Local Offer

The purpose of a local offer is to improve choice for families by providing information about services available for young children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
All early years settings in Essex are expected to identify and support children with special educational needs to make the best possible progress. Early years settings are supported to be as inclusive as possible by the Local Authority so that the needs of the young children with SEND are met.

1. How our setting knows if young children need extra help and what our parents/carers should do if they think their child may have send.

At the Akhter Early Learning Centre we can identify if a child has SEND by carrying out observations, completing 2 year old progress checks , having meetings with parents/carers and any other professionals. When carrying out observations we work closely with the EYFS which helps support the key person to identify if a child needs any additional support.
There are times when a parent/carer can speak to the child’s key person if they have any concerns. When this happens we will hold a meeting with the parents/carers, the child’s key person and the nursery SENDCO.  We can complete a Speech and Language referral form if the parent/carer and the key person think the child needs extra support.
We have co-ordinators who will support the child, the parents/carers and the key person whilst they attend the nursery.

2. How our setting supports young children with SEND.

We have positive staff who have been trained to be the Special Educational Needs and/or Disability co-ordinators (SENDCO). We also provide in house training to support the children in the setting. We work closely with the Area SENDCO.
We meet those needs through a range of SEND strategies. We provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum for all children with SEND which allows us to plan activities suitable for the child’s needs and follow the supporting notes given by other professionals.

Here are how some of how our parents feel we have supported their child:

  • I was very impressed and grateful for the support my child received in the Toddler room. The support was excellent and he got on very well with his key person.
  • The Nursery has premium funds to ensure that there are key persons to support the children with SEND. They attend regular training to ensure that the children with SEND have the correct help, to enable them to learn. Local authorities have access to the nursery this enables my child to see speech therapists and other OT when required.
  • I will say your setting is very good and helpful in supporting children with SEND.
  • We are very happy with the support, they are very friendly. My child is making lots of progress; he is counting, trying to say words and even paying attention.

3. How our setting creates learning and development opportunities for individual children with SEND.

We provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum for all the children with Special Educational Needs and Disability, we also use a system of planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing using a one page profile and a one plan for children with SEND.
We ensure that children with SEND are appropriately involved at all stages whilst also taking into account their levels of ability and needs.
Here is how some of our parents feel we create learning and development opportunities for their child.

  • Great learning and development opportunities for the individual as each child’s needs are satisfied and assistance provided for their development.
  • Understanding and helping him to develop. He loves nursery and the staff. As a parent I’m happy to send him to that nursery as he is always happy to be there.
  • By using specialist techniques to ensure that the children with SEND are able to confidently mix with children and gain social skills.
  • The variety of colours and activities on display gives children of all abilities the opportunity to choose what they want to do. Independent learning is encouraged.
4. How our setting works in partnership with parents/carers.
We work closely with our parents of the children with Special Educational Needs and/or disability to create and maintain a positive relationship. We ensure that they are informed at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their children’s education. We also provide parents with information on sources of independent advice and support.
We share our information given by the area SENDCO and the other professionals with parents in a quiet and confidential area – we have an allocated space called the parents room. The child’s key person will organise a meeting with the parents/carers to share information regarding their child’s learning and development, as well as the opportunity at parents evening. We can also keep contact between parents/carer via email updates.Here is how our parents feel with work in partnership with them.

  • Regular updates are given via one to one in person, in writing and via email. This ensures that my child’s learning is consistent both at nursery and at home.
  • It’s very helpful and the security is perfect.
  • Excellent with one to one communication, sharing of information and ideas between staff and parents to offer the best the children.
  • Very good.
5. How our setting supports the wellbeing of young children with SEND

All our rooms and equipment are risk assessed, when a child with SEND begins attending the Akhter Early Learning Centre we reassess the environment and equipment to support their needs. We use different methods of communication to support the children with SEND; we use visuals throughout the nursery such as pictures on the boxes and areas, visual timetables, and flashcards, We use sign language and we use specialist equipment that is brought in and recommended to us. This helps the children to make their own choices and for them to contribute to their learning and their own views.

6. Staff training and experience in supporting young children with SEND

We offer our staff in house training that is suitable and relevant to support the child and their needs as well as continuous overall training. We will send staff on training courses that will support them and the children. We have information and advice available to the staff at all times we do this through information folders, books and research and support from other professionals. Our staff receives safeguarding training, first aid training and the staff receive child specific training on administrating medication and equipment use.
We also invite parents to come in and discuss their child’s needs and what support they will need whilst being at nursery, this is continuous as their child’s needs will change and develop. When a child progresses from one room to another, their key persons will have a meeting to discuss each child’s needs and how we best support the child as well as giving the new key person any relevant information from training that they have attended that will help support the child.

