Busy Bees – Local Offer

Busy Bees at Southwick Methodist Church ‘Local Offer’.

We hope you find the following information helpful.

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

Whenever a child is offered a place at Busy Bees there will always be a discussion with the parent/carer as to the needs of the individual child.

Where a special need or disability is already apparent, the setting’s manager and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) will have detailed discussions with you to determine that we are able to provide the support which is needed.

If you think your child may need special support, we will ask you for details of your concern, to give us as much information as possible. Detailed observations will be carried out by the setting’s SENCO and discussed with you at every stage – you know your child best.

Busy Bees is not a specialist in any specific area of Special Educational Needs, but we have supported many children in the past, working with and taking advice from outside agencies.

2. How will early years setting staff support my child?

The setting’s SENCO and manager will discuss the education programme with you, and plan accordingly to meet your child’s needs.

The SENCO will assist your child’s keyworker, and will work closely with them, moving them forward by providing achievable targets at every stage. All staff will be aware of the support needed at any time.

You will always be welcome to talk to us about any concerns you may have, and we will regularly discuss your child’s progress with you.

Busy Bees has successfully provided SEN care and support in the past; these children have gone on to have positive transitions to school, with continuing support once they have left us.

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

Every child’s individual learning characteristics are taken into account and used to promote their development, whatever their ability and understanding. Individual Education Plans are used if your child has, or is deemed to possibly have, an SEN. Plan Plans are also used where there are considered to be beneficial. Both will give achievable outcomes, and will be small steps towards a bigger goal.

Every child at Busy Bees (not only those with an SEN) is observed and assessed, and those observations are used to plan for the child’s next steps in their own personal development. All of a child’s interests and favourite resources and activities are promoted and used in this process. This makes for a pleasant and positive process for everyone concerned.

All of the 7 areas of development (3 prime and 4 specific) are covered within these observations, and recorded in the child’s Learning Journal in accordance with the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

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

Busy Bees always ensures that there are regular arrangements for discussing every child’s progress with their parents and carers. In the case of a child with additional needs this is even more important. We will discuss with you how often you wish to be updated on your child’s progress; this can be on a daily basis if you wish.

Your child will benefit from a home/school book so that we can share their experiences with you at home and in the setting. You will be invited to attend any meetings involving outside agencies, and will be involved in setting up, and moving forward, your child’s Individual Education Plan. You will be able to share the Learning Journal at any time.

You will be able to discuss any concerns with either the manager or SENCO at any session, or make an appointment at a time which is convenient to you.

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

We are fortunate to have people in the Church who can help us to support your family if this is appropriate for you.

Our aim is to keep all our children safe, and we have a detailed risk assessment and Health and Safety policy. All our staff have done Child Protection and Safeguarding training. We realise that your child may be especially vulnerable and need special support.

When your child joins Busy Bees we will discuss how much support is needed. If it will benefit your child we will arrange for one-to-one support from a staff member at all times, or just when necessary. All staff will be aware of your child’s needs, and how they can best be met.

We have strict policies on administering medicines. We do not normally administer any medication other than Asthma inhalers, Epi-pens, or Calpol (when permitted by a parent). All staff are trained to do this, and hold current First-aid certificates. If your child needs other medication, we will put a plan in place and ensure staff are trained appropriately. We will discuss your child’s personal care with you at our initial meeting.

We have a behaviour management policy which helps us to deal with unacceptable behaviour in a positive and non-threatening way. We aim to provide a calm and equal environment for all children.

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

Most of the staff at Busy Bees have experience or knowledge of children with SEN, although none are specialist in any particular field.

Our SENCO accesses special needs training courses as they become available; she is herself the mother of a child with Autism, so this is of particular interest to her.

We have worked many times with the Facilitating Inclusion, Reflection, Support and Training team (known as the FIRST team) to access support and strategies for children with behaviour issues, developmental delay and speech delay.

We have good relationships with our local Children and Family Centres and their outreach workers who will offer support and guidance.

We also have the support of our named Health Visitor at Shoreham Health Centre.

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

Training attended 2013-2014

Our SENCO has attended mandatory training for her role, also Early language development, Relationships and interactions, Role of the key person in the Early Years Foundation Stage, Attachment and the key person, Sensory play, Neglect identification.

Other staff have undertaken Supporting children’s behaviour, Promoting positive behaviour, Monitoring children’s progress, Early language development, Observation, assessment and next steps.

In addition the manager attends local Network meetings and Business and welfare forums each term to keep up-to-date with changes.

We will continue to access training relevant to SEN and disability awareness.

