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At Hedgehog House nursery we observe, track and assess the personal development of every child using the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. Through this assessment we can identify a child’s individual needs and any areas of development that may need additional support.

Parents are welcomed and encouraged to discuss any concerns that they have about their child’s development with the setting’s manager and their child’s Key person. There is a designated Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and Inclusion Co-ordinator (INCO) at the setting and they liaise with families and outside services such as Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists and West Sussex Early Years Advisors.

When a child starts at Hedgehog House Nursery they are assigned a Key Person. The Key Person is responsible for the child’s Learning Journals and will observe, assess and plan for the child’s development progress every half-term.

If additional support is needed for the child, the Key Person will work together with parents and the SENCO/INCO to develop an Individual Education Plan and strategies to support the child’s development progress.

The Key Person’s focus is to plan for a child’s individual interests and needs to support their development. The staff make observations of the children during play and these observations form part of the children’s learning journals.

For Under 3’s the main focus is on the Prime Areas of Learning: Personal, Social and Emotional development, Communication and Language Development and Physical Development. For Over 3’s this broadens out to also include the specific areas of Mathematics, Literacy, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

The Key Person will plan the next steps for the child’s Prime and Specific areas of learning based on their individual interests and needs.

If the Key Person feels extra support is needed for an area of learning it is discussed with the parents and SENCO/INCO. Working together, an Individual Education Plan is made for the child. This creates specific and achievable challenges to support the child’s progress.

The learning journals are evidence of every child’s development and progress. Parents are welcomed to access them at any time. The journals have observations and photographs of the children learning through play. Assessments are carried out by the Key Person every term, using the EYFS curriculum guidelines and parents are involved in this process. Next Step plans and Individual Education Plans can be reflected at home so parents can continue to support their child’s learning outside of the nursery.

Staff are available for informal and planned formal discussions any time. Daily feedback is given at the end of each session. Parents can schedule an appointment, email or call to maintain regular contact with the Key Person

To ensure every child’s overall wellbeing we have policies and procedures in place that staff follow at all times. These include; Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults, Health and Safety, Promoting Positive Behaviour , Equal opportunities and Administering Medicines. All the staff team are appropriately qualified and checks are carried out through the Disclosure and Barring Service in accordance with statutory requirements. The staffing ratios in place also follow the statutory requirements.

Information about a child’s medical needs are discussed with parents before the child starts nursery so Medical Records and Individual Health Plans can be written and Risks Assessments carried out if necessary. All the staff team have up to date pediatric first aid training and training experience in administering adrenaline auto-injectors e.g. Epi-Pens.

The setting has close links with the local Health Visiting Team and West Sussex Early Years Advisors that can offer a wealth of information and support. The setting can access specialist Targeted Setting Support if there are any concerns about a child’s needs. This can include Speech and Language Therapists, Behavioural Specialists, Inclusion Advisors and Educational Psychologists.

The setting can also access Family Support Services and Integrated Prevention and Earliest Help Services where a whole family needs support.

Alongside these services, the setting can signpost families to relevant groups, talks or drop-in advice sessions and clinics.

All the staff at the setting have an NVQ Level 3 in Early Years Education and Care and a good foundation in child development with many years of childcare experience. The staff also have current pediatric first aid training.

All the staff at the setting have an NVQ Level 3 in Early Years Education and Care and a good foundation in child development with many years of childcare experience. The staff also have current pediatric first aid training.

The manager and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and Inclusion Co-ordinator have experience in making targeted referrals to various Early Years Specialists. The manager has attended training in developing Individual Learning Plans and Child-Centred Planning which has been cascaded down through the staff team. All the staff attend West Sussex training courses that cover themes such as: Including All Children, to bring inclusion awareness into everyday practice, Children with English as an Additional Language, Early Language Development Programme, Safeguarding and Child Protection.

The manager/ SENCO/ INCO also attends the West Sussex Network Meetings every term to keep up to date with their professional early years knowledge.

The setting aims to be inclusive and ensure that all children can be involved in the planned learning experiences. This can sometimes involve an outing around the local area. Any activities taking place outside of the nursery have a thorough risk assessment carried out beforehand. This determines staffing numbers required, the

number of children, their specific needs, safety measures needed on the outing and any adaptations needed to be made for individual children and the group as a whole.

