Back to Top

West Sussex Local Offer web page link below

Local Offer – Updated August 2020


  1. How does the early years setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities.


Staff work closely with parents assessing the children’s development at Nursery and at home. A keyperson system is in place. Through observations made on children and added to their learning journal, staff are able to identify and needs a child may have. Progress review meetings are held between the key person and the child’s parents at regular intervals, where development concerns can be discussed.


The Nursery can sign post parents to the appropriate agencies for additional help. I.e. Speech Therapy, Physio, GP (hearing tests/sight tests)


  1. How will early years settings staff support my child?

The Nursery has 3 members of staff who are SENCO/INCO trained and are able to offer additional help and advice to staff and parents at the setting.

Planned activities are implemented throughout the 4-month to 5-year age groups, where staff work with their key children, assessing their needs and abilities. We work closely with the Inclusion Support Team from ECS  and other outside agencies when required and use any suggested techniques to support each individual.


Routines and activities are adapted to the individual needs of every child.


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

When working with the children’s needs, staff will write an IP incorporating the child’s interests, encouraging progression and development in the child’s area of need. If necessary we seek external support with the completion of the IP, this document is also produced with parental input.

Every childs next steps for development are reviewed and any areas that have yet to progress are built into the planning process.


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

An initial acclimatisation session is arranged for both parents and child, where the room supervisor can chat with the child’s parents regarding their development in all areas of learning, so we have some idea where the child is developmentally before they start Nursery.

Daily feedback is given to parents both verbally and written, on day sheets or white boards.

Progress reviews are held between parent and key person at 1 year, 18 months, 2 ½ years and 3 ½ / 4 years.

Parents can arrange to sit down with their child’s key person at anytime throughout the year. We introduced Tapestry online learning journals in February 2018, this system of tracking a child’s progress enables parents, carers and grandparents to observe  and feedback on the child’s development.


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

Staff are able to administer medication to your child should your child require. Parents are asked to sign their permission for staff to administer on their behalf. If your child becomes unwell and needs one-to-one care then staff will advise parents and suggest medical advice is sought.

At HeadStart Nursery 100% of our staff have up to date Paediatric first aid training. 

Positive behaviour is encouraged and praised, negative behaviour is discussed with the child involved which is appropriate to their age and stage of development.

Children are only handed into the care of either parent or suitable adult nominated by the parent.

Child to adult ratios are maintained at all times and on outings a 1:2 ratio is upheld with all under 3’s strapped into pushchairs.

Children’s interests are listened to and taken into account when planning activities.


  1. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?

SENCO/INCO staff attend training, Network and support groups. The Nursery has connections with the local Children and Family Centres and the local hospital based Community Nursery Nurse, where access to the child’s Health Visitor can be made. We also seek advice from ‘Inclusion Support Team’at ECS, both face to face and over the telephone. On a termly basis we discuss any children who may present as being ‘at risk’ developmentally or otherwise with the Early Years Advisor. This ensures we seek support form outside agencies if and when required.


  1. What training are the staff, supporting children SEND, had or are having?

All SENCO staff have attended both statutory and regular Network meetings. SENCO staff work closely with the Inclusion Support Team at ECS and have supported children with additional needs.


  1. How will my child be included in activities outside the early years setting including trips?

Any child with a special educational needs will be included in all of the activities on offer, including outings away from the Nursery. Where required a child with a SEND will have a 1:1 ratio. Parents are invited along to trips made away from the Nursery.


  1. How accessible is the early years setting environment? (Indoors and outdoors)

There is Wheelchair access to all 3 rooms at our Nursery. There is ample clear floor space to move around for either wheelchair use or if a child is unable to walk. There are disabled changing facilities for children within the Nursery.

Children whose first language is not English are welcome to the Nursery. We have staff who speak Danish fluently and staff who can speak a little French and Spanish. We use key phrases from the child’s first language and encourage parents to help us with pronunciation. We have dual language reading books and use Nursery and home produced picture books to help children communicate.


10. How will the early years setting prepare and support my child to join the early years setting, transfer to a new setting/school?

Parents are encouraged to bring their child along on visits to the Nursery in order to meet the staff and familiarise themselves with the Nursery surroundings. The day before a child starts at the Nursery the new parents and child are invited for an acclimatisation session, where the child can meet and play with their new friends and staff and the parents can talk to the room supervisor about their child’s development and individual needs.

Before a child moves from one room into the next they will make visits at different times throughout the day on several occasions. This ensures they are familiar with the new staff in their room and the children and routines of the new room. A visual booklet is also shared with the child for further reassurance on their move to the next stage of their development.


When a child is moving onto a new setting or school the Nursery makes contact and asks for the new setting/school staff to visit the child in the Nursery, in order for the new setting to see the child in a group environment.

Visual books are shared with the child showing key areas of their new setting. Transition Events are attended by the pre school room and held within the county linking schools and nursery’s up to plan ahead for each child’s school transition. 

Other settings and schools that use Tapestry Online Learning Journals are able to link up and transfer all relevant a child’s learning journey making sharing of information seamless. 


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


If a child has an EHCP (Educational Health and Care Plan previously Statement) any funding allocated will be used to support that child’s needs specifically. This may mean purchasing resources or allocating additional staffing hours to enable 1:1 support. The way in which the funding is allocated/used will be discussed with parents, Nursery staff and any other involved outside agencies.


With previous funding received a decision was made to increase staffing levels at certain times of the day to support the child and staff team.


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

Each child will have a Key Person whose responsibility it is to monitor progress and general development. The key person links the nursery with the parent and each childs home.

The key person will sit down periodically with their parents to discuss development both at home and Nursery. From this meeting some next steps will be agreed. Development is monitored alongside the 3 Prime Areas initially and when these are secure developmentally the key person will start to focus on the remaining 7 areas of learning in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. At all times parents are involved in the decision making and are able to raise any concerns they may have so that we can build them into our daily planning of activities.

If the joint decision is to involve outside expertise to further support the child or the team this will be done with the assistance of our SENCO. All meetings held are open and involve the parents at every stage.


13.How are parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?

We are a full daycare Nursery and offer childcare predominantly for full time working parents. Each age range from babies to toddlers to pre school have a specific room which have a specialised team headed up by a room supervisor. Communication and the ability to be involved is easy to organise as you are dealing with a small team. We are a privately owned small and personal Nursery so contact with the room team, office manager to the owner and manager is easy as we all work together and are on site every day.

We have our online Tapestry Learning Journal which is shared with Parents and Grandparents. This system enables all stakeholders to post photos and comment on observations which is an ideal way of linking the Nursery and Home environments offering open ended opportunities for two way communication. 

As above in point 13 parents attend regular meetings initially with the room supervisor then the child’s key person. At any stage the parent can request a further discussion with any members of the team. We have family events such as Sports Day and Christmas performance. Parents are welcome to come along on any outings. We are always here as a listening ear and for support and welcome any input.

14.Who can I contact for further information?

If your child is already at the Nursery, your first point of contact is your child’s room supervisor who will update you on your child’s developmental progress. Regular developmental progress reviews are held between staff and parents on the progress of your child. If you have any concerns then your child’s key person will be able to speak with you about their development. The Nursery has 3 SENCO’s who attend regular training and network meetings; they work in the pre-school (Hanna Minaldo ), toddlers room (Angela McDonnell) and  baby unit (Heidi Thomhave-Simonsen) with Clare French the nursery owner supporting each Senco with paperwork and meetings.

For further advice or support the Nursery Manager (Sallyanne Kasey) and Nursery Owner (Clare French) will be happy to discuss your child’s development at the Nursery and any concerns you may have.


Updated : August 2020