily daily by the Key Person upon drop off/collection in regards to daily updates. The nursery will always make time to meet with parents for meetings with or without notice – understanding that regular free flowing dialogue is vital in building trusting, positive relationships with the family.

Summative assessments, regular written feedback all are provided to the parents of all children regardless of any needs.

18. How can parents, children and young people make a complaint about our provision?

What can you do if you are not happy about something that has happened here?

Concerns relating to the provisions when possible are addressed and resolved by the management of the setting.

The nursery group operates a complaints policy, readily available at the nursery or online. which outlines the measures any service user or visitor can take to ensure their complaint is fully addressed and resolved satisfactorily.

19. How can parents, children and young people get more information about the setting?

How can you find out more about us? 

This website lists information, reports and news stories for all four of the Torbay settings, along with all contact information. 

You are welcome to attend the nursery for a tour (prior arrangement is not always necessary), where further arrangements can be made to meet specifically with key staff and the SENCo. The Family Information Service (FIS) lists information about the setting and the Ofsted website details information and reports of the nurseries within the group.