We are fully committed to the integration of children with additional needs and we ensure our provision is inclusive to all children, Staff are experienced and trained to manage a wide range of needs including tube feeding, autism, sensory and physical needs. We aim to work in partnership with all of our families and to provide an environment where children can grow, play and learn together, giving all children the opportunity to reach their full potential.
What support will Stepping Stones provide for your child?
We will identify the specific needs of children with additional needs and meet those needs through staff knowledge and expertise and recommendations from outside agencies. We will work with health professionals eg speech therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and the specialist teacher team who are involved with your child. Through a range of SEN strategies e.g. Makaton signing, PECS (picture exchange communication system), Good Beginnings and behaviour management.
We will provide a range of activities to meet all needs within our nursery. We have a range of cause and effect toys, we have targeted activities to encourage communication and to promote social understanding and life skills. We have a soft play and sensory room where children can access a ball pool, a range of soft play and a sensory room with a bubble tube, fibre optics, an infinity tunnel, a light tunnel and a sound reacting light system and a range of light and sound toys which stimulates the senses.
The outside enclosed area has equipment fully adapted to meet the physical and neurological needs of our children. We have slopes instead of steps, a wheelchair round-a-bout, various swing seats/boat/hammock, a trampoline with safety nets. Equipment and activities to stimulate imagination, communication and social/life skills. We have a sensory garden for children to enjoy and opportunities to experience both sand and water.
All members of staff are SENCO’s (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) and the nursery manager attends local cluster meetings and update meetings to ensure the nursery is kept up to date with current legislation and guidance.
What expertise do we have in the nursery?
We will ensure that the provision for children with additional needs is the responsibility of all members of staff.
All staff have paediatric first aid training, Staff have attended training in Paediatric Gastrostomy awareness, Paediatric Epilepsy awareness and administration of rectal diazepam/Buccal Midazolam, Makaton, PECS (picture exchange communication system) and Autism and how to use an adrenalin auto injector. Staff work with therapists to deliver physio programmes and engage regularly with Occupational therapists to ensure the children have their correct seating/equipment. Training is given and staff signed off by a health professional.
Staff are either NNEB trained, level 4 advanced diploma in child care and education or have an NVQ level 3 in child care.
How will we monitor your child?
We will use the graduated approach for identifying, assessing and responding to children’s individual needs. Your child will have two named key workers to ensure a shared knowledge in case of illness to ensure your child’s individual needs are met and a continuity of care is given. Your child’s key worker will observe and devise with you an educational plan to meet their individual needs You will have access to your child's individual online Tapestry account which is a learning journey which will record through photo’s and text your child’s day and details of their next steps. You will be invited to termly reviews and you will have an opportunity to talk with your child’s key worker on a daily basis.
Your child’s support plan will identify the outcomes, how we are going to help them achieve and what resources we will need.
We will attend all professionals meetings e.g. Team Around the Child (TAC) and Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) meetings. We will attend any meetings/hospital appointments you would like support with.
Who is responsible for SEN provision within the nursery?
Group Coordinator: Supports parents, ensures all outside agency support is in place. Advises on what financial support is available to parents and helps with form filling. If needed will attend meetings with parents, supporting them in their requests to meet their child’s needs. Overseeing all Support Plans and training, advising staff when necessary.
Deputy coordinator: Supports staff with their key children’s Learning Journeys, offering advice and guidance. Responsible for staff supervisions.
Nursery Manager: Responsible for delivering the Foundation stage, differentiating for children with additional needs e.g. Makaton symbols labelling, access, equipment, Advising staff and staff supervisions.
How do we ensure the nursery is fully accessible to your child?
We liaise with the physiotherapists and occupational therapists involved with your child, assessment takes place within the nursery to ensure all correct equipment e.g. chair, standing frame etc. are ordered through education to enable your child to full access all activities. Tables can be raised or lowered so your child’s chair can fit enabling your child to access activities with their peers. Quiet area’s with little distraction for opportunities of one to one work. The nursery has a mobile hoist and staff are trained to use it. The nursery has toilets, a commode and potties and a hydrolic changing bench.
Outside we have slopes instead of steps. All equipment is accessible to all needs. Wheelchair round-a-bout, various swings, harnesses for safety, trampoline with safety nets, raised garden areas. Ramps into play houses, wide door openings.
How does the nursery prepare your child for transition to either mainstream or special school?
The coordinator will liaise with education to support your child to your chosen school, a plan will be put in place whereby arrangements will be made for your child’s key worker to take your child on visits to the school to pass on all necessary information and for your child to become familiar with their new surroundings and people. Photos will be taken of the new school and teachers etc to make a transition book. If required, support will be given to ensure taxi provision to transport your child is put in place.
How do we ensure your child’s voice is heard?
Through a range of learning aids to help them indicate a choice, through observation
on what your child likes or dislikes and to monitor reactions within their environment. To listen and observe.
How will we support parents?
Before your child reaches the age of two we will invite you to our tot’s group to meet other parents who also have children with additional needs. We can visit you at home to listen and share information with you. We can signpost, help with form filling and if your child requires it, with an Education/Health/Care plan, we can also offer advice on everyday issues. We will ensure you are kept up to date with any changes within the system. We will work in partnership with you, if you require we will attend statutory meetings with you. We will attend hospital appointments as an extra pair of hands or ears. We will invite you to our support groups and family drop in. You are also invited to come to our AGM and if you wish, to be a member of our committee. You will receive a termly newsletter with an update of the group’s events and news. We will always be there to listen.
Our Tots group is just for up to two year olds with additional needs. Nursery for two to five year olds.
How the service is accessed ?
Phone for an appointment to visit
Where service is based?
The Wilson Marriage Centre Barrack Street, Colchester CO1 2LR
Operational locations (either list towns within Essex, or if the service covers the whole county ‘Essex’)
Colchester, Tendring area, Halstead, Braintree
Hours of operation
Nursery 9.30am to 2.45pm
Monday to Friday term time only
Tots group Wednesday mornings 10am – 12 noon
After School Clubs Monday - Thursday 3.20 - 5.50pm
How to refer into the into the service & who can refer
Self referral and referral from Statutory agencies
All children welcome
Exclusions from service
Links to Similar Services