Special Educational Needs Provision - Next Steps / Little Owls Childcare

We have supported and assisted children with special educational needs or disabilities in our setting for many years, and we have a strong background in working in partnership with our carers, parents and multi-agency specialists. We aim to provide a non-stigmatised and a fully educational inclusive environment for children under 5 years old.

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)?

As part of the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory framework, we carry out observations and monitor and track your child’s progress throughout their time at the setting, and we will share this information with you on a daily basis if required. Evaluations of progress and next steps for your child’s development are always available for you to review.

All our children are proactively supported in a holistic way, ensuring that we plan activities to suit their individual needs to assist their learning journey. We adapt our daily planning each day and if any child needs extra support, we complete an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) which includes small achievable targets. We discuss our aims with parents or carers and review them regularly. We operate Plan Do and Review procedures, and if necessary with the consent of the parent or carer, we will involve multi-agency specialists, to help us with our next stage of the child’s development.

If you are concerned that your child has additional developmental needs or “how are they doing”?

Please speak initially to your child’s key carer who will record your concerns and arrange for a meeting between the onsite qualified SENCO (Special Educational Need Co-ordinator) if required.

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

Each child has a personal key carer and is part of a key family, if they are not available on the day they will have a designated key carer within the family for you to speak too. All the team are fully trained Early Years educators Level 3 and above, our SENCO is an Early Years teacher and will be experienced in special educational needs and disabilities.

Our EY team attends regular meetings to give feedback on our progress, and identify any little ones in our care who might need help in the future. We support any child with additional needs, and plans are developed to discuss their next steps. The team measure all our planning using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timed) targets and review them regularly.

We protect confidentiality; children’s names and details are not disclosed without consent of the parent or carer.

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

At Next Steps / Little Owls Childcare Ltd you are able to speak confidentially with the team, informally or formally at any time, however sometimes we are busy with the children, and you may want more time or privacy, then we can book you an appointment verbally or by email.

We monitor each child through all stages of their learning; we identify their individual interests and build on them. We send home weekly Focus sheets for parent and carers which includes a ‘WOW moment cloud’ so information from the setting can be shared and celebrated with the family at home. All children in the setting have a progress check at the age of 2 years which is a formal assessment, which will highlight any areas of learning and development. This may be required by your Health visitor.

All updates and news of what we are doing can be found on our Notice board in reception, through newsletters, and the Company web site. The key carer will also suggest ways of supporting your child to achieve targets and goals by sharing common practises.

We offer a play and learning session where parents and carers are able to come and share activities and events with us, this may encourage your child’s learning and increase their confidence levels. We also have parent and carer evenings where we talk about your child’s progress and review our programme for school readiness.

If we need additional learning resources we borrow equipment for children with additional needs, from local schools and resource centres.

We provide child friendly equipment such as spring loaded scissors to support co-ordination, adapted pencil grips, paint dabbers and chubby crayons. Also light boards and sensory resources that can support learning.


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

At our setting we have a structured day which also includes a choice learning environment, allowing the children to choose an activity. At the end of each day we review with the children how we have done and what we have enjoyed. We value all children’s individual strengths and are able to offer a creative learning and developmental environment, irrespective of their starting point.

We have circle time ‘show and tell’ where the children share items and ideas. Yoga is a weekly activity which can be reflection time where children can talk about how they are feeling and a time to learn how to relax. There is lots of singing and dancing, cooking and great outdoors activities such as the Forest School and Nature watch.

We have a strict medication procedure and our team are qualified First Aiders with experience in safeguarding and social, educational needs and child development.

We have golden rules so children feel valued, and are part of their own emotional and social learning. We also have a “How are you feeling” display to help the children discuss if they are happy or sad and why.

At lunchtime and snack breaks all children and the team will get together to support the children in socialisation skills, encouraging positive relationships and reinforcing good manners.

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

All our children have a voice and an opinion; we share time in the morning & afternoon as a group and throughout the day we are monitoring and tracking their progress. The team encourages children to share and reflect on what they enjoy and what their preferences are. This is incorporated in the planning and daily routines.

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

All children will have an equal opportunity to access trips and risk assessments are in place for your inspection. They will be involved in the trip along with all the other children, ensuring any additional needs are met. We will liaise with all parents and carers to ensure your child is fully supported.

How accessible is the setting environment?

The buildings are wheelchair friendly and accessible with suitable toilet facilities for wheelchair users. We use sign language, Somerset Total Communication (STC) and also have visual timetables, a sign of the week and visual labels for toys. All children are supported by using STC, so that everyone can communicate together. If English is not the first spoken language at home, we can provide translations of all newsletters and information sheets.

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

When your child joins us, we offer free settling in sessions that we plan around you and your child’s needs. The transition in starting at our settings can be gradual, parents and carers are welcome to stay to settle in their child. When your child is ready to start school, we complete a transition document to provide information about your child. We will also contact the reception teacher and ask them to visit the setting to meet your little one. All documents shared will include the learning journeys and unique information about your child which will be done with your consent.

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

If your child needs any developmental support, we can provide and suggest resources that could help, as early intervention is very important. We will liaise with multi-agency specialists that can assist, such as speech and language therapists, hearing support, occupational therapists and the health visitor. We will involve you as parent and carers throughout, and you can attend meetings with your child.

We will complete individual children’s learning plans such as (EHC) Education, Health and Care Plan and track the progress and give you honest feedback.

At all times we consider the views, wishes and feelings of the child and their parents or carers.