Little Steps Preschool is a charity run preschool which has been established since 1977. It is situated in the rural village of North Newton and it is run by a friendly, fun and professional team of Early Years practitioners who are dedicated to giving your child the best start possible in their educational journey. We have a large room for lots of different activities, a smaller adjoining room for quieter 1:1 activities and a fully enclosed outdoor play area with an all-weather surface. We have a great selection of resources and provision for the children’s education and development. We offer care from 7.30am-3pm Monday-Thursday Term-time only. We provide fresh nutritious snacks along with a hot lunch from the School Meals service if required. Please arrange to come and visit.

Thank you for choosing to look at Little Steps local offer.

We would like to invite you to come and have a chat with our Preschool Manager. This will give us time to discuss your child’s needs, giving us the essential information that we need. We will then have a good understanding of your child’s abilities, interests, skills, and general needs. This is a time for you to ask us as many questions as you would like to about what our setting has to offer and it will help us build a provision plan for your child. There will also be time to discuss any training that staff may need to undertake to ensure we cover all the needs of your child. We will also need to determine whether we need to work with any other multi agency teams whilst working with your child.

How do we identify children with SEN?

  • One way we identify children with SEN is by using observations that we have made of the children.
  • The use of a pathway booklet (document of progress and development of each individual child) ECAT forms (a form that focuses and monitors their stages of development for communication) and children’s NEXT STEPS (individual plan that identifies meeting their areas of development and interests).
  • The Graduated Response – If we felt we had identified any areas of concern we would gather as much information together as possible about your child and share it with the parent/carer. Once in agreement with the parent/carer we would contact our Area SENCO and ask them to come and observe your child.
  • We would work very closely with parents/carers and keep them updated with any other organisations we involve and share as much information with them as possible.
  • All children at two years of age have a ‘Progress Check’, which is shared with the health visitor to see how each child is progressing and developing and whether they may need extra support.
  • If the child is of school age a pre-school entry plan can take place. This will help the transition of moving from a nursery/playgroup to school a lot smoother and staff will be made aware of the child’s needs from the child’s keyworker and the SENCO.

How we support children at Little Steps.

  • When a child begins at Little Steps they are immediately paired up with a keyworker (allocated member of staff)
  • The keyworker will work with their key children throughout the session at nursery. They will monitor them, care for them, and make sure their needs are met. The keyworker system will be explained to parents during their first induction meeting at the nursery. The SENCO will be kept up to date about the child’s development on a regular basis.
  • The keyworker will make regular observations of your child in a variety of activities. All these observations will be transferred to a pathway booklet so that it can be clear which stages of development the child is at.
  • The keyworker may seek advice from outside agencies such as a speech therapist, dietician, GP, Occupational Therapist, or an Educational Psychologist. This would only happen if there has been consent from the parents of the child and several meetings to determine the best route for the child.
  • We plan for the children’s individual learning as well as for the group. Each child has a Unique Child sheet, which has all their details of their own learning, and the next steps that we plan to help their development. All children with special educational needs have an Individual Education Plan (IEP). These documents help the practitioner to monitor and review the child’s learning. We have opportunities for children to learn about Letters and sounds and we are trained in Somerset Total Communication (STC), sign language which we try to include in everyday activities with all the children.

Monitoring your Child’s Progress and Learning

Over time the keyworker and parent/carers will build up a relationship where the practitioner will feed back after every session and update the parent/carer on a very regular basis. This will be very reassuring for the parent/carer and they will know their child is being well supported. Alongside this day-to-day communication, there will be opportunities for parents/carers to discuss progress and any next steps. You can arrange a time when convenient to both parties to discuss their child’s learning. Once a year we hold a parents evening to give parents/carers and keyworkers extra time to discuss their time at nursery. The keyworker will regularly share the child’s pathway with the parents/carers so they can see how their progress is continuing and any areas that may need extra support. In some cases, a book may go home that the parent can comment in, for example any milestones the child may have made and any general communication for the parent/carer and keyworker to share between each other.

Support for children’s well-being

At Little Steps we concentrate on making sure the children are happy and well cared for. We aim to make them feel as safe and as loved as possible.

Any training to support administration of medicines and social support will be identified in the initial meeting held between the parent/carer and the nursery. The appropriate staff will be inducted on suitable training as soon as possible if the parent/carer is happy that it is the correct training. A personal care plan and medicine plan can be created for your child, which will be accessible to every member of staff and will be updated whenever necessary. Training will be available for staff regarding particular behaviour, how we listen to your child and any social and emotional development support needed. We are all qualified in most areas but sometimes it will be a learning journey for us too and we may need to seek further training and support to enable us to provide the best care for the well-being of your child.

Listening to Children and making sure all children contribute and are included in the setting

Each child will be listened to and will be included in all group activities. However, in some activities they may need a little extra support and be given time to give his or her views and communicate with others. We incorporate STC into activities as much as possible, which helps all the children to ensure that they are all understood.

Staff Training to support children with SEN disabilities

At Little Steps Preschool our SENCO is Helen Barham (Manager). She attends regular SENCO meetings where she is updated on any training available and can share experiences with others. With the support of our Area Senco, we have built up a particularly good understanding of how to get suitable support and how to implement different strategies to help support the child. Several members of staff have STC training, promoting learning and development for children, supporting positive behaviour, and developing relationships. Any other suitable training to help support your child would be sourced as quickly as possible.

Inclusion for activities and trips

All children will be included in all activities provided it is safe for each child. With some activities children may need one to one support to ensure they are able to take part in the activities. In the case of a planned trip a meeting may be set up to decide on the best support for that child. In some cases, it may be necessary to have one to one support or the parent may feel they would like to come too, for extra reassurance.

The setting and its facilities

We are situated in The Village Hall. It has access for wheelchairs and easy access toilet facilities.

There are lots of signs & photographs in the preschool that have STC signing symbols and are clearly visible to the children. Planning will be adapted for some children if necessary and extra support will be given to those that need it.

Transferring to a new setting or moving to school

When a child first visits with the parent/carer and child we would discuss any special needs or requirements the child may need and write a care plan if necessary. This helps us to prepare for the child starting at preschool and to establish different procedures of care if necessary. The child will be entitled to two free sessions before starting nursery properly to make sure that the child is happy and the parents/carers. When a child leaves to go to another setting, all pathways and documentation will be passed to the new setting and the keyworker will liaise with them to ensure a smooth transfer. When a child goes to school the schoolteacher will visit regularly before the child begins schools. In some cases, a school entry plan will be drawn up and regular meetings will take place to make sure the transfer is well supported, and all relevant information is passed on and discussed.

Decision making

The decision of how much support the child receives, and the types of support will be decided between the Preschool manager (Senco), the keyworker the parent/carer to ensure that everyone agrees. There may be other agencies that may be involved but everyone will be kept up to date by continued communication. The support will need to be reviewed on a regular basis to check that the expected progress is being made. Keyworkers will continue to make observations and track the child’s progress. In some cases, additional resources may need to be sourced. Support and advice may be needed from multi professional teams and possible referrals may be made to other agencies.

Further Information or advice

If you have any concerns about your child, need to seek further advice or would like to know anything else about our service, then please contact Helen Barham at Little Steps Preschool on 07745229438. Your child’s keyworker will be able to talk to you about your child’s learning and progress.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and would welcome you to come and visit us.

Thank you for considering Little Steps for your child.