SEND / local offer

Caterpillar Nursery & After School club

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Local Offer

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

At Caterpillars every child is treated as an individual and staff are experienced in observing, assessing and planning next steps for children.

If you have concerns about your child, you should speak with the Manager or Inco (Inclusion and Special Educational Needs Officer) who will be able to advise you.

How will Caterpillars staff support my child?

Every child has their own Keyperson who will work with your child and you. She will make next steps plans for your child, based on your child’s interests which she will share with you. In addition to this the Inco will make specific Play Plans focused on your child’s area of need which will again be shared with you. 

The nursery is also able to call upon the Inclusion team at the Early Childhood Service who are a team of teachers and specialists who will be able to suggest strategies that will support your child at pre-school. 

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

Every child has an individual learning plan made for them by their Keyperson based on the curriculum. They will also have a Learning Journal which will contain observations and photographs of your child to support the staff to assess and make plans to progress your child’s development. You are welcome to see your child’s Learning Journal at any time.

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

All plans will be shared with you as they are developed and assessed for progress and apart from the annual parent consultations, there are regular meeting with families who have children with additional needs. At Caterpillars we operate an “open door” policy and are always available to spend time with parents to discuss their child’s progress and development and to help you support your child.

What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

Staff are very experienced and are able to access additional support from the Early Childhood Service when needed. Should your child require regular prescribed medication then a named member of staff will be responsible for the administering of this and you will be required to sign for this. The nursery is able to undertake personal care such as nappy changing.

We promote positive behaviour and staff are trained to support this. Should your child display unwanted behaviour then we will work with you and your child to provide a consistent and planned approach to improve the behaviour. Your child will be involved in the development of this approach.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Caterpillars?

Whilst the nursery does not offer specialist services, we are happy to work alongside the specialists involved with your child and they are welcome to visit your child at pre-school.

What training are the staff supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities, had or are having?

Four staff hold Early Years qualifications which included special educational needs modules, we also have a qualified teacher.  Staff have attended training in Autistic Spectrum Disorder; Speech, language and communication workshops; Promoting positive behaviour training; Inclusion co-ordinator training; English as an additional language training and the Inco regularly attends Inco network sessions. Staff continuously update their training.

How will my child be included in activities outside Caterpillars including trips?

All children are welcome to attend trips. Prior to the trip the pre-school will discuss with parents the best way for their child to access the activity and a risk assessment will be undertaken. Previously on trips, additional staff have been included to give 1:1 attention to the child or the child’s parent/carer has been invited to attend the trip.

How accessible is the Caterpillars nursery?

Our building, outside area and toilets are fully wheelchair accessible. We are happy to work with families to access any specialist equipment needed. We use PECs and visual timetables to support routines and communication.

How will Caterpillars prepare and support my child to join the nursery or transfer to a new setting or school?

The nursery is able to offer flexible entry where children can attend for limited times/sessions, with or without their parent as required and where there is a need parents and children can make several visits prior to starting. The type of entry is dependent on the need of the individual child.

When transferring to school the nursery will initially liaise with the school to arrange the best transition for your child. This could include a meeting between the school, nursery and parent to discuss the best strategies to support transition; several visits to the school by your child; photographs of the school; teacher visits to the nursery. 

How are Caterpillar Nursery’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs? 

We are able to apply for funding from West Sussex County Council to enable the nursery to employ an additional member of staff to initially help to settle your child if needed or we are also able to apply for a bursary to purchase specialist equipment.

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

Initially the nursery Manager and Inco will meet with you to discuss your child’s needs. The Early Childhood Service may also offer support at this stage. A plan will be developed involving you for your child’s transition and support needed will be put in place. 

Once your child has started an Individual Plan will be made which you will be involved with, this will be regularly reviewed and monitored.

How are parents involved at Caterpillars? How can I be involved?

As a community nursery we are very happy to have parents involved with the group. This could be as a member of the Parent Management Committee, as a fundraiser or as a volunteer parent helper (this does not have to be on a regular basis). We are always pleased to have parents stay for a session or part of a session to play with the children.

Who can I contact for further information?

More detailed information is available in our policies, specifically our “Promoting Positive Behaviour”, “Inclusion”, “Administration of Medication”, “Supporting Children with Additional Needs” and “Working in Partnership with other Agencies”. Please contact us to be sent our policies

What parents say about Caterpillar Nursery

My 2 (nearly 3) year old twins, Jessica and Jack, are now in their second year at Little Caterpillars. Jack has Down Syndrome.

The setting has helped develop both twins in different ways. Jessica’s speech and language has come on in leaps and bounds, she is more confident , and her creativity has increased – imaginative play, drawing and desire to make things are noticeably improved as a result of coming to Caterpillars.

For Jack, his confidence has grown as he is fully supported in his play. His gross and fine motor skills have developed well. And he is allowed time to read and play with toys which interest him.

The team at caterpillars are, in my opinion, amazing. They’ve welcomed both twins and been very supportive of Jacks additional needs, not only to Jack but to me as his mum. The desire to ensure Jack is supported is high and I feel pleased I chose this setting as where the twins would go. They are clearly all very experienced in childcare & development, and leave you feeling your child is in extremely good hands. 

To register your child at the nursery you need to contact our Registration Secretary on [email protected] or call 01403 210233.

If you wish to discuss your child prior to starting you need to contact either the Manager – Kate Summerhayes or INCO/SENCO – Bev John at [email protected] or on the Caterpillars Telephone number 01403  211388.

Once your child has started at Caterpillars they will have a Keyperson to support them. You can discuss concerns or progress with them, the Manager or INCO at any time.