SEND Local Offer and Q&A

We understand…

Little Deers, Nutley Pre-school is very much an extended family within the Nutley Community. All our staff and committee members are very experienced working with children, most being parents themselves so we understand the concerns that a parent may have embarking on their childcare journey. Here we have compiled a selection of the most pertinent questions that we are asked. 

The purpose of the local offer is to improve choice for families, by providing information about services available at each setting for young children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Little Deers Nutley Pre-School strive to meet the needs of children with Special Educational Needs and disabilities. 

We support the children to enable them to reach their full potential, to be confident and independent and assist them in being able to communicate their own views and feelings. Our hope is that with our support and guidance, their transition to starting school is as seamless as possible.

We hope this helps but is there is something in particular that is concerning you please do reach out to use. Contact our Manager Jess here or our Chair Pippa here. You are always welcome to pop in for a chat, please just contact us to set up a time.


When contacting the Pre-school in the first instance, parent / carers will be invited to visit the setting and meet with staff to discuss their childs needs, additional informal visits are encouraged before the childs start date giving staff an opportunity to observe children. Registration forms ask for information on any additional needs and/or disabilities.

Included in the Welcome Pack given to every parent/carer prior to the childs start date are two forms: Parents/Carers Voice and What you need to know about my child, where parents can share information that will help us prepare for the needs of the child from day one in the setting.

We operate a Key person system which means that each child will have a member of staff allocated to them, their role is to develop a relationship with the child and their family, our partnership with parents is highly valued and we aim to create a welcoming atmosphere where parents/carers are encouraged to discuss concerns with staff, this can be done informally or a time can be arranged to meet in private.

If your childs key person has identified a possible individual need they will inform the settings trained SENCO (special educational needs co-ordinator) for advice and then arrange to discuss the matter with you, planning together to support your childs learning and development, this may involve the SENCO liasing with other professionals such as the East Sussex Early Years Supprort team to seek support in identifying needs. The setting welcomes sharing reports from appointments and visits arranged by parent/carers for example to speech and language therapists in order to plan appropriatly to meet individual needs.

Your childs Key person will have responsibilty for gathering ongoing observations and examples of their learning and development; completing 2 year progress checks and summative assessments at key times: 36 months and 50 months/transfer to school help us to identify individual needs. This information will form part of a ‘ Learning Journey ‘ which is avaliable for you to read whilst it remains in Pre-school and will be passed to you when your child leaves the setting.

The settings SENCO will assist your childs key person in developing an SSP ( Setting Support Plan) this will include Areas indentified as needing support, Stratagies/resourses to help your child achieve, access and participate in all areas of the curriculum; it may also involve the SENCO accessing additional support from outside agencies where necessary e.g speech and language or applications for additional funding to provide additional staff. Your childs Key person will arrange a time to explain the SSP with you and agree the stratagies. These SSP’s will be periodically reviewed with you. As parent/carers, we value your comments and help in completing the outcomes for each area. SSP’s are ongoing until such time as all those involved feel there is no longer a need or will continue as your child moves onto another setting or makes the transistion to school.

At Staff meetings Key persons discuss all childrens development in order for the supervisor to plan for the needs of the children. The settings SENCO is responsible for ensuring SSP’s are current and that all staff are aware of the stratagies being used to support children with SEND.(special educational needs or disablities) Where funding has been obtained to provide an additional member of staff, the SENCO will support and provide them with additional planning for activities that will support your child’s SSP. This may include one to one sessions.

At Nutley Pre-school we ensure that all children enjoy a broad and balanced range of experiences that meet individual needs. Children with special educational needs or disabilities are appropriatly involved in all aspects of their learning and development taking into account their levels of ability.

