- How does Monkey Puzzle Colchester know if young children need extra help and what should our parents/carers do if they think their child may have SEND?
All the children at Monkey Puzzle Colchester are settled into their age appropriate rooms. All children are assigned a key person, during this settling period the parent, the child and the key person will meet and fill out an all about me, allowing the parent to voice where they believe their child is developmentally.
If your child has any identified special needs before joining the nursery. Lauren Potter, Nursery Deputy Manager and the nursery’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) will work with you to ensure that everything is in place to support your child e.g. special equipment, specialised staff training.
All children’s development is continually tracked including cohort tracking by the child’s key person using the Early Years Foundation Stage , this tracking quickly identifies any gaps in individual development. All children within the nursery have a baseline assessment completed within the first 3 weeks of the child starting the nursery and an assessment completed every 8 weeks. Regular meetings are held with parents and the child’s Key Person to discuss the child’s development. Where needed Lauren (SENCO) will work with the parent, the key person and the child to monitor and support the child during this process.
Where needed we will work closely with other professionals such as Sonia Carrington (Area SENCO), health visitors, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists and other healthcare professionals to ensure that your child is given appropriate support and that we provide the best care and educational opportunities for your child that we can.
- How will the setting staff support my child?
All the children at Monkey Puzzle Colchester have their own online learning journey, (iconnect), this includes all the evidence of the children’s development, tracking and cohort tracking, wow moments, and all evidence that reflects their learning and development. The parents are able to post pictures and leave feedback and comments on their own child’s development.
All staff form a positive relationship with the children at Monkey Puzzle Colchester. This positive relationship starts from the child’s first settling in, allowing the parent and the child to come into the nursery together, allowing the child to see the parents and the staff forming a positive relationship, this then allows the child to form a relationship with the staff.
Each child is assigned a key person and co key person, the child’s key person will tailor the planning to the child’s interests and developmental needs to encourage and support the children’s progression. Where further support has been identified the key person will discuss this with the child’s parent and the children will be assessed using the Individual Assessment of Early Learning and Development (IAELD). The parent, key person, SENCO (Lauren) and Area SENCO will work together to put support in place and create a One Plan together for the child.
Our SENCO will work to ensure that the parent is closely involved in all stages and are actively involved in planning and reviewing the child’s progress and One Plan. Where needed our SENCO will also liaise with our Area SENCO and other professionals.
- How will Monkey Puzzle Colchester create learning and development opportunities for children with SEND?
At Monkey Puzzle Colchester we take the time to build relationships with all the children. Through our own knowledge and your child’s observations from nursery and home, we will have a sound understanding of your child’s interests and needs. From this, we will then plan for your child through their interests in order to bring them forward in their development. This is supported by the Early Years Foundation Stage and successfully carried out through planning of the nursery environment and creating amazing play experiences.
To further support any additional needs, we will work with outside agencies, following advice from other professionals. Our SENCO will ensure that parents are fully involved and informed through this process and staff will attend further training if required thus ensuring we meet your child’s needs through the first stages of their learning journey.
- How will Monkey Puzzle Colchester work in partnership with parents/carers?
Parents/carers are fully involved within the child’s everyday nursery day. All parents at Monkey Puzzle Colchester have their own parent zone app where they receive daily updates and pictures. The key person will also talk to the parents on arrivals and pick ups, this provides the parents with detailed feedback at the end of each day and also allows the parents to give feedback and to ask questions. All parents are encouraged to discuss their child’s progress both formally; through planned meetings and informally at the nursery; during drop off and collecting; via email or telephone.
We hold parents evenings every term this encourages sharing and reviewing the individuals child’s development. Parents are able to access the child’s learning journey at any time through their parent zone app.
We believe open and honest conversation is of the upmost importance and is at the heart of our partnership with parents and for us is a proven effective way of keeping you informed of how your child is doing and gives opportunity to highlight any concerns.
- How will Monkey Puzzle Colchester support the wellbeing of young children with SEND?
Monkey Puzzle Colchester believes that children come first in every aspect; they are the most important part of our nursery and are at the centre of every decision made. Your child’s overall wellbeing is of the upmost importance to us and our team will ensure this is supported and encouraged through Outstanding practice. There is a strong emphasis on providing a caring environment, and this is supported through various strategies such as daily routines, a considered qualified staff team, key person approach, positive behaviour management, child sized equipment, amazing resources, excellent communication and an ever-evolving positive partnership with parents.