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

At Busy Bees we do not regularly arrange trips; where we do so they would require parental involvement.

We do take the children on walks around the local area, for example the park, shops, library and Eastbrook Primary Academy. Your child will always be welcome to take part.

We have an Outings policy, which we strictly adhere to. All parents are notified before we take children out of playgroup, and must give their permission. We will inform you of the intended walk, do a risk assessment and seek your advice; you may be able to help us to plan the route which would be best for your child, and things they will enjoy. You will be very welcome to accompany us if you would like to, but this is not a necessity; we will ensure that there is sufficient support for your child.

9. How accessible is the early years setting environment (indoors and outdoors)?

Southwick Methodist Church is all on one level and is fully wheelchair accessible. There is also level access to the garden area.

There are disabled toilet facilities in the main corridor of the building; however the children’s toilet area attached to the Busy Bees hall may not be large enough to allow a child to manoeuvre a wheelchair. Staff will always be available to take your child to the disabled facilities.

Where equipment to support an SEN is required to be kept on the premises, we will work with the Church to ensure it can be safely stored.

There is a loop system in the Church for those with hearing difficulties. We are looking to extend our knowledge of Makaton as soon as possible.

In our experience so far of parents/carers whose first language is not English, we have been able to communicate through another family member. If this should not be possible, we will obtain access to an interpreter, using an outside agency.

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

When you first express an interest in taking a placement at Busy Bees, you will be invited to visit with your child. Through discussion with you we can jointly assess if we are able to offer the best care and support for your child. There may need to be several of these visits so that you can meet the staff and children, your child can become familiar with the surroundings and activities on offer, and you can both feel comfortable in our setting. It may be appropriate at this time to also involve any other agencies we may be looking to for support.

As the time approaches for your child to transfer to another setting or school, we will arrange meetings with you to be held informally in playgroup. These will be attended by the SENCO and manager, the SENCO from the next setting, and the reception teacher if moving on to school. We would also invite people currently working with us to support your child, e.g. the FIRST team. Strategies will be discussed to prepare your child in a positive way.

The new setting or school will want you to visit them with your child, so that you can become familiar with the new surroundings. We will be happy to accompany you if you would find this helpful.

All our children are prepared for school in a positive and sensitive way, using visits to school, visits from teachers, and the use of story and role play activities.

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

Any special educational needs funding which we receive for your child will be used directly for their benefit.

Where assessment shows a need for one-to-one support, the funding will be used to provide this.

We have a wide range of resources and equipment available to all our children; however where specialist items are required we will sourced them from toy libraries, SEN catalogues and agencies.

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

Where a child has multiple needs, a meeting will be set up with the setting’s management committee, the SENCO, you the parent, a member of the FIRST visiting team, and any other professionals who are involved in your child’s care.

Careful assessment will need to be made to be sure we are able to meet your child’s specific needs within our setting. Each person’s views (including your child’s) will be taken into consideration to reach a decision on how best to proceed.

Once a decision has been made, support will be put in place in the form of an Individual Education Plan. This will contain strategies to meet your child’s needs, and will be created from observations by you the parent, the SENCO and the FIRST team. It will include your role in supporting your child at home.

The IEP will be regularly monitored and reviewed through observation, to judge if it is having an impact on your child’s progress. You will be involved in the review process, and will be welcome to discuss the IEP with us at any time. Your thoughts, ideas and opinions are really important to the success of the support your child receives.

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

Parents are encouraged to take an active part in the setting. We welcome parents’ and carers’ help at our sessions; it is helpful for them to see how our routines and activities promote children’s development whatever their abilities. This can be on a regular or occasional basis.

We are always pleased to receive constructive feedback to ensure we are doing the very best for our children; the parent of a child with SEN or a disability, we would welcome your input when we are reviewing policies and procedures.

We feel we are here to support the family, not just the child; you are always welcome to come in to speak to us, and we hope you will enjoy your child’s time with us.

14. Who can I contact for further information?

The Family Information Service is your first point of contact. Their phone number is 01273 777807.

E-mail address family.info.service@westsussex.gov.uk

Website http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fis

For information about Busy Bees please contact

Mrs Lorna Rayner (manager) on the Busy Bees number 01273 597747, or 07804 942495.

E-mail address busybeesswick@hotmail.co.uk

Website http://southwickmethodistchurch.co.uk/wordpress/young-people/busy-bees/

Mrs Laura White (SENCO/Deputy Manager) can also be contacted on the Busy Bees number 01273 597747.

Reverend Ian Suttie is the Chair of the Management Committee, and can be contacted on 01273 596374.