Child Care Okehampton

Inclusion Policy

Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2015 in Our Policies


Inclusion Policy

‘The aims of our day nursery are to provide a happy, caring and safe environment which will enable the children in our care to thrive and be stimulated through their surroundings, activities and equipment.  With our warm and positive atmosphere, your child will be encouraged to learn through play.  The nursery curriculum takes into account the children’s abilities, interests and weakness.  Children are individuals, each possess his or her own particular route to learning.  It is up to us to identify that route and work out how we can help that child to be motivated to learn.  We should be aware of the child’s personal, social and emotional requirements and we must not lose sight either, of the fact that the child’s learning has already started in their own home and will continue after nursery hours.  Therefore to be completely successful we need to have a partnership with parents, sharing information and ideas.’

(Acton C. (1997)

Admission Statement 

Stepping Stones includes and welcomes everyone.  We incorporate children as well as the right of the parents / carers, students and staff.  We invite and welcome;

  • Children who are disabled and those with special educational needs
  • Those from socially excluded families, such as the homeless or those who live with a parent who is disabled or has a mental illness.
  • Children from traveller communities, refugees or asylum seekers and those from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

We believe that all children are entitled to enjoy a full life in conditions which will help them take part in society and develop as an individual, with their own cultural and spiritual beliefs.

Aims and Purpose

  • All babies and children have a right of full access to early year’s education through the Early Years Foundation Stage (2012).  Through careful observation, assessment and planning we aim to meet the individual needs of all babies and children within our setting.
  • All children have the right to expect to learn in a caring and considerate environment where the staff and children are all valued for their contribution to nursery life, ensuring that inclusion and equal opportunities are put into practice.
  • The setting is committed to the early identification of children with special educational needs and to adopting clear and open procedures which are outlined in this policy.  This will raise our quality and standards of the overall setting.
  • The setting is committed to working with parents who are fully involved in all decisions that affect their children’s education.
  • The setting will provide, within available resources, the highest possible quality support and inclusive education for children with special educational needs.

The role of our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator

Our named S.E.N.C.O. at Stepping Stones Day Nursery is Jodie Dunn

Our Setting based S.E.N.C.O.;

  • Works with staff to agree and implement the Inclusion Policy
  • Co-ordinates the Special Educational Needs provision within our setting in accordance with the SEND Code of Practice (2014)
  • Offers support for parents
  • Liaises with other agencies
  • Keeps appropriate records
  • Assist staff in making observations and assessments
  • Assist staff in planning for children with Special Educational Needs
  • Contacts Pre School coordinator (Louise Carter) at an early stage for informal advice and support.

Admission Arrangements

All Parents that wish to book their child into our setting will receive a booking form that states when a place will become available.  If this date is acceptable the parent will return the consent form with a deposit (non refundable).  The booking is then placed onto the computer and will not be sold again. This system means that all families are treated fairly on a first come first serve basis with no waiting lists.

The Setting insists that children can not be term time only until the term after they are eligible for funding and also that the children must have a minimum of two sessions per week to ensure consistency in the child’s life.

When a child starts

When a child starts at Stepping Stones, we ask parents to arrange ‘settling in’ sessions at least one month before they need to leave their child.  This allows time to ensure that the parent and child are completely happy with the setting.  On the first visit the parent will stay and play and also have the opportunity to complete all the relevant forms.  On the second visit the parent may leave for a short period, at all times the child’s happiness is paramount.  If during settling a child is distressed the parent will be called. We like to

ensure that the child always leaves happy and will look forward to the next visit.  Settling in sessions are completely free and we do not start charging until the child is completely happy to be left for their whole session.

When joining the nursery the family will be give a key worker who will be responsible for settling the child and building a safe and secure relationship.

Partnership with Parents

We encourage parents into the setting at any time and we will always make time to speak to parents on any concerns they may have.  Regular newsletters are sent home discussing any events or changes that may be occurring within the setting.  Topic sheets are sent home with the Butterfly group, telling parents what areas of learning their child will be covering and giving them additional ideas to do at home.  In the foyer there is a screen depicting photographs of last weeks activities and wrote on the notice board is the daily nursery activities. There is a parents notice board that parent can use for their own purposes as well as a comments book, to help improve the nursery.

Parents are welcome to look at and discuss their child’s development records at any time and we also offer appointments for further opportunities.

Meetings for parents with Special Educational Needs will be organised termly to review and write Individual Education Plans.

Identification and Assessment of Special Educational needs

A child has SEN if he or she has a learning difficulty that calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.

A child has a learning difficulty if he or she:

  • Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age.
  • Has a disability that either prevents or hinders a child from making use of the facilities of a kind provided for children of the same age in the nursery. SEN Code of Practice (2001) 3.1

A child must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of the home is different from the language in which he or she will be taught.

Identification, assessment and provision

The need for early identification is paramount.  It is made either by the staff or from previous pre-schools, nursery provision or from other external sources.  Parental concern is also taken in to consideration.  The nursery follows the stages set out in the revised code of practice.  This identifies the stage the child is at and clarifies who is responsible for the additional provision that is needed to support the child’s progress.

