SEND Local Offer

Parent Information: SEND Local Offer

Small Steps Pre-School strive to meet the needs of children with Special Educational Needs and are supported by the Local Authority to ensure all children, regardless of their special educational needs, make the best possible progress in pre-school. We are supported to be as inclusive as possible with the needs of children with special educational needs being met in a mainstream setting.

Questions from a parent/carer’s point of view to enable families to see the support that they would receive for their child in our setting.

How does Small Steps Pre-school know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?
At Small Steps Pre-school every child is treated as an individual and staff are experienced in observing, assessing and planning next steps for children.
If you have any concerns about your child you should speak with the Manager, SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) or your child’s key worker who will be able to help you.

How will the staff support my child?
Every child has their own key person who will work with your child and you. They will make next steps plans for your child, based on your child’s interests and learning styles and speaking to yourself. In addition the SENCO will make specific Play Plans focussed on your child’s area of needs alongside yourself.

Small Steps Pre-School liaise regularly with Essex County Council team, particularly the Area SENCO who come into the setting and assist us in supporting your child and you at pre-school.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
Every child has a Learning Journey which contains observations and photographs of your child, this will allow the key person to be able to assess what your child is achieving within the EYFS, from this your child’s individual next steps plan will be made for them, based upon the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). You will be invited in once a term to discuss your child’s progress and next steps with their key person. You are welcome to see your child’s Learning Journey and key person at any time.
How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

All plans will be developed closely with yourself from the beginning so you are able to actively be involved in their development and assessment. As well as our termly consultations there are meetings held whenever required with families of children with additional needs. At Small Steps Pre-School we operate an open door policy with parents to discuss their child’s development and progress and development and to help you support your child.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?
Experienced and qualified staff who are able to access additional support from Essex County Council when needed.
Should your child require prescribed medication then medical plan will be put into place with yourself and other professionals if required.
We promote positive behaviour and staff are trained to support this. Should your child display unwanted behaviour we will work with you and your child to provide a consistent and planned approach.

What specialist services and expertise are available or accessed by the early years setting?
Whilst the pre-school does not offer specialised services, we work collaboratively with specialists involved with your child externally to the setting. They are welcome to visit your child in the setting. We also investigate what support there is available to support your child and yourself.

What training are the staff, supporting children with SEND had or having?
Some staff have had ‘promoting positive behaviour’ training and an autism information session. The Manager will be attending training based upon the new SEND reform when it is available. Some staff have had internal training on Makaton and another staff member will attend training to disseminate to all new staff. Staff continuously update their training. A member of staff is going to attend ‘Role of the Equality Named Coordinator’ (ENCO) training.

How will my child be included in activities outside the early years setting including trips?
All children are welcome to attend trips. All children are to attend with a parent/carer. Prior to the trip we will discuss with the parent the best way for your child to access the activities during the trip. If required additional risk assessments will be carried out.
How accessible is the early years setting environment? (Indoors and Outdoors)
Our building is fully wheelchair accessible. There is a ramp to the outdoor area. We are happy to work with families to access any specialist equipment needed. We use visual timetables to support routines and communication.

How will Small Steps Preschool prepare and support my child to join the early years setting, move on to a new setting or school?
The pre-school is able to offer flexible entry where children can attend for limited times/sessions, with or without their parent as required. Where there is a need parents and children can make several visits prior to starting. The type of entry is dependent on the need of the individual child.

When transferring to school the pre-school will initially liaise with the school to arrange the best transition for your child. This could include a meeting between the school, pre-school and parents to discuss the best strategies to support transition; several visits to the school by your child; photographs of the school; teacher visits to the pre-school.

How will Small Steps Pre-School resources be allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
We will speak to Essex County Council to find out how we are able to access necessary resources. This would initially be with the Area SENCO who have resources available to loan.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Initially the pre-school Manager and SENCO will meet with you to discuss your child’s needs. The Manager and SENCO would initially discuss, with your permission, support that could be accessed with the Area SENCO at Essex County Council. A plan will be developed involving you for your child’s transition and support needed will be put in place.

Once your child has started a Plan will be made which you will be involved with, this will be regularly reviewed and monitored.

How are parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?
As a committee led pre-school we are happy to have parents involved with the group. This could be as a member of the committee, there are a variety of roles which vary in areas of interest and the amount of time you have available. Or as a volunteer parent helper, this does not have to be on a regular basis. We are always pleased to have parents stay for a session or part of a session to play with the children.

Who can I contact for further information?
More detailed information is available in our polices, specifically our ‘Achieving Positive Behaviour’, Diversity and Equality’, ‘Supporting children with Special Educational Needs’ and ‘Working in partnership with outside agencies’.

To register your child at the pre-school and if you wish to discuss your child prior to starting you need to contact the chair person at or 07952471616