Through caring for your child and providing extra support where needed we will ensure that your child feels safe, secure and happy. We will build professional working relationships with outside agencies, e.g. Health Visitors, ensuring the best possible care is given to support your child’s development and wellbeing. We are very thorough regarding staff training at Monkey Puzzle and exceed the requirements in terms of both first aid and safeguarding training. If your child has any specific medical needs we will seek and attend any necessary training. We have effective policies and procedures in place to store and administer prescribed medication. All of the above is carried out through working closely with our parents and families through many ways of communication.
At Monkey Puzzle Colchester we have an effective positive behaviour management policy, which clearly outlines the procedures used in the nursery. All staff receive training on this with regular refreshers and work closely with the management team when implementing our strategies. Positive Behaviour Management is used throughout all the age groups in the nursery, all with the same intentions and preferred outcomes but adapted to meet the age and stage of each child. We share our positive behaviour management policy and the strategies within this with parents/carers in order to encourage consistency, which in turn results in positive outcomes. However, if specialist help is required to manage behaviour we can request the support from other named professionals.
All staff have a positive approach to all children’s individual learning and development and are sensitive to their needs. We will support you and your child through their general routine such as; potty/toilet training, sleep routines and food habits and will fully support you with any situations that may arise by offering our support, guidance, knowledge and encouragement.
- What training and/or experience do the staff, supporting children with SEND, have?
All staff at Monkey Puzzle have had basic SEND training, one planning training and positive behaviour management training. However, If your child has any specific medical needs we will seek and attend any necessary training before the child starts. Before starting all staff also have Level 2 Safeguarding, FGM training, Prevent Duty Training and all staff have paediatric first aid training.
We meet the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, ensuring that our staff are appropriately qualified, and we carry out checks for criminal and other records through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in accordance with statutory requirements.
Our SENCO has over 5 years experience working with and supporting children with a wide range of needs.
- What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting?
Lauren, Nursery Deputy Manager and SENCO, is level 4 qualified in Early Years. Lauren has over 5 years experience in childcare working in different settings in leadership roles. Lauren has worked with lots of children and families throughout this time, all of whom have different individual needs. She is experienced in supporting staff, children and families in different situations and has a keen interest in supporting children with additional needs and their families.
We have strong links with our local children’s centre and have built relationships with local schools allowing smooth transitions. Where needed, we will work with a wide range of agencies such as advisory teachers, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Health Visitors, GPs and any other specialists that may be appropriate. We have a strong effective relationship with our inclusion development officer.
- How will my child be included in activities outside the setting?
At Monkey Puzzle Colchester, we have a beautiful outdoor space that the children use daily. We often go for walks to our local park. Your child will of course benefit from and be included in all activities outside the setting and a full risk assessment will be carried out.
To ensure you are fully comfortable with your child going on outings we are happy to discuss our procedures with you and permission for this forms part of our terms and conditions.
If your child needs any extra support, we will discuss their needs with you to ensure they are included in this part of nursery life and that you feel happy and reassured by our procedures.
No parent is required to accompany their child on any outside activities, however, if you feel you would like to join a trip, outing, visit or event and act as a parent helper this would be welcomed and discussed with a manager to make arrangements and a decision on what would be best for the child/children.
- How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s learning and development?
Partnership between the nursery and children’s parents/carers is of the upmost importance to us and we have many methods of communication/information sharing to keep you fully informed and to get you involved with your child’s planning and learning; we carry out parents evenings once a term, your child has a key worker who will willingly discuss your child’s needs/development/planning with you, meetings with team members and or management are always possible and arranged at a mutually convenient time
We find an effective way to share and communicate with each other is through the online learning journeys, parents are able to upload photos of the child playing and enjoying activities outside of nursery and the key person will upload photos of the child enjoying their nursery day.
The nursery is always open to ideas from parents regarding the nursery as a whole and encourages parents to share stories from home of their child’s interests to inform our nursery planning. Parents are also encouraged to use our suggestion box to write down any suggestions that they may have.
We have an open door policy at Monkey Puzzle Colchester and actively encourage parents, carers, grandparents to get involved. We welcome all of the above to come and help at the nursery and share any talents they may have, e.g. playing an instrument, gardening! This is discussed with a manager before carried out and very considered, depending on the child and time of day.
