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Our local Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) offer

There are a range of special educational needs and disabilities some requiring minimal assistance and others much more hands on.
We hope the information below and the contact names detailed are helpful and we welcome enquiries from concerned parents/carers.

How will the setting know if my child needs additional help?

Every member of staff is committed to the early identification of special educational needs and we follow a graduated response to meeting the special educational needs in line with the code of practice 2014.

Observations (written, photos and visual) are carried out by the keyworkers and if a child needs additional help this will be discussed with the parents/carers in private.

Parents/cares are kept up to date at all the stages of the process regarding identification and assessment and we invite parents/carers to participate in all meetings linked to the support planned for their child and what role they can play at home.

Who are the key people in the setting available to discuss parental /carers concerns about their child’s needs?

Parents/carers who have concerns or worries about their child should in the first instance speak to the child’s keyworker who will if necessary speak to the SENDCO.

Staffs are always available to talk to parents/carer for a formal or informal chat.

Our pre school Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SEND-co) is Mrs Andrea Stephenson-White. Andrea works closely with the Firs SEND-co Allison Brady, and can be contact directly via email below.

Please contact The Saplings, email  tel no. 01525 402735 opt 5

How will parents / carers be informed about their child’s progress, and how will progress be measured?

At the setting we use the development milestones taken from the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the Department Of Education document “Early Years outcomes”. We also use the “all about me books”, that we ask parents/carers to fill in when their child starts at the setting plus a range of observations taken by staff during the session.

At the setting the keyworkers will complete the 2 year check which gives parents/carers 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).

For further advice we can also refer to the Central Bedfordshire Guidance on SEND in the Early Years a Graduated Approach 2015.

Working with the parents/carers the keyworker and SENDCO will assess the child’s needs by using the Central Bedfordshire SEND support plan. This plan enables the parents and staff to set out long term and short term outcomes that all involved can work to.  

Meetings will be held half termly between parents/carers and staff and also any outside agencies if they are supporting the child or more frequently if either party feels it is necessary. One to ones are always available and will feed back.

Permission will be sought from parents/carers before any information is shared with outside agencies.

A referral may be made to Central Bedfordshire Early Years Allocation meeting to request an Early Years Initial Assessment by one of the early years professional teams.

As stated in the SEND Code of Practice 2014 in a very few exceptional cases where there are severe and complex needs an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC) needs assessment request may be necessary.

Dietary requirements are met with care and attention details to enable all to enjoy their tome at playgroup.

A good working relationship with parents/carers is paramount, we know that as the main carers in a child life parents have key information and knowledge with which working together we can help a child with SEND reach their full potential.

At the setting we have a range of information that will help parents/carers in finding support groups and organisations

Medical needs are addressed as needed by a care plan working with parents/carers and the relevant Health Professionals. All medicines are administered in line with our Medicines Policy.

What other different types of support can the child receive?

At the setting we have A Lift off to Language group which addresses children particular needs such as stammering,

We will adapt the activities to the needs of the child and we use alterative communications systems, such as Picture Exchange Communication System (PECs) or Makaton.

A child may be supported by The Early Years Support Team (EYST) who will visit the setting to offer advice and support.

We can apply for additional funding from Central Bedfordshire to employ one to one support if the child‘s needs are exceptional and this will enable staff to put in place strategies that will support the child.

What support is in place to meet children’s physical needs?

Ampthill preschool is a single storey building anyone using a wheelchair is able to access all areas.

The preschool are the only people who use the building.

We have three children’s toilets and one adult toilet.

All staff are qualified in first aid and have had training in Epi pen and asthma.

We accept children regardless of their toilet training, and will work with the parents/carers when they feel that they child is ready to toilet train.

We comply with the Disability Discrimination act (2010) in making reasonable adjustments for children with SEND.

Transfer to new setting/school

When transferring to another setting/school, the preschool will have meetings with the teacher and SENDCO and any other outside agencies working with the child. We will also visit the setting/ school with the child and invite the setting/ school to the preschool so that they can see the child in familiar surroundings.

What other agencies can provide support to children to children with SEND?

We work closely with a range of outside agencies in order to draw upon the expertise of a wide range of external professionals to support children with SEND. These professionals contribute through providing observations, reports, and advice for staff and parents/carers and by attending professional meeting.

Agencies may include:

Local Authority Early Years SEND Advisory Teachers (Psychology and Advisory support service)

Early Years Support Team (EYST)

The child Development Centre Kempston

Speech and Language Therapy Service (S&LT)

Occupational Therapy (OT)

Health Visitors

The Virtual school for Looked after Children (LAC)

SEN outreach Nurses