We aim to take positive and proactive steps to ensure that we provide a safe and caring environment. We ensure that children have positive experiences whilst in our care which is free from discrimination, and actively promote equality of opportunity for all children and families in our community.
We aim to do this by considering the following:
- We support staff to care for children with special needs in order that they understand our philosophy. This is achieved by providing them with polices & procedures, emphasis on safeguarding/child protection, training courses, hands on encouragement, support, and role models. Key persons are given a briefing of the child’s particular special need by issuing them with a booklet relating to that individual child, which incorporates their picture, special need, likes & dislikes, capabilities, behaviour strategies personal to that child and details of individual learning plan (ILP). If no key person appointed, then all staff will be provided with the child’s individual booklet in order that they can support the child and provide consistency of care.
- We support individual children, by speaking with parents/carers to find out about the child’s likes and dislike, capabilities, individual learning plans (ILP) and routines. We will also consult with their 1:1 support worker at school to learn how they interact with others in a social environment and whether any specialised equipment is required.
- We would encourage parents to visit the setting with their child prior to them commencing, so that they can familiarize themselves with the staff and environment. Discuss whether any adaptations need to be made to the venue, such as furniture layout, table heights and any specialist equipment that needs to be acquired, all in line with the Equality Act 2010.
- We provide verbal feedback to parents daily, with children with a more severe special need, their daily personal routine and activities will be recorded in a communication diary and shared with the parent upon collection. Parents are asked to sign and date the entry to show that they have received the information.
- We encourage children’s confidence and independence as much as possible, by giving them praise and encouragement, listening and valuing what they say and adapt activities to allow them to take part.
- We look at ways to raise the awareness of other children to promote anti-discrimination. This is achieved by positive images of disability in books, posters, and toys. This is also supported by staff who may have a disability, as role models and challenging any negative comments.
- When completing our risk assessments for the setting and activity this is also done from a special needs perspective to ensure that the child’s and that of others is always maintained but allowing some area of risk to enhance development.
- When considering outings, we consider the requirements of the child, the facilities of the venue and travel arrangements.
- For children and parents whose English is their 2nd language we can adapt our brochures and information to suit their needs and use PECS, Makaton, or visual timetables as a means of communication.
- Several members of staff have attended Surrey DCATCH training which raises awareness of including children with disabilities into one’s setting and strategies to accomplish this. This is an on-going training programme which we hope that more of our staff will attend as part of their continuous professional development.
- The SEND officer Kim Waters works with other outside agencies and Supervisors to provide support for the child by giving staff guidance and accessing training courses.