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‘Our Local Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) Offer’

Central Bedfordshire local offer here

How will our setting know if my child needs additional help?

All members of staff at Ladybirds are committed to the early identification of special educational needs and we follow a graduated response to meeting the special educational needs in line with the code of practice 2014.

Each child has a Key Person who works closely with your child and accesses your child’s individual needs working alongside development milestones taken from the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the Department of Education document Early Years Outcomes.

Observations (written, photos, videos and visual) are always ongoing and carried out by all members of staff not just the Key Person and if a child needs additional help this will be discussed with the parents/carers in private.

Parents/carers are always welcome to come & talk to the Key Person and are regularly informed at all stages in the process of identification and assessment.

Every child will be offered a home visit before attending the setting; the Key Person and another member of staff will attend. This gives the parents, child and staff an opportunity to get to know and learn about each other.

The Ladybird Team have daily morning meetings and regular staff meetings to discuss all aspects of learning and care, reflecting on our practice to maintain the best quality, safe, learning environment for your little ones.

Who are the key people in the setting available to discuss parental/carer concerns about my child’s additional needs?

Parents/carers who have concerns or worries about their child’s wellbeing or progress should in the first instance speak to the child’s Key Person who will, if necessary speak to the SENDCO.

Our staff are always available to speak to parents/carers and there is always a quiet place to do so if you wish. 

Our dedicated Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCO) is Jade.

How will parents/carers be informed about my child’s progress and how will progress be measured?

Children are assessed using development milestones taken from the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the Department of Education document ‘Early Years Outcomes’. This is combined with information supplied by parents and observations made by practitioners of the child during play.

For further information and advice we also refer to the Central Bedfordshire Guidance to SEND in the Early Years Graduated Approach 2015.

In addition, we use an online portfolio program called ‘Tapestry’, which gives parents/carers the chance to view their child’s progress and development whenever they would like. This program was first introduced in 2016.

Working as a team with parents/carers, Key Workers and SENDCOs, we will assess your child’s needs by working alongside the Central Bedfordshire SEND Support Plan. This helps the parents/carers and the setting to set out long- and short-term outcomes to support your child and all working together to achieve these.

Progress meetings will be held to review the plan with parents, SENDCO, the child’s Key Person and any other outside agencies who are supporting the child and family.

We always involve the parents/carers with regards to bringing any outside agencies into the setting to observe the child. Permission is sought from parents/carers before any information is shared with outside agencies.

A referral may be made to Central Bedfordshire Early Years Allocation requesting an Early Years Initial Assessment by one of the Early Years professional teams.

Also mentioned in the SEND code of practice 2014, in exceptional cases where there are severe and complex needs an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) needs assessment request may be necessary in very few cases.

During the home visit any medical needs or dietary requirements will be addressed by a care plan, working in partnership with parents and relevant health professionals.

What other different types of support can my child receive?

At Ladybirds we offer a ‘Small Group’ time allocated to every child each week with the same member of staff (maximum of 5 children) This gives the Key Person an opportunity to focus on the area of learning your child may be underachieving in.

We also offer one Forest School session per week for every child; we have found that this is great for children lacking in confidence.

Routines and activities may be adapted to meet individual needs and visual timetables, visual prompts, BSL or Picture exchange communication system (PECs) may be provided as advised by the Speech and Language Services and the Early Years Support Team.

Additional funding may be provided to the setting from Central Bedfordshire Early Years Allocation Meetings following an Early Years Initial Assessment.

Transitions to Lower  Schools  

We work closely with all schools in our local area and all children go for Transition Visits to their chosen schools with parents and members of the Ladybird Team. They get to take part in the free play part of a morning session and also get the opportunity to have lunch at the school (hot meal or packed lunch). For children with additional needs, we will have regular meetings with the school’s SENCO to ensure everything is in place for when your little one transitions to the Lower School and to make sure that the transition is as relaxed as possible.

What support is in place to meet children’s physical needs?

As a pre-school we always welcome and encourage Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists to visit our setting and we follow the feedback and advice they recommend for all individual needs.

Ladybirds is a single storey building, with a ramp to access the building and with all learning areas being available to all.

The Ladybird team and our children are the only occupants who use the building.

We have five child-friendly toilets and a disabled toilet as well as nappy changing facilities.

All our staff are Paediatric First Aid and EPI Pen trained.

Risk assessments are carried out for individual children with additional needs by our SENDCO with regards to activities and outings where relevant and necessary.

We comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (2010) in making reasonable adjustments for children with SEND.

What other agencies can provide support to children with SEND?

We work closely with a range of outside agencies to support children with SEND. They contribute through providing observations, reports, advice for staff and parents/carers as well as attending professional meetings.

Outside Agencies may include:

Local Authority Early Years SEND Advisory Teacher (Psychology and Advisory Support Services)

Early Years Support Team (EYST)

Child Development Centre Kempston (CDC)

Speech and Language Therapy Services (S&LT)

Child Bereavement, Trauma & Emotional Wellbeing Services (CHUMS)

Occupational Therapy (OT)

The Hearing Impairment Team (HI)

The Visual Impairment Team (VI)

What specialist training do our staffs have in SEND?

Our SENDCOss have attended the three-day courses and one member of the SENDCO team also attends the SEN-Coordinator Professional Study Groups on a regular basis.

Phonics Co-Ordinators – Tiffany

Staff have attended ‘Managing Feelings and Behaviour’ training provided by the local authority.

Useful links

Parent Partnership – 03003008088   
CHUMS – 01525 863924 –
Autism Bedfordshire – 01234 214871
Child Development Centre – 01234 310275
Parenting Programmes –
Special Needs Action Panel (SNAP) –
Carers in Bedfordshire – 0300 111 1919
Outside In (ASD and ADHD support group) – 01462 813282
Early Help Hub- 03003008585
Flitwick Children’s Centre 01525 714008
Children with Disabilities Team – 01234 228709 

Here are some useful websites relating to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities