Action early years providers should take to identify and support all children’s individual needs including those with SEN and Disabilities
All children should be provided with an education that enables them to achieve the best educational outcomes. It is important that early years providers have arrangements in place to support all children’s individual needs including those with SEN or disabilities. The manager must embed a clear approach to identifying and supporting children’s needs; this method must be consistent across the early years setting. Early identification is crucial in helping children achieve their outcomes.
Early years providers need to be aware that under the Equality Act 2010, nurseries must not discriminate against, harass or victimise disabled children. Providers must make reasonable adjustments to help support children with SEN and disabilities. Inclusive practice should be demonstrated throughout the setting, allowing all children to access the same learning opportunities as their peers.
It is fundamental that practitioners working with children are fully way of their role in identifying and supporting all children’s individual needs including those with SEN and disabilities. They should be confident in addressing parents and listening to concerns . Working in partnership with parents creates a strong relationship, allowing parents to feel confident in approaching the nursery for advice and support.
Supporting children’s individual needs in the early years provision
According to the EYFS it is early years providers responsibility to ensure children learn and develop well. Early Years Providers must make sure ongoing assessments of children’s progress are in place and that all practitioners are following the settings approach to monitoring the progress of children’s development.
To help monitor children’s progress, it is advised to use the early years outcomes guidance; this tool helps practitioners to look at the expected levels for the children age. The early years outcome guidance cover the seven areas of learning and can be a useful tool when observing children.
It is the key person responsibility to review the children’s progress regularly and share this with the parents. According to the EYFS framework, there are two written assessments that should be completed;
- When the child is aged two – Two-year integrated review ( 2 year progress check)
- End of reception year.
The two-year integrated review is a joint review carried out by a health visitor and a written summary from the child’s key person outlining the child’s progress focusing on communication and language, physical development and Personal, Social and Emotional development. It is the key person’s responsibility to share this progress check with the parent. If areas of concern are highlighted practitioner should first approach parents, then SENCO and together create an individual support plan for the child. A child’s individual support plan should include targets following the SMART approach and be reviewed regarding following the approach Asses, plan do and review. It is advised to categorise the Individual support plan into the following areas of need
• communication and interaction
• cognition and learning
• social, emotional and mental health
• sensory and physical needs
These helps give an overview of the range of needs that providers should plan for, also you may find that children’s needs may cut across others.
Monitoring and identifying children’s individual needs in the early years
All early years providers should monitor and assess children’s individual needs regularly. Not only should practitioners be carrying out formal assessments on children’s development but there should be evidence that children’s learning and development is being monitored and reviewed regularly. Including children’s individual learning within the planning is an ideal way of showing that practitioners have observed children’s learning and are planning for their next steps.
When a practitioner is concerned about a child’s progress, they must collate information such as observations, detailed assessments, and parents views. It is important that all this information is brought together to look at how best to support the child. Early intervention can help children get the right level of support, enabling them to go onto achieving their educational outcomes.
Following the Assess, Plan, do and review approach
It is imperative that as soon as a practitioner identifies a concern they must approach parents to talk about these concerns further. It is important not to frighten parents, it is about explaining that the child may need some further support. It is the settings responsibility to adopt a graduate approach consisting of the following four stages
The key person should work closely wth the settings SENCO and the child’s parent to look at the child’s individual needs. Together an individual Support plan should be created, setting achievable targets. It should be reviewed, and if no improvement in the child’s progress is made then further support from other professional should be sought, this should be done with the parents consent. It is important the settings graduate approach is led and coordinated by the settings SENCO, as it is their duty and responsibility to support individual practitioners and parents in this process.
It is important to ensure all documentation including observations, individual support plans, and reviews are kept in the settings SEN folder. Any additional information sent from other professionals should also be added to this folder.
It is an early years practitioners duty to take action when they have a concern if this is left then the setting is failing both the child and their family.