Busy Bees Playgroup is a privately run setting situated in the town of Yeovil, Somerset. The hall is close to two local primary schools, of which we have close links with.
We open five days a week from 9.00-2.45 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and 9.00-11.45 Wednesdays and Thursdays.
We separate the children into two age groups (which has been hugely successful when planning for children). We do mix the groups where parents want to access more of their child’s funded hours.
The playgroup uses the main hall on a daily basis, with access to a kitchen and two toilets. Astroturf has been laid so the outside area is suitable for disabled access and can be used all year round. There is a slight slope into the building which is suitable for wheelchair access.
We have a few children with special educational needs, with professional bodies supporting us where necessary.
SEND Local Offer
What is the Local Offer?
The children and Families Bill (2013) outlines the government’s plans to require local authorities to publish information on services and provision across education, health and social care for children and young people ages 0-25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The purpose of a local offer is to enable parents and carers to see more clearly what services are available for children with SEND in their area and how to access them. The process extends to early years settings and all information below forms our local offer and shows how we have, for many years, provided for children with special education needs and disabilities.
How does Busy Bees Playgroup know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs (SEND)?
At Busy Bees Playgroup each child has a key person. Their role is to develop trusting sensitive relationships with parents and children to enable respectful sharing of information. If you have any concerns about your child’s development you can ask for a time when you can discuss this in private with them.
Reports for health care professionals, such as health visitors, speech and language therapists, identify your child’s individual needs. We welcome parents and professionals sharing these reports in order to plan appropriately to meet these needs.
Ongoing observational assessments are made of all the children and are linked to the development Matters ages and stages of development. This in some cases identifies individual needs.
These observations will be discussed with the SENCO (Special Education Needs Co-ordinator) Natalie Stobart, and the Manager, Anna-marie Fischer. If the child’s key person has identified a possible individual need, they will discuss this with you in private, and plan together to support your child’s learning and development.
We undertake a ‘progress check at age 2’ which supplies parent/carer with a short written summary of their child’s development in the 3 main prime areas.
- Personal, social and emotional development ,
- Communication and Language, and
- Physical development
Our SENCO will offer support and advice to your child’s key person and other staff in our setting. She will also liaise with other professionals to seek advice and support in identifying individual needs if necessary. Support and advice can be sought from the Area SENCO, and Early Years advisory Teacher with your permission.
How will Early Years practitioners support my child and how will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
On going observational assessments will be used as a starting point within the first weeks of starting linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development. We have regard to the Graduated Respose and targets wil be set on a sen Suport plan if necessary, to support the learning and development of your child. This enables planning for individual needs and learning goals.
Your child’s key person and our SENCO will work together to make sure that the environment, routines and activities support your child’s needs, and they will communicate with the rest of the staff to provide consistency and understanding within our team.
We will ask for copies of assessment from other professionals before your child starts, and advice from the Area SENCO will be sought with your permission if necessary.
How will I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
On starting at Busy Bees Playgroup your child’s key person, will give you a small Welcome Pack to fill in which includes an ‘All About Me’ sheet about your child. This will help us to share information about your child’s strengths and needs.
We also offer a home visit on request, as this can be helpful for children who may have additional needs, or may just be quiet or shy.
Our SENCO will explain how children’s individual needs can be met by planning support using a SEN Support Plan, and the advice from the Area SENCO. She will also explain who may be involved and their roles.
Observations, assessment and evaluations all contribute towards a SEN Support Plan and your child’s key person will oversee the targets on it.
Your child’s key person will be in most sessions that your child attends, fostering a relationship and understanding of your child.
They will identify individual needs and plan next steps accessing additional support from other professionals where necessary.
The manager will maintain an overview of experiences, and progress, and the SENCO will work with all staff to ensure we are providing the relevant and appropriate support.
We will work in partnership with you, reviewing the SEN Support Plan outcomes, and planning new ones together and giving you ideas to use at home to support your child.
Assessment systems are in place such as the 2 year old check, on going observational assessment, and the cohort tracker, which are all linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development. We have stay and play sessions for you to attend, along with review meeting to discuss your child’s progress.
The parent rota allows you to stay and help, and to see your child in the context of our playgroup and social events throughout the year help you to build relationships with practitioners in the setting.
Our open door policy means that you are always welcome to tell us how your child is doing on a daily basis, and provide ongoing two way communication between us. Telephone calls, and texts can be used if parents work and are unable to bring/collect your child from playgroup.
We also send out news letters half termly and also have a Facebook page, to keep you up to date with what is happening in playgroup.
What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
Our practitioners are welcoming and friendly, providing an inclusive, sensitive and positive approach for your child to feel welcome into our playgroup.
They provide good role models for positive behaviour, and we are consistent in our day to day care of all our children, and our happy children at playgroup are testament to this.
We are flexible in our routines to provide a positive environment for your child’s needs, and provide personal care, such as changing nappies, respectfully.
Medical Care plans can be completed if necessary, and staff will be trained in giving the appropriate medication for your child if required.