The supervisor will gather together information obtained prior to your child’s starting date; from the ‘What you need to know about my child’ and ‘Parents/carers Voice’ sheets given out in the welcome pack and from observing your child at any settling in sessions you may have attended. In the first instance this will help with settling your child on their first few sessions for instance we can plan to provide a favourite toy or activity on arrival. Your Key Person will liase with you as parent/carers and observe your child to build up a picture of their needs. Every child in the setting has an Individual Learning Plan these are areas that the Key Person has identified as needing support, ILP’s are reviewed at staff meetings, this helps the Supervisor to plan the curriculum accordingly. If your child has been identified as having a Special Educational Need or Disability our SENCO will work with you and their Key Person to put together a (SSP) Setting Support Plan. This will set out specific help and stratagies that we will plan for to help your child achieve.

Pre-school sessions are evaluated daily, giving all staff an opportunity to highlight individual childrens likes/dislikes and needs, the supervisor will feed this information into her planning.

At Nutley Pre-school we believe that children benefit most from early years education and care when parents / carers and the setting work together in partnership, and that parents/carers are involved in their childrens education and in the full life of the setting.

Key workers use ongoing observations linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage areas of development, information from home and reviews of ILP’s and SSP’s at staff meetings to help them complete summative assessments at focused ages, 26months 36months and 50months or on transistion to a new setting or moving onto school.

These are shared with you as parent/carers and include space for your comments and your child’s voice, which might be expressed verbally or through observed behaviour.

On a daily basis we are avaliable for a quick catch up either at drop off or pick up, or if you would like to spend longer or discuss anything in private we can arrange this. If your time is short or staff are busy with other parents you can use your child’s communication book to pass on information.

Key Workers also use the communication books to let you know how your child is doing and suggest ways in which you can support their learning. It may be that a childminder or nanny is collecting your child in which case we are happy to use e.mail or the phone to keep you informed. You will be given yellow ‘Stars’ for you to share achievements from home, these are celebrated with everyone at welcome time and then displayed on the Stars board. We ask that you fill out a new ‘Parent/carer Voice’ sheet at the start of each new term to let us know of any recent developments, changes in routine or anything else you feel would help us support their learning.

We hold regular parent consultations when we can share your child’s Learning Journey and talk about their progress. Our SENCO will arrange a convinent time to discuss current SSP’s and how you can be involved.

At Nutley Pre-school we pride ourselves on being Friendly Warm and Welcoming to ALL our parents/carers and children. Our staff are committed to providing an environment where children feel safe secure and cared for and where they feel confident and able to express their needs and wants.

Key workers build close relationships with their children and will often go on to work with siblings forming strong links with the families.

A member of staff individually welcomes each child as they arrive and helps them place a card with their photo and name on in our self registration pockets. Staff are ready to support new children who are settling in and equally to assist those that need a helping hand to chose an activity or join in some play with others.

We have an inclusive, flexible to approach to dropping off and are happy for you to stay a while to settle your child, a member of staff will make themselves avaliable to should you need support and when you are ready to leave will stay with your child to ensure they remain settled. We fully understand that you may be anxious and are happy for you to phone at any time if you want an update. As you would expect we have a great deal of experience in distracting and calming little ones however should your child continue to be unsettled or distressed we will contact you and ask that you or someone you have named on your registration form return to comfort them.

Adults in the setting act as good role models and consistantly praise and support positive behaviour.
Should your child exhibit unwanted behaviour their key worker will work with you to establise any possible cause ie a new baby, moving house or within the setting difficulty sharing or communicating needs and discuss a consistant approach for home and the setting.
Information to support Positive Behaviour is avaliable on our Parents information table in addition to copies of all out Policies which include Safeguading and the SEN code of practice. Copies of any or all of these documents can be made avaliable on request.

We come together as a group at regular intervals ie welcome time / snack and lunch time / story times and when walking on the Forest. These group activities give children a sense of belonging and of their own identity and provide an oppurtunity to learn each others names and establish frienships. We use a visual timetable to help children understand our routine and to encourage them to use all the resourses and activities on offer as well as providing an opportunity to select or request additional resourses. A tambourine is used to prepare children for a change in routine.

Individual visual aids/cue cards are regularly used for children with SEND. All staff use Makaton, or signing on a regular basis to support language and communication.

