1. How does Happy Hours Preschool know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?
    If your child has already been diagnosed with special educational needs or you have concerns regarding your child’s learning and development, please speak to our SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator).  All children within our pre-school are regularly observed during their play and daily activities to enable us to assess and plan for their individual needs. We use “Development Matters in the Early Years” guidance to help us support each child. Sharing our observations and assessments with you (Parents/Carers) and learning about what your child does at home also supports their learning and development. Staff are trained to work with all children in their early years and have supported children with speech and language, promoting positive behaviour, visual impairment, autistic spectrum disorders, social communication, English as an additional language etc. and we will access further specialised training if required.

  1. How will Early Year's staff support my child?
    Your child will be allocated a “Key Person” when they start preschool. The Key person has particular responsibility for a few children within the group and will ensure that each child’s needs are catered for, and their records are maintained. She will work closely with you and our SENCO (and outside agencies when required), to develop an individual play plan for your child at least once a term. The Key person will use the individual play plan to ensure that your child’s needs are supported during each session by herself or another member of staff. We are a committee run pre-school and the committee organise and release funding to provide additional training or purchase special equipment/toys that may be needed.

  1. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?
    Every child is different, and planning is tailored to each individual child. When your child starts pre-school, you will be asked to complete an “All About Me” page which will give us an idea of your child’s strengths, likes and dislikes, health, dietary requirements and home/family life. This will be used to help the Key person to get to know your child and start the settling in process. Your child will also have a Learning Journal (this is a record of his/her time whilst at pre-school and consists of photographs, observations, assessments and planning for your child) and will be kept updated by the key person. Contributions to the learning journal from home are welcome and valued.

  1. How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?
    We have an open-door policy and parents are welcome to come in at any time. If the key person is available, you will be able to speak to her and if unavailable you can speak to the SENCO or make an appointment. You are always welcome to contact us by email or phone if you are unable to come in. We have a parents termly meeting where you can discuss your child’s learning and development with the key person. Your child is observed regularly, and progress is monitored through regular planning. Your child will have an individual learning plan every term and you will be invited to a planning meeting to discuss his/her progress and be involved with their next steps. This planning will show what we can do to help your child within the pre-school and what you could do at home to help support him/her. We use the Development Matters which suggest a typical range of development for children. 

  1. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?
    We endeavour to have contact with the other agencies that are involved with your child’s development, and we use their recommendations to promote your child’s everyday wellbeing and education. Medicine can be administered to a child, providing it has been prescribed by a doctor and a medication authorisation form has been completed by the parent (Please see our policy for the administration of medicines). A healthcare plan will be drawn up with the parent to provide personal care. Staff have attended Promoting Positive Behaviour courses and work in partnership with parents to support children sensitively and appropriately (Please see our policy on Promoting Positive Behaviour). The safety of all children is a top priority. We visually risk assess the room, the equipment, and outside play area daily. Written risk assessments are carried out when we have new activities/equipment, or we go on an outing (Please see our policy on Risk Assessment). All staff are checked by the disclosure Barring Service and have attended Child Protection Training. All staff have attended First Aid Training. Your child will be able to contribute his/her views by regular interaction and conversation with staff and through observations made for the learning journal. Children are able to self-select toys and activities within the room.

  1. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Happy Hours Pre-School?
    Through our childcare advisor we have access to Speech and Language Therapy (SALT), Portage, Educational Psychologists, Physiotherapists support etc. In setting we are also able to refer your child to some of the above professionals.  We also have a local Children’s Family Centre and Health Visitors. All staff have accessed child development training, and experience working with the Early Years age group. Staff have accessed specific training on Speech and Language courses. Our SENCO attends the network meetings, every term to keep up to date with the latest information and news. 

  1. What training are the staff supporting children with SEND, had or having?
    In order to ensure that the provision of care is co-ordinated and appropriate, one member of staff is designated as the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO). Karen Howes is our appointed SENCO at Happy Hours Preschool; she takes the lead in communicating with both parents and the relevant organisations in developing a plan to support your child in our setting. She has attended specific training courses which support those children in the setting with special educational needs. 

    We encourage all staff to access the Training courses whether Statutory or “Expression of Wishes”. All staff are qualified within Early Years or are currently studying for these qualifications.

