1) How do you communicate with the parent/carer whose child has SEND?
Each child has an individual “Learning Profile” which is shared regularly with parents and any other settings they attend, and goes with them when they leave or start school. I talk to parents daily about what their child is doing in my setting, and what they can do at home to support their learning. I encourage parents to tell me what their child is doing at home, so that I can extend their experiences here. We also have a WhatsApp Group, just for parents with children at the setting, where photos and brief comments on activities are posted frequently. At the end of each term parents receive a summary of their Child’s ‘Next Steps’, based on observations and knowledge of their child, ready for the next term. Each year, parents receive a Summative Assessment showing their child’s learning and development. Parents are welcome to step in at any time to see what their child has been doing. In addition, we hold an Open Day each Summer so that all the children, siblings, parents and carers can get together socially.
2) How do you help children settle into your setting?
As a childminder, I am my own SENCO, and am happy to arrange a time for parents and their child/children to make an informal visit to see if this is the right setting for them. If they would like to take up a place, then they would make another appointment to sign a contract and ideally, we would arrange some settling in sessions, which initially involve a parent/carer staying with the child. Then the child would have a few short sessions where they stay on their own. During this time, I would also make an informal home visit - maybe to drop in some paperwork. The idea is that the child would come to see me/us as ‘friends’ of their parent/s or carer and build up trust before they start.
3) What help and support does your setting offer to children with SEND as they move rooms or move on to school?
When your child is here, I will encourage independence, and help them gain the skills they will need for when they go to nursery/school. We will talk about and read stories about what nursery/school is like, and what they can expect.
4) How do you find out how each child likes to learn?
Initially, I will be guided by the child’s parents. I see parents as experts on their own children and will collect as much information as possible from them about their child before they start, finding out what their child enjoys, their character/ personality and their style of learning.
Children also are 'Experts on their own lives' and are able to show and tell their preferences. I use information collected from parents, children, carers and any other settings they attend, to plan enjoyable activities, which will help their child learn and develop. As I observe their child and get to know them, I will be in a better position to plan for their learning.
5) Inclusive Practice and SEND training and expertise within this organisation.
I have 30 years experience working with children, and over the years have cared for many children with additional needs, including Disabilities, Diabetes, Down Syndrome, Tracheotomy, Severe Allergies, Chronic Asthma, Eczema, Autism, Sensory Overload, Dyslexia, Sickle Cell Anaemia, Speech and Development Delay, Difficult Feeding, Coeliac, and Epilepsy. I am trained to check blood sugar, administer insulin (or glucagon), epi-pens and inhalers, use suction apparatus for tracheotomy, and use a hoist machine. I am trained in Paediatric First Aid. I have a good understanding of and can cater for special diets. My assistant (also husband) has well controlled type 1 diabetes (for almost 50 years). I can speak schoolgirl French, a few words in Arabic and Latvian, and enough Portuguese to hold a conversation(estou ainda aprender). I will gladly learn a few words of a new language to help a new child settle and feel at home.