All our staff are required to attend pedeatric First Aid traning which is updated every 3 years.If your child should become unwell at pre-school they will be made comfortable and a member of staff will stay with them until you can be contacted. We have procedures in place for recording and administering prescribed mediceins, this includes life saving medication such as Inhalers and epiee pens. Our registration forms ask that you supply your full contact details and those of any family/friends that can be contacted in an emergency.

We have experience of working with children with:

  • CHARGE syndrome
  • Global Delay Complex needs
  • ASD Autistic Spectrim disorder
  • Deaf and hard of hearing/Glue Ear
  • Life threating allergies
  • Speech and Language delay
  • Acute eczema
  • ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Looked after children i.e. Foster care

Our SENCO Special educational needs co-ordinator will work with you and your child’s key person to co-ordinate a ‘Setting Support Plan’ to address your childs specific needs. These will be reviewed with you regularly as your childs needs develope and change.

As a setting we are able to make referalls for speech and language therapists to attend Pre-school to assess and work with your child.

With your permission we can arrange a visit from an Early Years Professional to observe an assess your child where a need has been identified.

We have access to the Early Years Team who provide support for staff and one to one’s in creating individual learning plans for children and the loan of equipment.

Where there is a need our SENCO will co-ordinate help and resourses from outside agencies. For example in the case of a hearing impaired child some of our Early Years Learning outcomes would not be relavent, in particular those on language and communication therefore we would access Learning Outcomes and developmental mile stones from the Childrens Deaf Society.

We have links with the Foster care agencey for looked after children who provide support for families and the setting.

The setting has had links with services for travelers and accesssed resources to aid inclusion.

We are open to visits from Occupational therapists, and will arrange for staff to attend training if need be, ie on the use of equipment specific to your child.

Our SENCO is responsible for working with other professionals to process Educational Health Care Plans for children with identified needs on transistion to school.

Staff attend external and in house training on Behaviour management.
All our staff have attended or are awaiting Makaton training this includes signing, using cue cards, visual time tables and social stories.

Our SENCO has over 20 years experience in child care and identifing additional needs and has completed training on Speech and Language, Hearing and Sight inpaired children, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Disabilty Awareness, SEN Inclusion and attends support meetings to keep her knowledge and understanding up to date and keep abreast of current legislation with regard to SEND.

At Nutley Pre-school we are committed to taking our learning outdoors, accessing our garden or the Ashdown Forest daily.

Risk assessments are taken of all areas including any trips out. Our planning takes into account children’s individual needs and abilities, having discussed any additional needs your child has at the time of registering, we would make any nessasary adaptions before their due date ie for a wheelchair, a ramp to mount the two steps leading to our garden, an additional adult to accompany a child on the Forest. Comprehensive permission letters are given out prior to any trip, and parents/carers are invited to accompany their child/dren should they wish to.

We have routines in place so children know what is expected of them on the Forest ie holding hands between Pre-school and the forest and wearing high viz jackets. Our walks and areas are chosen to suite different ages and abilities. We are at all times flexible, adaptable and Inclusive.

Our garden has ample room to accommadate wheel chairs or walking aids. An area is set aside for a sensory garden and our planting takes place in a raised flower bed and at ground level.
With resources that mirror those inside we are able to provide all areas of learning outside.

At Nutley Pre-school we provide an environment in which all children, including those with special or specific educational needs or disabilities are supported to reach their full potential.

Nutley Pre-school has a large car park with allocated disabled parking. The hall has a disabled toilet. The entrance is wheelchair friendly and the hall large enough for a wheelchair to move around the equipment and activities. An area of the hall is partitioned off to faciliate pysical play inside to create an inclusive environment for those children with a need to run and move freely. Our furniture is designed for children in the 2 – 5 year age range, activities take place at tables, in activity trays and also on carpets.

