Warm and nurturing child care
Local Offer for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Sarah Hennessy: Nursery Manager
Hilary Mann: SENCO

At Claverham Day Nursery we take special educational needs and disabilities seriously. If we think your child needs extra assistance we will discuss what steps we think are appropriate with you, to enable your child to the get the best experience from us. For more information read the FAQs below, and read about one parents experience with the nursery and additional needs for their child.


1. How does the nursery know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?
All staff at Claverham Day Nursery hold appropriate childcare qualifications and have a good sound knowledge of child development. Your child will be allocated a keyworker who they are able to build up a good relationship with. Through this system we pride ourselves on our strong parent partnership and find that we are able to talk freely with our parents about any concerns they may have regarding their child’s development. We use a Learning Journey to collate evidence about your child’s time with us at nursery. We will observe your child’s activities and, through these observations, staff are able to build up a picture of your child’s interests and needs.
2. How will nursery staff support my child?
You will work closely with your child’s keyworker who will be supported by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) to ensure that your child’s needs are being fully met. Your child will have their own Setting Support Plan (SSP) or an Educational, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), depending on their specific needs. Regular progress meetings and transition meetings are held to review your child’s progress and next steps are discussed with parents, keyworkers and SENCO. We work alongside other professionals and jointly agree targets for the SSP.
3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
We treat every child as an individual and by using the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum we are able to plan for their individual needs. We feel that any goals set for a child need to be enjoyable and achievable. We will identify and provide additional resources and support for individual children where needed.
4. How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
We use a parent/nursery contact book system that you can write in to communicate with us, and similarly we can write to you regarding relevant information. We may sometimes ask you to help us at home with some of the activities that we do at nursery, to support your child’s learning. Outside professionals also provide relevant resources for us to work with in nursery and will provide a second copy for you and your child to use at home. Verbal contact takes place on a daily basis with your keyworker. You will also receive regular reports on your child’s progress. Additional meetings are always available by request; please email or telephone to arrange.

We have a good rapport with Battle Children’s Centre and leaflets regarding parental courses/ sessions are displayed on our parent notice board. Makaton training and other courses are often available for parents whose children have speech and language difficulties.

5. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
All staff are trained Early Years Practitioners. We provide warm, caring and nurturing child care, creating a friendly and stimulating learning environment tailored to the individual. Staff are paediatric first aid trained and should any specialist medication need to be administered, the relevant staff would attend training, to ensure appropriate support. We want all our children to feel that they are a valued part of our nursery community.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by, the nursery?
Our SENCO attends regular training and update sessions to further her knowledge and experience. Some of our staff have a good knowledge of Makaton. We have good links with the Speech and Language Therapy Service, Early Years Teaching and Support Service, a play therapist, a physiotherapist, psychologist and occupational health. These professionals visit the nursery and are able to advise in their specific area. Claverham Day Nursery has access to the full range of Local Authority specialist services.
7. What training have the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
Our SENCO attends Inclusion Support Group meetings on a regular basis to update her knowledge. Staff are encouraged to attend any relevant training to support their role as a keyworker and information gained from these training courses is shared with the rest of the team at the next staff meeting. Some staff have Makaton training and others are waiting to attend sessions.
8. How will my child be included in activities outside the setting, including school trips and outings?
We aim to provide each child with the opportunity to access all that the nursery has to offer. If needed, an individual needs assistant (INA) will support your child. We have extensive grounds that we can use for outdoor learning.
9. How accessible is the nursery environment?
The whole nursery is wheelchair accessible. We have a dedicated disabled parking space for relevant parents to use. All furniture and equipment is at the child’s level and toys and resources are easily accessible to all of our children. We have clearly labelled boxes using photos and text. This enables our children who have little or no language skills to tell us what they want. In the near future we hope to ensure that any doors in the nursery that have a higher threshold than other will be replaced.

We ensure that we provide a fully inclusive service for parents/carers and their families. We welcome and value the cultural, linguistic and educational experiences that children with English as an additional language bring to the nursery.

10. How will you prepare and support my child to join the nursery, transfer to a new setting or the next stage of education and life?
We offer pre-visits for you and your child to meet the staff and discuss needs. Each child has their own peg and drawer. We encourage use of comforters to settle at sleep time and during any difficult times during the day. We also encourage regular contact, using contact books.

Every child who is due to move rooms within the nursery is discussed at our staff meeting and important information is exchanged from one keyworker to another to ensure a smooth transition process takes place. Every child is offered taster sessions in their next room before moving through and you are introduced to your child’s new keyworker. If your child has an INA, they will support your child in their new room.

When your child is due to leave the setting or start at primary school, transition meetings will be organised with the new setting, keyworker/ INA, Nursery Manager and both SENCO’s. Relevant information, SSPs and transition documents are exchanged.

11. How are the nursery’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
We try and match our resources with a child’s individual needs to enable them to join in and have a sense of achievement in completing the activity. If specialist equipment is required we can apply for additional funding. The professionals that work alongside the nursery often supply additional specialist resources for us and our families to use.
12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
A meeting with you will be arranged and the needs of your child would be discussed with you in confidence. If parents are in agreement, the Nursery Manager will complete relevant forms to apply for funding to employ an INA if needed. If your child does not need an INA to support them, individual support sessions in a quieter environment in the nursery will be used, such as during speech and language time. This programme will be led by the SENCO and undertaken by your child’s keyworker.
13. How are parents involved in the nursery?  How can I be involved?
Our parent partnership is key. We have an open door policy and all members of our staffing team are always available for meetings or informal chats. Regular meetings are held and contact books are used on a daily basis to exchange information. We encourage our parents to complete “parent observations” at home, to be involved in their child’s learning journey. We hold an annual fundraising event that our parents are encouraged to take an active part in. All funds raised are for the sole benefit of our children at the nursery.
14. Who can I contact for further information?
If you would like any further information about Claverham Day Nursery please telephone Sarah Hennessy on 01424 774548 or email nursery@claverham.e-sussex.sch.uk. Our SENCO is Hilary Mann. Further information about the Local Offer can be found on the Local Authority website.