At Downview Nursery we recognise that finding a nursery to support your child’s learning and development can be a daunting task, and that trying to choose the right one can sometimes seem overwhelming. We fully understand that this can also be increased when trying to support a child with additional needs.

Below is a statement of intent of how we work in partnership with the child and their family in order to achieve the best outcome. We would like to reassure every family that reads this statement that we strive to be a very inclusive and supportive pre-school group.


How does the early years setting know if children need extra help, and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?

Your child will be given a key person who will support them during our sessions. They will make sure that your child’s needs are met and that they are given lots of exciting learning opportunities. Your child’s key person will observe your child at play and make assessments regarding their learning and development. You will have the opportunity to share these observations alongside photos and pieces of your child’s work when their key person adds them to their learning journey on Famly. Staff are available to talk to at the beginning and at the end of every session. Our friendly and approachable team can assess if your child has extra needs and we can access support from outside agencies and organisations if needs be. If you think your child requires extra support, you will be able to raise your concerns to your child’s key person or our manager by coming into the setting. You can also telephone, email or send a private message via our Famly app.

How will early years setting staff support my child?

Your child’s key person will plan and oversee all your child’s learning. We also hold termly meetings with our Early Years and Childcare Advisor, and attend termly network meetings. If your child has a specific need, we can produce an Individual Plan (IP) or One Page Profile (OPP) to support any areas of need. These plans are evaluated so that we can ensure your child is receiving effective support. We also have health care plans for children with complex medical needs.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

We offer a fully inclusive service. Our setting has policies and procedures in place to ensure all children have access to enriching and valuable play experiences. Your child’s key person will use their professional judgement to create a plan of action for the term ahead. Each child will be given opportunities to join in activities which will give them a chance to explore at a speed that is appropriate to their own needs.

How will both you and I know how my child is doing, and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

You will able to follow your child’s learning journey on Famly. You can add observations from home life to their journey, share additional information on ongoing issues such as toileting, and family relationships. You will have the opportunity to discuss what your key person will be looking for in their next assessment and raise any concerns you may have.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

Your child’s day-to-day wellbeing will be managed by their key person. Any health or medical conditions requiring medication will be supported by a trained member of staff who will oversee the administration of medicines. Our staff are experienced in managing asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and food allergies. We have policies in place for managing behavioural and emotional development. We have an experienced team who have all worked with children who require extra support. All members of the team are trained in child protection and safeguarding and hold current paediatric first aid certificates. Each child is valued, and their self-esteem and confidence are supported. Your child will be given the opportunity to voice their own views and ideas and express their needs to their key person and the whole staff team.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?

Our staff are offered training in all areas of children’s development. Some staff have specific areas of responsibility and receive extra training. We work alongside health visitors, speech and language therapists, educational psychologists, early years support teams, and a range of other outside agencies. Outside advice will be sought for any issues we feel we need support within the setting. The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) works to support all staff and attends regular network meetings to discuss new initiatives in SEND and can access a wide variety of support via early years advisors.

What training are the staff that support children with SEND, had or are having?

All staff that are trained in SENCo/INCo hold a minimum of NVQ level 3 qualification in childcare. All staff are offered regular courses on a wide variety of themes and topics related to early years and the Early Years Foundation Stage. Our practitioners have also received training on specific topics to help support children with special needs. We receive briefings from other professionals on how to support each child when needed. The SENCO can lead meetings with staff to create strategies that will work to support each individual child.

How will my child be included in activities outside the early years setting (including trips)?

When staff are planning an outside activity (e.g. the Woodland Classroom that we visit weekly), risk assessments will be undertaken to determine which areas of support individual children may need. Parents will be invited to discuss ways to achieve full inclusion in our trips and outside visits.

How accessible is the early years setting environment both indoors and outdoors?

We have wheelchair access to the side of the building and handrails on the back where there are some steps. Our playground has access via steps with handrails, and a side gate for wheelchair access. We have a changing area with low level hand washing basins. We have the ability to work with physiotherapists so that appropriate equipment is supplied and installed if necessary. We have experience with families who have English as an additional language, and we use a wide range of visual aids (e.g. Makaton) to help children communicate their needs.  Our setting has been audited for children with physical impairments.

How will the nursery prepare and support my child with transferring to a new setting or school?

Our settling-in policy is very flexible, and we take time to ensure that you and your child are comfortable in the setting. Some children require shorter visits, and we will work alongside you to ensure your child settles well. You will be offered stay-and-play visits at the nursery with your child at a mutually convenient time. Parents and children are welcome to visit us as many times as necessary to help with transitioning to nursery. When it is time to move on to school, early years teachers from all local schools are invited to meet the children in the nursery. The school will offer you the chance to visit for a variety of activity mornings to help them with the transition. We have experience in supporting children with special needs who are transitioning to new schools. We hold transition plan meetings with parents and careers, outside agencies and teachers from the new schools so that strategies are in place to ensure that the move is as smooth as possible. Learning journeys and progress reports are shared with the new school so that they have a good understanding of your child’s learning and development needs.

How are the early years setting’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

We apply for Inclusion Funding, Early Years Pupil Premium, and/or Disability Access Fund where applicable, so that children with extra needs can be supported. If we need special resources, we can obtain equipment from the toy library run by the local family centre. Equipment may be supplied by physiotherapists, occupational therapists’ services or by the nursery using additional funds allocated to us.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

Your key person will work alongside the SENCO and outside specialists and they will produce an Individual Plan (IP) and a One Page Profile (OPP) specifically for your child. This will detail all aspects of day-to-day planning and play in the setting. Each member of the staff team will be aware of strategies put in place, and the plans will be evaluated by their key person and relevant staff members. You will be invited to meet with the team to discuss and review all aspects of any plans. If the setting requires additional support, we will contact the Targeted Support Service (TSS) and be sign posted to appropriate support from outside agencies.

How are parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?

We are always seeking ways to include our parents in our setting. We use questionnaires so that parents can forward their views and comments and evening events so that parents can contribute in an informal way. We predominantly use Famly to communicate with parents and carers, such as sharing newsletters, photos of activities we have done, fundraising, upcoming events, etc. We also have a closed Facebook parents’ group and our website to share extra information.

Who can I contact for further information?

We share information with our parents via regular newsletters on Famly. We can be contacted via email at office@downviewnursery.co.uk, by telephone on 01243 841762, or via our contact form on our website.

Your first point of contact is Amy Coote (nursery manager/SENCo/INCo).

Useful links

Local Offer – https://westsussex.local-offer.org/

Local Children & Family Centre Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/aruncfcs/

ERIC’s Guide to Potty Training

As an Early Years Provider, we hold information on children in order to:

  • Support their development
  • Monitor their progress
  • Provide appropriate pastoral care.
  • Assess how well we, as a Provider as a whole, are doing.

This information includes date of birth, contact details, attendance information, characteristics such as ethnic group, special educational needs, and any relevant medical information.

The Local Authority (LA) uses information about children for whom it provides services to carry out specific functions for which it is responsible. For example, the Local Authority will make an assessment of any special educational needs the child may have. The information is also kept and shared with West Sussex County Council and their Commissioned Partners for the purpose of claiming funding, but may be used for the wider purpose of planning services for children and families. It will also be shared with local health teams and partners to plan developmental checks for two year olds and will be shared with your local Children and Family Centre.

Should you have any queries regarding the information shared, please speak to a member of staff.