Our painting easles vary in height. We have a varity of muti sensory resourses and plan muti sensory activities on a regular basis ie playing with corn flour, shaving foam and jelly to name a few. Our books reflect inclusion and diversity. Makaton signing is used to support communication with all the children along with visual timetables and symbols. For families with English as a second language, we will arrange for newsletters, outing forms and other literature to be translated. Parents/carers will be encouraged to spend time in the setting to help with their own language skills and to provide support for thier child. We are able to access resourses and support for . children from the traveling community. We have proceduers in place to offer places to children in Foster families at short notice.

Where there is a need an application will be made for extra funding for equipment, resourses or additional staff.

Information about meetings and events is communicated in a variety of ways – written, oral and in translation if required – to ensure all parent/carers have information about an access to meetings.

During the registration process you will have informed the setting of any identified needs and we will work in parnership with you and any other agencies to meet your child’s needs on arrival. If your child is moving from another setting or childminder with your permission we will ask that they pass on any learning journey or assessments to help us build up a
picture of their development so far. In the same way we would pass your child’s Learning Journey on should they transfer to another setting.

We encourage you to visit with your child, before their first morning, to get used to the hall and the staff. To aid the transition we also recommend if at all possible that you visit the mother and toddler group that meet in the hall on a wednesday afternoon as a way of familiarising yourslves with the surroundings and quite likely other children that attend the pre-school.

We will use information from the ‘What you need to know about my child’ and ‘Parent/carers Voice’ that you will have had with your welcome pack to plan for their arrival.

When transfering to school we invite the reception class teacher of your chosen school to visit and meet with your child and observe them. With your permission your child’s summative assessment taken at 50 months will passed onto the reception teacher of the school.

We have strong links with our local Primary school and children attend regular sessions in the reception class accompanied by pre-school staff, the term before they are due to leave us. We invite reception class teachers to visit the Pre-school and and share the children’s Learning Journeys with them. The SENCO from Nutley Primary school makes a visit to observe any children with SEND that will be transfering to the school, and to discuss their needs and support with the Pre-school
SENCO. Where children are transfering to other schools the SENCO will extend the same invitation. In all cases we offer ongoing support via phone calls and or e.mail.

Our SENCO will attend transition meetings at primary schools for those children that have an EHCP in place.

In order to meet the child’s needs ie adapting the environment or taking on an additional member of staff, we would apply for Inclusion Funding. Additional Bursary funding can be sort to cover the cost of staff over lunch club not covered by the Inclusion grant. These funds may also be used to aquire additional resourses or equipment. Where there is a need Pre-school will support parents/carers in seeking Two year old funding.

Your child’s keyworker will have gathered observations linked to their development in the Early Years Foundation Stage and discussed these with you as their parents/carers and the settings SENCO and Supervisor. With your consent the setting will invite a member of the Early Years Support team to come into the setting and offer support and advice and where necessary help in supporting an application for funding. On-going partnership between parents/carers, pre-school and other professtionals involved with the family will support the decision process. Staff are keep informed of the child’s additional needs and how to support them .The Inclusion funding process will identify the level of need based on the evidence supplied by you as parents/carers the pre-schools SENCO, the Early Years Team and reports from any other professionals working with your child.

As the children’s first educators your knowledge is important to us ,at your first visit you will have been asked to share as much information as possible about your child, and given a ‘parents voice’ to record their likes/dislikes strenghts and needs. Keyworker meetings are arranged at regular intervals for parents and carers to discuss the childrens progess and provide an opportunity for parents to discuss any worries or concerns they may have. Individual Learning Plans will be shared and agreed with parents and reviewed regularly.
Meetings and events are arranged to ensure that all families who wish may be involved in the running of the setting, including those with additional needs and /or disabilities.

Your first point of contact will be your child’s Keyworker either as an informal chat at drop off or as a note in your child’s correspondance book requesting a confidential meeting. The parents board in the cloakroom has photos identifing the settings Supervisor and SENCO who can help with the names of other professionals that may be able to help such as speech and language therapist and the Early Years Team. Our parents table in the cloakroom has information on local support groups and clubs.

If your child has a special educational need or disability and you would like to know how our setting would support them please call the supervisor whose contact details can be found on the Contact page.