  1. How will my child be included in activities outside Happy Hours Pre-School including Trips?
    All children are welcome to attend trips we usually notify parents through our newsletters/posters and communication through Key Workers.  We hold weekly staff meetings; where we will discuss trips/outings and ensure that all children can be included.  Risk assessments are completed.  We ask for as many parents as possible to help take their children on the larger/whole pre-school trips, however on the smaller local outings we will have an increased Staff: Child Ratio.

    All appropriate contact details, permission slips, first aid/medication will be taken with us.  All children wear “contact bands” with the preschool details on. 

  1. How accessible is Happy Hours Pre-School?
    Happy Hours Pre-school is within the Community Centre in Broadfield. The building is fully wheelchair accessible being on ground level. Changing facilities are done on a changing unit in the ladies’ toilets. The setting is set up to meet the use of wheelchair users with plenty of space between tables and floor activities. We use aided language boards and all staff wear lanyards which help your child with daily routines.  We also give parents an “All About Us” to help settle your child when starting preschool. We have some multi language visual aids, including books2 to support children with English as an additional language (EAL). We are using Say it and sign it within the setting. Activities will be adapted to meet children’s needs. Our outside area is accessed through the main room, with a “soft play” surface. (Wet Pour) and is all on one level.

  1. How will Happy Hours Pre-School prepare and support my child to join the pre-school or transfer to a new setting or school?
    Happy Hours Preschool will offer 2 initial visits, plus taster sessions for your child these will be either with or without you, dependant on your child's need.  You will also meet your child’s key worker along with the Senco/Inco during these visits you will have the opportunity to discuss any requirements and the possible involvement of other agencies..  When transferring to another setting or moving on to school, the preschool will invite the Key Person/Teacher and INCO to attend your child’s sessions at preschool to help them become familiar with them and to discuss your child’s strengths and needs. Your child’s Learning Journal, IEP’s and any other information that may be relevant to your child will be passed on to you and through transition we will communicate with the new school giving them the time to make necessary plans for any changes they may need to make. If other agencies have been involved, they will also help with the transition to school and remain involved until the end of the first term at school.

  1. How are Happy Hours Pre-Schools resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?
    We carefully assess, monitor, plan, do and review each individual’s needs. Resources are then allocated so that all children can have full access to the equipment and setting’s areas of learning.  We are able to access further bursaries from West Sussex County Council and other agencies these may include, Inclusion Funding, DAF, and EYPP which are then used to fund further training or additional support for your child.  We are also members of the Local Lending Library and can access further sensory toys when required.

  1. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?
    If Happy Hours has been informed before your child starts preschool at the Registration/Open Days that there are additional needs, you may be required to come in for a pre-entry visit. With parental permission we will be able to access all areas/teams that have been involved in your child's life so far and continue the necessary support. However, through the observation process linked to the EYFS and in discussion with you, the Key Person/Senco will identify what support is needed. Ongoing partnerships with you, other professionals and ourselves will support the decision making process. EYISPs (Early Years Individual Support Plan) will be written which will allow all involved to monitor your child's progress. Our Senco will attend meetings with other professionals in order to support your child.  Staff meetings in preschool will also allow her (Senco) to update the staff on any changes or support that is going to be offered and will be put in place within our setting.

  1. How are parents involved at Happy Hours Pre-School? How can I be involved?
    We are a committee run preschool and welcome involvement from all parents, we hold termly meetings and ask parents to attend.  We welcome parent/carer input whether you come and join us for a play session, committee meeting or talking with the Staff. Your child’s Learning Journal is available for you to look at and contribute to.   We send regular newsletters, along with holding several Family Extra Curricular activities throughout the preschool year. We also have a “CLOSED” Facebook page which will show ongoing activities throughout the year.

  1. Who can I contact for further information?
    If you require further information, then please have a look at our website www.happyhourspre-school.co.uk where you will find contact information addresses.

    Karen Howes & Ena Cartwright are our supervisors along with Karen Howes covering the Senco/Inco role.

    You can also pop in for a chat during school term time, Monday to Friday 8:30am - 2:30pm.

    If you visit the West Sussex website on www.westsussex.gov.uk you can find additional information about the FIRST team, the Family Information Service (FIS) and other agencies; or you can telephone the service on 01243 777807


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