Parental consent is always obtained before we refer to any outside professionals. Following this, if your child is being supported by our staff and other outside professionals we will endeavour to keep you fully involved through the best possible way for you; whether this is through regular phone calls, emails, copies of reports and meetings to provide feedback.
If outside professionals come in to see your child, we try to organise a Team Around the Family meeting at the end of the visit for a brief discussion. If this is not possible, any reports will always be copied and given to you.
- How accessible is the building / environment?
The nursery has a step free access to the building entrance, with two doors that can be opened if required. Our baby room, toddler room and pre school are on the ground floor, allowing accessibility for children who have walking aids or wheelchairs.
Each room has been specifically designed to meet the children’s individual developmental needs with light, colour and space being carefully considered. The children have free flow access to the resources within their room. The nursery’s toys and equipment are at your child’s level, ensuring they have accessibility. The nursery recognises the importance of allowing children to discover their world. We encourage this with support and through their own independence by providing a safe secure environment. With this in mind, there are child sized low level sinks and toilets, tables, chairs, cutlery, resources and equipment.
The nursery has a garden, the garden is on ground level and the children use the garden space at least twice a day. The garden is mostly a flat surface made up of artificial grass, and soft, safe play surface allowing for all seasonal use. Within the garden there is a mud kitchen, water wall and planting area, allows opportunities for the children to dig, plant and see some small insects.
We are happy to make reasonable adjustments to our environment and discuss a child’s individual needs with their family ensuring every child’s nursery day is a positive and meaningful experience, which encourages their learning and development.
The nursery has a dedicated lovely staff team with various experience, age, ethnicity and heritage being drawn upon daily. They are able to smile and adjust to different situations, caring for the children to an exceptional level.
- How will the setting prepare and support my child with transitions between home, settings and school?
All children starting at our nursery will be invited to attend settle sessions, a week prior to their start date. During these sessions, you will discuss your child’s routine and needs with the room leader and be introduced to your child’s key person. All of this important information is documented and recorded in order to ensure everything is ready for us to care for your child on their first day and thereafter. Later settle sessions involve you dropping your child at nursery and leaving them to experience key parts of the nursery day for short periods of time, building up to longer periods; play time, meal times and sleep time, whilst you wait in our nursery parent room. This transition is child led and we will keep you fully informed as to how they are settling. The child themselves will guide us through the settling in process depending on their reactions to being at nursery, we will advise and adapt the times where needed to what we feel is best for your child.
If your child starts in the baby room and stays with us until they go to school there will be two transitions during this time. They are; baby room to the toddler room and then toddler room to our pre-school. This again is led by your child and is a very considered and well-organised process, with many strategies to support.
When it is time for your child to leave us for primary school we contact the new setting and invite them to visit your child at nursery. During this visit, the teacher or key person from the school will meet and play with your child and discuss their development and progress with their key person. Further to this we incorporate school transition in our planning which may consists of; circle time discussions, school transition dress up box (which contains uniforms and book bags from our local schools, story books and photo books) and our pre-school is made up of lovely thought-about recourses and areas with tiny snippets of features that may be found in their early primary school experiences.
- How will Monkey Puzzle resources be used to support children’s special educational needs?
All resources, equipment, toys and furniture are moveable and can be made accessible. Our environment is changed often in order to keep the children interested and create new play experiences. We have child-sized furniture to encourage children’s independence and self-exploration.
Resources and toys are shared from room to room ensuring they are age appropriate. As a team we regularly discuss and replenish resources with the children’s needs in mind.
We will seek to borrow specific equipment needed for specific needs.
The Nursery follows the legal ratio requirements, so your child will receive plenty of adult support. We also have an inclusive way of thinking, the SENCO has a strong inclusive ethos for the setting and have a range of resources/strategies in place to support children with a range of needs.
Sensory resources are part of every rooms daily planning or continuous provision with sensory bottles, translucent materials, tactile wet and dry play, ‘den’ areas such as home corners, tunnels or tents used constantly.
To support all the children in our oldest age group we use visual prompts as part of their daily routine such as a visual register.
Staff differentiate planning taking into account a child’s age, interests, needs and abilities.
- Who can I contact for further information about the early years offer in the setting?
Lauren Potter, Nursery Deputy Manager, Nursery SENCO, 01206 234077, firstname.lastname@example.org
Manjit Sandhu, Nursery Owner, Monkey Puzzle Colchester Day Nursery, 07852988986, email@example.com