The main entrance to the setting has a removable ramp that can be attached when access is needed for a child’s wheelchair. There are also two double patio doors that lead to the garden and a ground level pathway that leads to the garden via the entrance courtyard. The indoor learning environment of the setting is on the ground floor with two open plan playrooms. The space is set out with defined areas for the children to access various activities e.g the book corner, role play area, arts and crafts area. The kitchen and toilets are also on the ground floor.

Every individual child’s needs are discussed with the parents prior to starting so the staff can ensure everything required to support the child is in place.

We encourage all parents to come and visit our setting, to meet the staff, familiarise themselves with the learning environment and to see the setting in action. We have a small staff team and feel this is a strong, supportive dynamic for the children to feel secure. We discuss every child’s needs with the parents and make a suitable transition plan for settling the child. This can be a combination of short stay and play sessions to longer sessions with the parents staying initially. We are very flexible and work with the individual child and parent’s needs. We also allocate a key person for every child to support with settling in, to collate the child’s learning journal and developmental planning and work closely with the family.

The staff are always available to discuss any matters and concerns and we welcome working closely together with all parents. The setting also welcomes working alongside other settings a child may be attending to ensure each setting delivers continuity of care.

Where a family may move settings or out of the area we liaise with the new setting, following the policy guidelines for Transfers of Records to Schools and Settings and also Information Sharing. We provide a Moving On plan that highlights the child’s needs, preferred ways of learning and developmental progress. We also pass on the Learning Journal that can be continued in the new setting. We also contact the new settings to ensure a smooth transition for the child.

With regards to the school transition, the setting has strong links with the local schools and attends several transition meetings in the summer term prior to the

children starting school. The setting collates all the key information the teachers will need to be aware of for every child starting school and this is exchanged with the new schools. The setting also plans visits with the local schools to enable the reception teachers to see the children in their nursery environment. There are also several stay and play, story times and short transition visits planned by the local schools to really embed a smooth school start for every child. The setting provides ‘starting school’ books that have images of the local schools, the typical classrooms, playground and activities. We also provide school role play outfits and gentle talks about school.

The Key Person assesses, plans for and reviews every child’s need. The setting pays and subscribes for local yearly training courses to enable the staff to develop their knowledge and understanding as practitioners. NHS speech and language courses are also available for staff to attend to support specific needs. Inclusion funding may be applied for to enable children to have full access to the learning environment, supporting staffing numbers or to access specialist equipment and resources.

When planning, the Key person or the whole team will ensure the correct resources are available for all the children. Where they are not available, within reason and budget, they will be requested for and sourced by the manager.

The Key Person and SENCO/INCO will initially determine the support a child will need, through the process of settling in, observing and assessment. The team can access monitoring guidelines, support and resources from West Sussex County Council Education department to further develop a plan. If the staff feel specific support is needed to build on their initial plans for a child they have access to West Sussex Early Year Advisors and Targeted Setting Support. This may involve referrals to other agencies or specialist support advisors with the agreement of parents.

The Key Person and SENCO/INCO can plan Individual Education Plans to support a child’s specific needs. The setting fully encourages parents to be an integral part of this planning process and they are regularly consulted throughout the term.

When a child starts at the setting we make it clear to parents straight away that we have an ‘open door’ policy. We encourage parents to be an active part of the settling-in process and realise it can be overwhelming for the parents to be leaving their child at a new setting. Parents are able to stay at the setting to settle their child, perhaps moving away into another room as their child grows in confidence. Every child is different and we respect that and work alongside parents needs and wishes as best we can.

We encourage all parents to be part of the learning journal and planning process so they can understand their child’s progress and learning development.

We welcome parent’s contributions and ideas, implementing them where possible.

The setting also plans key events for the children that parents are invited to come along and join in with throughout the year.

For further information please do not hesitate to contact the setting.

Telephone: 01903 209922

Email: hedgehoghousenursery@hotmail.com

Lynn Brazier – Owner

Terri Webb – Manager/ SENCO/INCO

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