How will the early years setting staff support my child?

Our trained SENCO is also a qualified early years teacher. She takes prime responsibility for children with SEND and oversees the education plans for them. Every child in our setting is allocated a key person. Depending on the level of need, a child with SEND may have their key person working with them on a one-to-one basis.

This member of staff works closely with parents/carers and is responsible for devising, implementing, assessing and evaluating targets and strategies for their child. This, combined with our close relationship with outside agencies e.g. physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists, enables us to provide all children with SEND a series of educational plans that are truly informed, individualised and effective.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

We devise setting based plans for every child with SEND. This allows us to set targets and devise teaching strategies that are tailored to each child, differentiated according to ability and need. This allows us, as teachers, to focus on the child, aware of their existing capabilities with a view towards their appropriate next steps. This helps the child as they can make real progress in an area regarded by teachers/parents/outside agencies as being of real importance e.g. using the walking frame, learning to make choices or to interact with other children.

In addition to having an individualised setting based plan, all children with SEND are very much part of everyday nursery life. With support, they are encouraged to take part in all our activities e.g. baking, painting and music and they are included in all that we do e.g. playing with other children, making friends and taking part in our Nativity play. This combination of inclusion and individualised educational plans ensures that all children with SEND can make real progress at nursery whilst experiencing new things and having lots of fun.

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

At Southover, we welcome parents/carers into nursery everyday and spend time talking to you to find out how your child is. We then always make time to talk again at the end of the day to ensure you are fully informed about what your child has done with us. By putting such an emphasis on establishing a good relationship, we hope to create an environment in which we both know how well your child is doing and we are both able to support him/her. If a child attends two settings, we use a daily diary to record what your child has done with us in order to keep the other setting fully informed. By reviewing the setting based plans, our SENCO is able to assess every child’s progress, highlighting successes and identifying areas where more support may be required. These plans are compiled in partnership with parents/carers and often, the specific targets and teaching strategies can be continued at home. Again, a good relationship between parents/carers and nursery is essential as we depend upon sharing information, learning from eachother and supporting eachother as we plan for and support children with special educational needs. We are more than happy to offer training opportunities for parents/carers as and when necessary e.g. organising a Makaton workshop for teachers and parents in nursery.

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

Our nursery prides itself on its warm and caring ethos and we are keen to welcome all children with special educational needs. Provided we have the appropriate training from parents/carers and outside agencies e.g. community nurses, and sufficient staff to provide one-to-one care, we are able to provide a degree of medical support. Prescribed medicines can be administered by us but only following appropriate training and only with written permission from parents/carers. A child’s personal care is dealt with by either their key person or by another member of staff in our small team. Wherever possible, we encourage all children to contribute his/her views and we try to include these in our planning. If this is not possible, we always ask parents/carers for their contributions as they obviously have a great insight into their child’s likes, dislikes and opinions.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?

Our small staff team comprises two qualified teachers, one of whom is a trained SENCO. Another member of the team is a qualified occupational therapist. She is training to be a SENCO and currently works on a one-to-one basis with a child with SEND. All our staff have a wealth of experience and expertise in working with children with special educational needs. We work closely with various specialist services on a regular basis and have developed good relationships with them e.g. physiotherapists, speech therapists, specialist early years teachers, community nurses and occupational therapists. We host and attend multi-agency meetings and play a key role in helping parents/carers access the necessary help and resources for their children. Our SENCO works closely with parents/carers all the time, writing detailed setting based plans, identifying individual children’s needs and co-ordinating and sourcing additional resources and services as necessary.

What training are the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?

We have a small, mature and well qualified staff team. Our trained SENCO is a qualified primary school teacher who also a first class honours degree. She has experience of working with children with cerebral palsy. Another staff member who is currently training to be a SENCO is also a qualified occupational therapist. She has vast experience of working with children who have a wide range of special needs, including working on a one-to-one basis with a child with severe developmental delay. All our staff understand and follow our policies and procedures concerning inclusion and disability awareness.

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

We include all our children in our trips outside nursery. We plan accordingly, taking account of access, safety, staffing etc to ensure that everyone can take part. We always work in partnership with parents/carers and always co-ordinate and plan together. Parents are welcome to join us whenever they like.