Activities will be adapted to ensure your child is able to interact fully with their environment, and visual strategies, such as a now and next board to help them understand our routines. Visual timetable, and emotional cards are also available for your child to express how they are feeling about particular activities/events and the book corner provides a safe, quiet area to retreat to if your child is tired, or needs some time to themselves. Where possible your child’s key person will be present for these times.
How will the setting ensure they take account of my child’s views as appropriate?
When your child first starts with us, we ask that you fill in an ‘All About me’ sheet so we can see your child’s starting points. We take into account your children’s view through children’s evaluations, children’s voice book, circle time and children’s questionnaires.
What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
All staff have accessed specific training such as STC and child development.
We have good links with our local Children’s Centre
Oaklands Children’s Centre
Oaklands Primary School,
We can sign post you to support which is available through there, for example Parent Support officers, inclusion officers, social care and Somerset Parent partnership services. We can offer support through our Early Year Advisory Teacher, with your permission, and if your child’s needs are identified as a specific need then the team with the expertise in this will take up the support for the child and the setting meeting your child’s needs.
Our SENCO attends termly network meetings to keep up to date with the latest information and news.
What training have the staff supporting children with SEN and disabilities had or are having?
Our SENCO has completed the ‘New to SENCO’ training, and attends termly SENCO network meetings, who then feeds back any information to other staff at staff meetings.
All staff regularly attend training. A record of staff training is kept on file, and relevant training can be viewed. Some staff have attended STC training.
How will my child be included in activities outside the setting including trips?
We will endeavour to include parents in the planning of visits off site to identify the strengths and needs of your child. We can prepare a photo book for your child so they know what to expect on the visit, and invite all parents to join us on our trip.
We would carry out a risk assessment linked to the visit and the needs of all the children, including parent and supporter prior to our trip.
We would also take along any aides or medication your child may need. All visits or trips would be planned in order to include all of our children.
How accessible is the setting environment?
If you are a parent who does not have English as your first language, we can possibly arrange for an external interpreter. Or if possible we can arrange to get another family member involved who many speak English.
Signs, and posters around the setting are used with pictures to direct children and adults.
We provide multi sensory activities as part of our planning.
We have a enclosed garden area which is laid to Astroturf. Accessible toilets and changing facilities are available, and we will explain the limitations of the building we use to you on our visit. The main access has a very slight slope and is accessible for wheelchairs.
Policies are updated regularly and are available for parents in the policy folder and we ask that you read these.
How will the setting prepare and support my child to join the setting, transfer to a new setting or move into school?
We offer you the option of a home visit before your child starts playgroup. This is usually by your child’s key person, This gives your child the opportunity to become familiar with their key person before they start their sessions. We also offer settling in sessions where you can stay for part or all of the session, and offer a flexible settling in period, if your child is having difficulties settling in.
This also gives us the chance to get to know you and your family, and provides the opportunity for you to share with us details of your child’s needs and the involvement of other agencies, and agree with you a consistent approach to ensure the continuity of care for your child. This can also be done in a meeting before your child starts if you prefer.
We will meet with other professionals e.g. health care professionals to put in place transition planning/health care plan, or to seek relevant training before the child starts.
If your child should attend another setting whilst with us or leave to go to another setting we will contact your child’s key person/teacher and SENCO to discuss your child’s strengths and needs.
It may also be possible to arrange for your child’s key person to attend settling in sessions at your child’s new setting with them, to help promote a smooth transition.
How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
Through the observation process linked to the EYFS ages and stages of development, and in discussion with you we will identify what support is required.
Extra support will be put in place if necessary with the aim of enabling your child to become independent within their environment.
Ongoing partnerships with both you, other professionals and ourselves, will support the discussion making process.
Our SENCO will give advice on meeting your child’s needs within our playgroup in consultation with you, and other professionals where necessary with your permission.
Our SENCO will advice you on the process of applying for extra support, and inclusion funding process will identify the level of need based on the evidence submitted by the setting and other professionals who are working with you and your family to support your child.
Reports from health care professionals and other professionals, who are working with your child, will be used to plan support within the setting.
The Area SENCO or the Early Years Advisory Teacher or other professionals working with our SENCO will support the decision making process to planned targets on the SEN Support Plan. The SEN Support Plan will be written with you and will include how you can support your child at home.
Staff meetings within the setting will ensure all staff working with your child knows your child’s strengths and needs, and how to support them.
For any more information please contact us, and speak to our SENCO, Sarah Cooper.
Who can I contact for further information?
Your child’s key person is your first point of contact if you would like to discuss your child’s needs. We are able to offer advice about other professionals who will be able to support your child, such as the Families Information Services, health visitors, speech and language therapists, children’s centre staff, Somerset parent partnership services and the inclusion officer for our area, and can access support from the Area SENCO, and Early years Advisory Teacher with your permission.
If your child’s need has been referred to a specific team, we will support you in accessing support from them.
Our manager Anna-marie Fischer is our designated person for behaviour management, and can offer advice and strategies to cope with unwanted behaviour.
If at any time you are unhappy with an aspect of our provision or practice we would ask that you come in to discuss the matter to see if it can be resolved. If you are still unhappy, our Complaints procedure will be followed. There is also a copy in our policy folder. Ofsteds contact details are also displayed in the hall.