Special Educational Needs and Disability


The Nursery’s Offer for Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND)



How will The Nursery know if my child needs extra help and what should I do if I think my child needs extra help?

At the Nursery, we recognise that each child is unique; and that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. We recognise that children learn and develop well in enabling environments and through positive relationships. Therefore, we have embedded an effective key person and key person buddy system, whereby every child is allocated an experienced educator who will work closely with them and their families from the start. The buddy system is in place so that there is a secondary key person that the child is equally familiar with for when their allocated key person is absent due to holidays, illness etc.

When your child is due to start at The Nursery, you will be introduced to your child’s allocated key person and key person buddy. During the settling in sessions, the key person will work closely with you to familiarise themselves with and create a picture of your child; understanding their needs, interests and starting points with regards to learning and development.  This is the first opportunity for parents and/or carers to identify any particular needs that their child has with the key person so that these can be catered for. For a child with SEND, a meeting with the setting’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO) will be necessary so their needs can be identified and addressed before the child starts at The Nursery.

Once started, the key person’s role is to complete regular observations and plan activities and experiences weekly which are tailored to meet the needs and interests of that individual child, thereby, progressing their development. Some of the ways that children’s additional needs can be identified are through weekly observations, previous experience and termly summative assessments. The summative assessments are carried out three times a year by the key person; these assessments collate and evaluate each individual child’s progress through use of the EYFS tracker and may also occasionally highlight areas where little or no progress has been made. The summative assessments are reported back to parents and/or carers within parent’s evenings and each child’s development will be shared on an ongoing and regular basis; during daily communication, via phone, email and in any other planned meetings with parents. The Nursery encourages observations to be shared from home as well as from The Nursery so that both parents and educators can understand children’s needs and interests in and outside of the setting. Through sharing observations and informing the key person of any significant moments or progress that has been observed at home; it helps to support the key person in planning next steps to further support development.

From the beginning, it is our intention that there will be a strong partnership created between you and your child’s key person, so that if you or the key person has any concerns about your child’s development, this can be easily addressed. In that event, the setting’s SENDCO will be informed and a meeting will take place to discuss and prepare an ‘Early Help’ plan. The plan will include your child’s likes and dislikes, what makes them happy and how they can best be supported and it will detail any interventions and support, resources to be used and expected impacts and outcomes with a clear date for review.

The Nursery’s Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator is: Natalie Littlewood

The Nursery’s Deputy Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator is: Ashleigh Stoddart

Please contact the Nursery for the SEND policy and other relevant

Teaching, Learning and Support

How will The Nursery teach and support my child with SEND and how will I be involved with this process? How is the learning environment and resources matched to my child’s needs and interests?

The Nursery’s SENDCO and Deputy SENDCO have been trained through the local authority and other relevant course providers to support key persons, children and families to ensure that all children’s individual needs are met. Training courses are regularly attended and refreshed. The SENDCOs have had experience of working with children and families with SEND and The Nursery also works closely with the Area SENDCO from Cheshire East Council who has the skills and expertise needed to support our SENDCOs.

The SENDCOs will work closely with you and the key person to differentiate resources, activities and experiences to create a personal plan that will support your child’s needs, interests and abilities. It is the SENDCO’s responsibility to liaise with or make referrals to other relevant professionals (with the parents’ consent), such as health visitors and speech and language therapists, to gain further advice in supporting each individual child. The SENDCOs and key person will work together to ensure that the recommended targets and strategies are implemented effectively. The plans and activities will be reviewed regularly by the key person, parents and SENDCOs to ensure that appropriate support is being provided.

If a family has English as an additional language (EAL), they will be encouraged to share words and pronunciation from their home language, so that the key person (alongside other educators within the room in which the child is based) can understand and use these familiar words with the child. At the nursery, we benefit from some of our educators being familiar with other languages such as French, German, Russian, Welsh, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

As every child is unique, the key person approach benefits us as strong relationships are already in place or are being created. We want every child at The Nursery to have full access to the delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage. It is therefore the key person’s responsibility to consider how your child best learns, what their likes and dislikes are when delivering the EYFS and to adapt activities in order to support these. The key person will work alongside you throughout your child’s time at nursery, you will therefore be involved in and have input into the above decisions. All of our educators have completed an online “SEND – Working with Parent’s Course”, which supports the key person role in building these great partnerships when working together with families to achieve the best possible start for children. Parents will be invited in regularly to review their child’s progress with the key person, the SENDCOs if necessary and any other professionals involved.

Each child has an online learning journey that parents can access once a week and to which they are encouraged to add their views and comments, they also have regular contact and daily conversations with the key person for ongoing sharing of important information. We have an open-door policy and parents are welcome to phone or email the nursery at any time; our educators will always be keen to discuss your child’s progress and development.  

We have robust policies and procedures in place which are reviewed regularly ensuring that our environment and resources remain suitable and accessible to all. Every child is treated as an individual; therefore, at the nursery we pride ourselves in being able to differentiate our approach according to each individual's needs. 

Once a child’s needs have been determined, the SENDCO will feed back all relevant information within monthly staff meetings to ensure all educators are made fully aware of any additional support that a child may require.

More detailed information is available through contacting the Nursery Manager: Caroline Sacco, or the SENDCO: Natalie Littlewood

Keeping children safe, supporting their well-being and transitions

How do you ensure my child is safe and how do you support their emotional and social development? How will you prepare and support my child to join your setting?

At the Nursery, the safety of the children is paramount and we have vigorous policies and procedures in place to ensure that children’s safety is put first.

If you think that you may like your child to join our nursery community, please contact our Nursery Manager, Caroline or our deputy, Natalie, by telephone or email to arrange a mutually convenient time to visit. You will thereafter discuss regular weekly sessions and a potential starting date with Caroline. You will be introduced to your child’s key person, key person buddy and classroom in the first settling in session.

Settling in sessions are tailored to the individual child and we will work with you to decide what is best and how frequently these will need to occur before the starting date in order for your child to feel comfortable with the educators and setting when they start attending.

In the first initial settling in session, you will stay with your child’s key person discussing and sharing important information about your child and the Nursery; specifically, about their needs and interests. We will then arrange a convenient date and time for the next session and so on. The second session is usually an hour in duration and your child should be left with us on this occasion, so that the key person can start to build a relationship and introduce the environment to them. However, we do ask you to stay nearby as your child is not yet familiar with us and children may become upset facing such a big transition. If your child does initially become upset, please understand that separation anxiety is normal and healthy at this stage in a child’s development; he or she merely needs to learn that they can be happy and safe independently and that you will return. From here, the sessions are adapted to what we all feel necessary to help and support your child fully during the transition and settling in period. At the Nursery, we also fully recognise that this transition is difficult for parents and/or carers and are also here to support you through the whole process.

The task of supporting children’s personal, social and emotional development is embedded deeply within the Early Years Foundation Stage as a prime learning and development area. Children thrive when they are at their most happy and comfortable. We therefore strongly support and encourage them in developing their self-confidence and self-esteem, managing their feelings and behaviour and making strong relationships at the Nursery. We promote personal, social and emotional development in everything we do. Through routines, relationships, the environment and our day to day practice; we make the approach taken unique to individual children. We will together, alongside children and their families, ensure that all children are progressing and developing to their full potential and allow them to develop the essential skills needed to do this.

Additional information

Contact the Nursery Manager: Caroline Sacco to acquire any further information.

The Cheshire East Local Offer amongst other useful information can be found at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/localoffer, alternatively there is information on the Cheshire East Local Offer located in The Nursery entrance hall.

 The above information was updated July 2017 and will be reviewed and updated every 6 months.