Your child with special educational needs in a nursery or playgroup

Every nursery or playgroup must allow a child with special educational needs go to its nursery. Before your child starts, you should ask to meet the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) to talk about your child and how the nursery or playgroup will be able to help. Ask for their SEN policy and inclusion statement.

Once your child is in the nursery or playgroup, SENCo will work with you to make sure that:

  • your child’s individual education plan (IEP) is written so that everybody knows how to help your child (the SENCo should meet with you every term to review your child’s IEP);
  • extra advice and support is available if necessary;
  • everybody working with your child at nursery is kept up to date with their progress; and
  • important information is collected, recorded and updated.

There are three stages of help

Early Years Action

When your child is not learning some of the things other children do at the same age, staff make a plan (IEP) to help your child progress. This lists the extra support and activities that will help your child.

Early Years Action Plus

If staff have done everything on the IEP and your child is still not progressing some months later, your nursery may decide to get extra advice. This may be from a speech and language therapist, a health visitor or other health service.

If the nursery is a member of the Richmond Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership, it can ask for extra support to help your child.

Statement of special educational needs

This may be agreed after a statutory assessment of your child’s needs has happened. A statement can clarify your child’s areas of difficulty and guide the nursery in using extra support and specialist programmes to meet your child’s needs. Because young children are still developing, it is usually better for the assessment to take place when the child is a little older and assessment results are more reliable. (Follow this link for more information: Statutory assessment: the final statement.)

Useful contacts

  • The Family Information Service - 020 8831 6298
  • Parent Partnership Worker - 020 8831 6179
  • ·Lead Area SEN Co-ordinator - 020 8831 6357. They give help and advice to your child’s nursery or playgroup.

Updated: 20 July 2009