How accessible is the setting environment?

Our nursery is fully wheelchair accessible, having a level side entrance and a ramp out into the large, flat garden. We have a classroom and a large hall with attractive displays of children’s work and lots of specifically sourced, accessible toys and activities. We have sanded wooden floors and freshly painted walls which help create a calm and welcoming environment for everyone. Our setting provides more than enough space for children with SEND to feel both stimulated and at ease and also allows them to be very much part of the group, surrounded by other children. Having a large hall enables us to devise and implement exercise programmes designed specifically for children with SEND e.g. using a walking frame. We always work in partnership with parents/carers and with the relevant outside agencies in order to secure the necessary resources and equipment for all our children with special educational needs.

How will the setting prepare and support my child to join the setting,
transfer to a new setting / school or the next stage of education and life?

We meet all children with SEND and their parents/carers before they join us. This allows them to get to know the staff and the setting and helps us to understand to their child’s specific needs. There are then a series of documents that we ask parents/carers to complete in order for us to gain a greater insight into their child and to prepare ourselves accordingly. Upon transition to school, both our SENCO and manager meet personally with the teacher and/or head of the child’s chosen school. The aim of this meeting is to ensure that the school is fully informed about the child’s individual needs, about our setting based plans with their specific targets and strategies and about the child’s progress with us. We always work in partnership with the next setting to ensure that adequate plans are put in place, that parents/carers feel confident and that the child’s transition is as smooth and as positive as possible.

How are the setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

The nursery has a budget for children with SEND and allocates it on an individual basis according to specific need. There may, for example, be a requirement for one-to-one staffing, or perhaps particular toys and/or resources in addition to those we already have. Working in partnership with parents/carers, the SENCO and the staff team decide how to allocate funding appropriately for the benefit of each child.

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

Children with SEND have differing needs. By working closely with parents/carers from the outset, we decide together how best to support their child from the moment they join us. We meet with relevant outside agencies e.g. speech therapists, early years specialist teachers, physiotherapists, and work together to ensure that the child’s needs are met. The manager (a SENCO and qualified early years teacher) works closely with the member of staff responsible for devising and implementing our setting based plans. Decisions about a child’s next steps, as well as the various strategies we plan to use as teachers are made in consultation with parents/carers and outside agencies. The targets we set and the strategies we implement to help a child with SEND progress are regularly assessed and evaluated. This allows us to judge the extent to which our support has had an impact and how we should improve, adapt and proceed.

How are parents involved in the setting? How can I be involved?

We believe that a good relationship with parents is essential and that involving them in the decisions about their child’s time at nursery can only be beneficial to everyone. We therefore, spend a lot of time establishing an environment in which all our parents feel welcome and genuinely involved with us. Children with SEND are no exception and indeed, we spend a great deal of time working with them. They are involved from the outset – telling us about their child, helping us to plan for them, ensuring we have the correct resources and facilities and working in partnership with our SENCO to devise appropriate setting based plans. Parents are welcomed inside every morning and soon get to know the whole staff team. They are encouraged to stay for as long as they wish and also, to join us when outside agencies such as physiotherapists come in for one-to-one sessions with their child e.g. when their child uses his/her walking frame. At the end of the day, parents are again welcomed back in to collect their child and, importantly, to have a chat with the teacher about their child’s day. During multi-agency meetings, we work closely with parents, supporting them and ensuring that they are confident and fully involved in the decision making process for their child.

Who can I contact for further information?

Please contact Sara Hall, manager and proprietor at Southover Nursery in the first instance – or 01273 486435. Sara is a trained SENCO and a qualified early years teacher and she is responsible for overseeing educational plans, co-ordinating staffing and sourcing equipment for children with SEND.

Information about the East Sussex Local Offer can be found on their website –


This offer is accurate now, but services are regularly reviewed and could change. All information will be updated as soon as possible to reflect any new service offer. Date of publication: October 2014


This offer is intended to give you clear, accurate and accessible information.
If you would like to comment on the content of the offer or make suggestions to improve the information, please email
Find out more about support for children and young people with special needs and disabilities: