SEN and Additional Needs

by | Jun 3, 2019

Early identification in special needs and additional needs is vital to ensure the most effective support strategies are in place. Here is some information about how I approach SEN and additional needs here at Tiny Tiggers…

How does my setting identify children with additional needs or SEND?

When you decide to book with me, there is various paperwork which needs filling out. This includes an All About Me form which enables me to get to know your child, their likes, dislikes, strengths and areas where extra support may be required. When your child begins, I complete a baseline assessment which shows me their starting point. From this I can plan for their development in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Usual practice is to monitor and observe all children at all times, making some assessments along the way so I can track all children’s progress. I also carry out a statutory 2 Year Progress Check report which is shared with parents and then with the child’s Health Visitor at their 2 Year Check, with parental consent. If any assessments I carry out show any concerns or delay in development or you think your child is not progressing well then I would first chat with you to discuss this and make a plan of next steps. This could include targeting a specific area of development, building additional activities and opportunities around this so your child can gain more experience in these areas. I would share the targeted plan with you and keep you well informed, as I would if there were no concerns about development at all.

I welcome any information from other professionals who may be involved with a child’s care, learning and well-being such as health visitors, paediatricians, speech therapists etc,. so that I can accurately plan the best support for your child.

If required, I would seek the expertise of my childminding adviser or an Early Years Equality and Inclusion Adviser and make referrals to appropriate professionals with parental consent.


How you will be informed/consulted about the ways in which your child is being supported

I adopt the key person approach which is a vital part of the Early Years Foundation Stage and of my practice.

As the child’s key person I will be very closely involved with your child from the beginning of their journey here so that strong and positive relationships are built with you and your child. There are a wide array of ways in which you can be involved with your child’s support here at Tiny Tiggers:

  • Daily informal contact
  • Opportunities for meetings at your request throughout the year
  • Detailed learning journeys which display photos, videos, observations and assessments of your child’s progress throughout the year which I upload to online system, Tapestry
  • An invitation to a parent meeting when I let you know about your child’s progress, including any additional support that may be required
  • Collaborating with you on any extra planning or targeted plans


How does my setting adapt the EYFS framework for my child’s needs?

The EYFS is the educational framework which allows me to plan for your unique child. I observe, assess and plan for your child in the three prime areas and four specific areas of learning.

Children develop in their own time and in their own ways. I plan activities, opportunities and experiences that follow your child’s likes and interests, building on the skills they already have and helping to develop new ones. Through a learning journal on Tapestry, an online system, I regularly upload written observations, videos, photos and information about your child’s play. This also has assessment information. I then share the next steps I will look to work on with your child, using input from parents to guide these plans. I focus on the three prim areas of learning to begin with (Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development) before moving to the specific areas of learning (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design).

Communication and Language
  • Providing a language rich environment tailored to the needs of current children
  • Using targeted small group activities such as those recommended in the ‘Every Child a Talker’ (ECAT) programme
  • Using a language intervention such as the I CAN Early Talk Boost programme
  • Providing ideas and resources for parents to use at home
  • Working in line with speech and language therapy advice
Physical Development
  • Building links with specialist therapists, like occupational therapists
  • Offering an accessible environment and lay out wherever possible in my home
  • Providing environmental factors that have a sensory impact on children such as noise, colour, lighting where necessary
  • Frequent access to outdoor spaces

  • Providing for a range of dietary requirements

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Linking with local specialist provision, advisers and health and voluntary sector providers for advice and support
  • Attending specialist information sessions in-house or ‘an evening with…’ sessions
  • Targeted small group or individual activities to promote well0being and resilience

What teaching strategies I use for children with additional needs

There is such a huge range of ways that a child with additional needs can be supported that I can’t cover them all. Some examples are:


All of my teaching methods and abilities start in the planning phase and my planning usually begins with the environment. The environment is key as it is what helps a child to listen, attend and give their full interest in learning. I dedicate one room to toys and resources which children can either play in or bring toys from it into the other rooms but these rooms are kept more homely so they are a relaxing, calm home from home.


A wide range of resources is needed to give effective teaching and learning to all children and all developmental levels. If specialist equipment is necessary, this will be considered and funding sought to be able to provide such resources.

Teaching strategies

I am trained in early years practice. I use the Best Practice Guidance document to support my teaching. This document was written by the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service and sets out a range of teaching strategies that can be used to support children e.g. the use of visual resources. The book is divided into universal, targeted and personalised levels to enable me to support children in the four broad areas of need.

Being a childminder puts me in a good position to ensure I can tailor activities to enable a child to get the most learning from planned activities, help with routines in the home and child-led activities

Additional support I provide for children with Additional Needs or SEND

If your child is making insufficient progress through a targeted plan, I will discuss with you the need to refer to other agencies of expertise, such as speech and language or occupational therapists. If your child begins to receive support from outside agencies, the targeted plan will become a personalised plan

Your consent is required in order for a referral to be made to the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service through the Local Inclusion Team Forum meeting which is held six times per year. If the referral is accepted, a specialist teacher would then visit your child to provide additional advice and guidance and may make further referrals to other services, such as health, and would support your child’s transition to school. You would be consulted at all stages of this process.

How I will monitor your child’s progress and involve you, the parent/guardian

As the key person, I am responsible for guiding, monitoring and supporting the physical and emotional development of children in my care and this is especially important when children have special or additional educational needs.

I invite you to see your child’s learning journey and heat about his/her progress and this process provides an opportunity to talk about any concerns. Individual appointments may be made at your request. 

I make an overall assessment of your child’s progress three times per year, at the end of each term. There are two statutory assessments; the Two Year Progress Check and the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. Most children will have started school before the EYFS Profile is required but the Two Year Check is very important. It is completed ahead of the meeting with your health visitor wherever possible. This check gives you the opportunity to discuss your child’s starting points and the progress they have made since starting. If your child has any delays in their learning then this will be discussed with you and you can discuss this with your health visitor as well.

I pride myself on my relationship with parents. I work incredibly closely with them and truly believe it is partnership working at its best. This was picked up in my Ofsted inspection and I was highly praised for my partnership working with the parents of the children in my care. Visit ‘My Setting’ on the main menu bar and select ‘Ofsted’ to read the full report.

Two highlights from the report are in the quotation to the right.

The childminder works tirelessly to enhance all opportunities to involve and include parents in their children’s learning. This helps them to support children’s development at home.

The childminder has highly effective ways to monitor the progress children make across all areas of development. This enables her to identify gaps in children’s learning and act swiftly to close them.

Mary Vandepeer

Ofsted Inspector, Ofsted

How I ensure children with Additional Needs or SEND can be included in the same activities as other children, including trips

A commitment to inclusive practice which enables all children to be included is at the heart of my work.

I regularly embark on outings and I revise my health and safety risk assessment whenever a new child starts at my setting. These assessments take into account any new conditions that may cause a child to be at risk.

Accessibility of my building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users

Sadly, I live in a home which does not have off-street parking and access is required by using four steps, with two more in the home and a tiered garden with steps on each tier. My only toilet is also situated upstairs. Access to the garden requires one or two steps.

Supporting children’s transition to a new setting or school

My Transition Report incorporates information about the characteristics of effective learning, relevant paperwork, the most up-to-date learning journey and any other relevant information.

I have a transition policy, an activity pack and guidance for parents, medium-term planning document which outlines activities I do with the children across all learning areas.

I visit the school or setting and attend planned meetings with the school were necessary

As part of my transition policy we practice getting dressed in uniform, practice the school day, practice the school run in the mornings, look at photo books of the school and online information and much more.

How do I assess the overall effectiveness of my SEN provision and how can parents/carers take part in such evaluation?

  • SENCo forum meetings
  • Evaluation of training and workshop content
  • Meetings with other childminders to compare provision and support one another
  • Regular parent visits
  • Six-monthly questionnaires
  • Review of policies and procedures
  • LIFT meetings

Who to contact if you are considering registering for a place at the setting

Please visit the ‘Contact Us’ page for details of how to contact me.

  • As part of my admission policy, I conduct at least one home visit and will do more if I feel it necessary
  • For children with SEN or additional needs I will offer a longer settling-in period
  • I will being arrangements for assessment for additional funding such as the SEN Inclusion Fund
  • I will apply for funding under the Disability Access Fund (DAF) and how it might be used.

Arrangements I have for feedback from parents/carers, including compliments and complaints

My complaints procedure is shared with all new parents and is sent to all parents as part of the induction process. Copies of all my policies are sent to parents so they have access at all times. I endeavour to make copies available in other languages aside from English.

 I have an open door policy and strongly welcome feedback because I am so committed to provide the very best childcare setting I possibly can. I carry out questionnaires which welcomes constructive feedback and the online system I use offers comment opportunities. One piece of feedback given early on in my career as a childcare provider was to provide more sensory activities for the outside area. I have since created a water wall, two music stations, a large sandpit, a mud pit, a nature area and a water pit which are used almost daily.

Please visit my testimonials page to find out what current and previous parents have to say about my services.