Meeting the needs of children with special educational needs and/or a disability
All childcare providers are expected under the Equality Act 2010 (replaced the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) to make 'reasonable adjustments' to meet the needs of disabled children. They must not treat disabled children 'less favourably' than someone else for a reason related to their disability.
Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage also states that "Providers must have and implement a policy and procedure to promote equality of opportunity for children in their care, including support for children with special educational needs or disabilities".
Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)
Childcare providers have a duty of care to provide additional support for children with special educational needs and/or a disability. This role is known as a Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or Inclusion Play Worker. The SENCO has additional training and experience in working with children who have additional needs/disabilities. The SENCO will discuss a child's needs and help to ensure they can enjoy all the activities available at the setting.
Other support available to providers
Childcare providers have access to advice and support from professionals so that they can best meet the needs of children with disabilities and additional needs, these include:
Quality Early Years and Childcare Team
The team provides advice, support and guidance to Early Years and Childcare settings on all aspects of running quality learning and childcare provision and meeting statutory requirements. The team includes Development Officer's who provide a programme of regular support visits relating to meeting the requirements of both Ofsted and Early Years Foundation Stage requirements.
Contact details: 0121 569 4960.
Inclusion Support - Early Years (ISEY)
Inclusion Support - Early Years (ISEY) supports children in their early years who have individual or special educational needs (SEN) / disabilities.
The service works in collaboration with other agencies to provide appropriate support packages and early intervention.
The team works with children in their own homes, at the centre and in a range of early years settings, holiday play schemes and out of school clubs.
Transition packages of support tailored to the individual needs of the child provide advice, guidance and training to school settings in preparation for a child entering nursery or reception class.
The service provides advice and guidance to childcare settings so they can offer quality inclusive provision ensuring the needs of children with SEN/disability are being met.
Contact details: 0121 569 2859/2860
The Area SENCO supports of Early Years settings
The area SENCO officers, guidance, and support to out of school club and play schemes providers. The support includes working with play worker's to provide a more inclusive environment for children with the setting. Supporting the setting with inclusive planning, and referring to and working with other relevant Health and Community agencies i.e. Speech and Language Therapists, Local Authority Children and Young Peoples Service which incorporates Education and Social Care to ensure quality, smooth transitions, early identification and implementation of specialist programme.