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Support for pre school children

Support for pre school children

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Coronavirus update

Visit to the UK Government website for information on closure of educational settings.

Go to the IPSEA website for a list of frequently asked questions on the how the COVID-19 measures will affect children and young people with special educational needs (SEN).

Go to our information web page for resources and guidance on: 

Support for children with additional needs

This page provides information on the help and support for pre school children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) who need extra help.

A child has special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) if they have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn, than most other children of about the same age.

If you think your child may have special educational needs talk to your child’s key worker or contact the ‘SEN co-ordinator’, or ‘SENCo’ at your child’s pre-school or nursery.  

Or speak with your GP, Health Visitor or a Family Support Worker at your local children's centre.

 

Every nursery and pre-school has Special Educational Needs Coordinator, known as a SENCO. They make sure children with special educational needs get the support they need.     

The SENCo will: 

  • Coordinate the help children need day to day
  • Discuss individual targets with the parents which will become an Early Years Intervention Plan (EYIP).
  • Offer advice to key workers

Every pre school, nursery and childminders who are in receipt of funded hours must publish information about how they support children with special educational needs and disabilities - this is known as their Local Offer.     

The information that is covered in a setting’s Local Offer is:  

  • How the setting identify children with special educational and disabilities   
  • How parents will be informed / consulted about the ways in which their child is being supported  
  • How the setting will adapt the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum for their child’s needs
  • Teaching strategies used for children with additional needs or learning difficulties
  • The additional support does the setting provide for children with additional needs or SEND
  • How the setting monitors the progress of a child and how they will involve the parent in this process
  • How does a setting ensure children with additional needs or SEND are included in the same activities as other children, including trips
  • How accessible is the building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?
  • How does the setting support the transition to primary school
         

Each setting’s Local Offer will help you to decide which pre-school, nursery or childminder can best support your child’s needs.

Visit our directory to view each early year’s settings Local Offer information.

Specialist nursery setting

Within the Wokingham borough there is a specialist nursery setting for children with complex additional needs, called Dingley’s Promise.

Visit the Dingley Promise website to find out more.

Your child’s key worker will be able to direct you to the nursery’s/pre-schools SENCO who can tell you what support is currently in place for your child and discuss with you what additional support may be available for your child. The SENCO may request support from other professionals.

Every pre-school and nursery must publish information about how they support children with special educational needs and disabilities - this is known as their Local Offer.   

Visit our directory to view each early year’s settings Local Offer information.

Support from Wokingham Borough Council

A SENCo may request support from the Early Years Inclusion Advisor (EYIA) service. The service provides extra advice and support to pre-schools and nurseries. 

With parental permission the Early Years Inclusion Advisor (EYIA) may visit the setting and observe your child and the support they are currently getting. They will talk with staff and parents and give advice.

If a child needs more support than the school is able to provide then the parents, pre-school or nursery can ask the Local Authority to carry out an Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment.

Find out more

Find out more by reading: 

Every childminder who is in receipt of funded hours must publish information about how they support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities - this is known as their Local Offer.

Visit our childminder page.

Parents and carers can also contact non-funded Ofsted registered childminders to discuss their child’s needs and the support they offer.

Support from Wokingham Borough Council

A childminder can request support from the Early Years Inclusion Advisor (EYIA) service. The service provides advice and support to childminders, in collaboration with parents.  

Childminders who: 

  • Offer the early years free entitlement and
  • Care for a child who lives in the Wokingham Borough
            

Can contact the service for support if they have parental permission. Where appropriate the advisor may visit the childminder’s home to both observe and discuss the needs of the child. 

Following the visit parents will be invited to meet with the Early Years Inclusion Advisor to: 

  • Receive feedback from the observation 
  • Get advice and support
  • Discuss next steps for their child
            

Childminders who:

  • Do not offer the early years free entitlement, or   
  • Care for a child not living in the Wokingham Borough

Can request support with parental permission via the telephone consultation service.  

How to request support

Childminders can request access to these services by completing the request for EYIA involvement document on the Early Years Hub website.


If your child needs more support than their school is able to provide, then you or your child’s pre school/nursery can ask to carry out an Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment.

Once the assessment has been completed, the EHC panel decide whether to issue an Educational, Health and Care Plan. 

An Education, Health and Care plan will identify the educational, health and social needs of your child and sets out the additional support to meet those needs.

For information on how to apply for an assessment go to our Education Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment web page

Will an EHCP follow my child to a new school?

An Education, Health and Care Plan will continue with your child to their primary school or until they meet their outcomes.
    

The Early Years Inclusion Teachers deliver a home teaching service known as portage service for those children with the most complex needs. The service provides support to children with complex needs. They will visit a child in their home and work with them and their family.

To access this service a child needs to be referred into the early years support panel by a healthcare professional or the Early Years Inclusion Advisor. Panel will consider all referrals and decide the appropriate services that will best meet your child’s need. This may be portage.

The panel meet to discuss which services children need to help them. Read the Early years support panel (PDF document) to find out more.

Support from healthcare services

The Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust provides services to children under 5. This includes:

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Support with diet and nutrition for children who aren't able to eat enough nutrients orally and might require help by feeding through a tube
           

Visit the Berkshire Healthcare Children and young people's integrated therapies (CYPIT) website for information about these services.

For information and advice related to children’s development go to the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust children, young people and families services website.

Further information on health related services can also be found on our healthcare services and support web section.

Dingley’s Promise Early Years Centre

Dingley's Promise provides a specialist nursery setting for children under five with additional needs and disabilities and their families. Visit the Dingley Promise website to find out more. 

Wokingham Borough children’s centres

All children's centres are free to use for all children unborn or under 5, as well as their parents, grandparents and any other carers, including professional home carers

They provide a friendly environment, confidential advice and help on matters ranging from child development to benefits to getting back to work or going to school.

Find the timetable of your local children's centre by visiting our children centres page.

Stay and play sessions for children on the autistic spectrum

If your child has been diagnosed or referred for diagnosis as being on the autistic spectrum there is a stay and play sessions called Wiggly Worm which is run at the Brambles Children's Centre.

Play Buds - Support for children with complex needs and their families

The Play Buds sessions give parents and carers of children with complex needs an opportunity to mix with other families in similar situations. The group is structured to allow time to discuss topics of interest, socialise with each other, observe and engage with play based activities, baby massage, group singing and sensory story.

To find out how to access this service go to the Play Buds directory listing.

Local support

To find further support services got to:

   

Independent advice for parents

You can get independent advice from the:

To find out about your options, find nurseries and how to apply, visit the starting nursery or pre school web page.

The Coram Child and Family website has useful guide to childcare for children with special educational needs and disabilities in England.

Visit the childcare choices website to find information on help with childcare costs.

Read our frequently asked questions related to special educational needs and education web page for information and guidance on what happens before a child transitions to their new education setting.    

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