7. Specialist services and expertise accessed by our setting

We are linked with the Treehouse Children’s Centre in Staple Tye, we visit the centre whether it’s to hold a meeting with parents and other professionals or for the children to use the facilities, we advertise activities and groups that will be available at the centre.
We have our Area SENDCO who comes to the nursery for regular meetings and to visit the children, they support the nursery with advice.
We have different specialists that come in to visit the children who offer support and advice. We have visits from the speech therapist, physiotherapist and specialist teachers. They spend time with the child and their key person observing, carrying out activities suitable for the child and show the staff how to use any specialist equipment that will be used.
We also hold meetings with the family and the specialists that come into the nursery so that information and support can be consistent for the child and family.

8. How our setting includes young children in the community based activities and outings.

When a child starts at our nursery there is a chance for parents/ carers to give or deny permission for their child to go on outings. We risk assess all areas that we plan to go before and during all outings. We assess the lay out, safety and security of the environment and the accessibility of the environment for specialist equipment and buggies. When a trip is planned we inform parents/carers of where we are planning to go, how we plan to get there including transport for their child (for example if they need a buggy or can walk but needs additional support) and what adult support will be in place.  We also offer a chance for the parents/carers to join us on the trip if they would like to.

9. Our accessible environment

We have wheelchair access into the building and all our room and external play areas are on one level.  We have a disabled toilet in the nursery. There are visuals around the nursery to help support children with SEND as well as English as an additional language.
If there is a parent/carer who does not speak English we can translate any letters or layout of paperwork to the language they speak and when a child starts at the Akhter Early Learning Centre we ask for key phrases that will help settle and support the child.
If a child with SEND requires specialist equipment then we have a professional to come in and show the staff how to use the equipment and the room is assessed on the accessibility for equipment.

10. How our setting prepares and supports young children with SEND when joining the setting and when transferring to another setting or school

Before a child starts we organise some settling sessions with the parents/carers and their key person. The first settling session is when the parents/carers meet with their child’s key person and they go through a settling information pack where we gain as much knowledge and understanding of the child, their interests, their needs, to get to know the child, the child to begin to recognise their key person as well as how to support the child and the parents/carers. After this settling session we set up some more where each one will become a longer time at nursery right up until their start date. We understand that this time can be difficult for parents/carers as well as the child and we will support everyone through this time. We also ask for a permission form to be completed which gives us permission to communicate with outside agencies to help support the child.
When a child is due to move to school we complete a transition form that is sent to the school with all the information they will need to support and get to know the child. We set up visits from the teachers of the school that the child will be attending so that the child can begin to recognise them in the comfort of the nursery. The specialist teacher, the child’s key person and parents/carers will then set up a visit to the school; these visits can be more than one.

11. How our setting organises its resources to meet the needs of young children with SEND

We ensure that each key person who has a child with SEND is given enough time and support to be able to arrange and plan activities and opportunities for their key child to learn. We also invite parents in to talk about what they would like to be added to the planning for their child and there are opportunities for staff to be able to leave the ratio in the room for this to happen. Also, in the rooms there are extra staff to ensure that the children with SEND are given the one to one time that they need to be able to learn and develop. We ensure that when professionals are coming to observe the child, the key person is able to leave the room to speak to the professional in a confidential manner to ensure that they can give advice and knowledge without compromising the child’s confidentiality. We have a rota in the rooms for staff to see when they are in ratio for the room and when they are on their one to one time with their key child. We also have resources loaned to us from the area SENDCO that will help us support the children and give them a range of resources to use. We audit the room and assess the children’s needs as to what equipment they need and will benefit from.

12. How we decide on appropriate support for young children with SEND

We decide on the appropriate support for the child with SEND by carrying out a range of observations daily and working in partnership with other professionals. We hold a meeting with the other professionals and parent/carers to plan the child’s next steps in development as well as how to keep meeting their needs. After this meeting we put together a one page profile and a one plan which will highlight to all staff and other professionals the support that the child needs. We keep up dating these with regular progress meetings that other professionals and parent/carers attend. We complete a mid-term review using the child’s next steps of development as well as any objectives set by other professionals.

13. How we involve all parent/carers in our setting

Parents/carers are always involved in decision making and day to day setting life. At the end of their child’s session for the day, feedback is given by their key person about what their child has achieved whilst being at nursery as well as it being a chance for the parent/carer to give the key person feedback about what they have been doing at home.
When we are completing the mid-term review we discuss with the parent/carers what the next steps are that we would like to develop with their child and give activity ideas for the parent/carers to carry out at home, we then ask the parent/carers to sign when the form is completed.
We hold parent/carer evenings where they can book an appointment to come in and speak to the key person about their child’s development and look through their learning journeys. The learning journey is put together using observations, photographs and artwork. It is available for the parent/carers to look at on eyLog  whenever they wish to.

14. Who to contact for further information.

At the setting the first point of contact for SEND information is the centre’s SENCO’s Louisa Findell and Emily Bannister.  Louisa is also the Autism lead and Communication and Language coordinator. Charlotte Miller is the nursery ENCO. The Area SENDCO is Katie Pollard.