  • Our system of observation and record keeping, which operates in conjunction with parents, enables us to monitor children’s needs and progress on an individual basis.
  • Children with other needs are provided for through individual education plans.  There is a high level of adults to children enabling us to provide all children with adult time and attention
  • If it is felt that a child’s needs cannot be met through the nursery without additional support then advice will be sought from either the Pre school Co-ordinator or Nursery Plus.

The Graduated Response

The graduated approach will be led and co-ordinated by the setting SENCO working with and supporting individual practitioners in the setting and informed by the EYFS, the Early Years Outcomes Guidance and Early Support resources.


In identifying a child as needing SEN support, the setting will work with its own SENCO and the child’s parents to carry out an analysis of the child’s needs.  The initial assessment will be reviewed regularly to ensure that the support is matched to the child’s need.  Where there is little improvement in the child’s progress, more specialist assessment will be sought through other agencies beyond the setting.  Where professionals are not already working with the setting, the SENCO should contact them with the parent’s agreement.


Where it is decided to provided SEN support, the practitioner, the SENCO and the parents should agree the outcomes they are seeking, the interventions and support to be put into place, the expected impact on progress, development of behaviour, and a clear date for review.  Plans should take into account the views of the child.

The support and intervention provided will be selected to meet the outcomes identified for the child, using reliable evidence of effectiveness and provided by practitioners that have the relevant skills and knowledge.  Any related staff development needs will be identified and addressed as our staff employment and training policy suggests.  Parents will always be involved in planning support and where appropriate contributing to progress at home.


The child’s Key Worker will remain responsible for working with the child on a daily basis.  With support from the setting’s SENCO, they will oversee the implementations of the interventions or programmes agreed as part of SEN support.  The SENCO will continue to support the practitioner in assessing the child’s response to the actions taken, in problem solving and advising on the effectiveness of support.


The effectiveness of the support and its impact on the child’s progress will be reviewed in line with an agreed date.  The impact and quality of the support will be evaluated by the practitioner; the SENCO, the parents and take into account the child’s view.  Any changes to the outcomes and support for the child in light of the child’s progress and development must be agreed by all.  To make this decision Parents should have clear information about the impact of the support provided and be involved in planning the next steps.

This cycle of action will be revisited in increasing detail and with increasing frequency, to identify the best way of securing good progress.

Links with Support Services

Where a child continues to make less than expected progress, despite evidence based support and interventions that are matched to the child’s area of need, the setting will involve appropriate specialists, who may be able to identify effective strategies, equipment, programmes or other interventions to enable the child to make progress towards the desired learning and development outcomes.  In addition to this where a child attends another setting, Stepping Stones will endeavour to work in partnership to explore how different types of need can be met most effectively.

The records for any child with special educational needs within the setting will be passed, with parental consent, to their primary school.  Additionally, there are regular liaison meetings between the special needs coordinator and the SENCO’s at the primary school to which children move on.

The decision to involve other settings, schools and agencies will always be taken with the child’s parents.

Where, despite the setting having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child, the child has not made expected progress, the setting will consider requesting an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment.


  Facilities, Staffing and Training


Stepping Stones Day Nursery is conveniently situated between Okehampton Town Centre and the Industrial Units with easy access for both pedestrians and car users, with private car parking facilities for easy drop offs.  The nursery accommodation has been carefully planned, using cheerful colours and simple layouts.  It is a self contained with its own entrance and door bell.  It is built with good disabled access and a ramp leading into the building.  There is a welcoming lobby with a notice board for parent information.  There are toilets and changing facilities including a disable toilet.

The baby Unit is self contained with its own milk kitchen, sleep rooms and toilets.  There are four more playrooms which are then used by the two to four year olds, as well as two outside areas; used by all.  The nature of the activities in these rooms will change in accordance with the daily planning.  There is also a kitchen which provides cooked lunches for the children, prepared on the premises.


The nursery fully complies with Ofsted requirements in terms of staffing and generally having a greater ratio of qualified staff to children than the minimum requirement.


The S.E.N.C.O. will participate in the training on inclusion provided by the Devon Early Years Partnership as well as other training needed to provide a high quality of provision for the setting.  The S.E.N.C.O. will attend the training to keep up to date with the current legislation.  All staff will attend training throughout the year and the S.E.N.C.O. will attend at least two days area SENCO training.


The settings work with children and families will sometimes bring us into contact with confidential information.  To ensure that all those using and working in the nursery can do so with confidence, we respect confidentiality in the following ways.

Information is shared with people on a who needs to know basis.

Parents will only have access or given information about their own child.

Practitioners are not to discuss children out of the setting or out of working hours.

Safeguarding concerns will be kept in a confidential file and accessible only by the designated safeguarding officers.

All information is held securely.

Information given by parents will not be passed onto other adults without parental permission.  Unless it is felt that the child is at risk.  See Safeguarding Policy.

Curriculum, Resources and the Learning Environment


We aim to;

  • Ensure total coverage of the Early Years Foundation Stage (2012)
  • Ensure that the activities provide many opportunities for play and for children to learn through play.
  • Build on knowledge and skills already acquired and making sure that each child is being stretched and able to reach their full potential.
  • Produce plans through observation and assessment so that children can develop at their own level and pace through a range of activities that follows their interests.

The setting aims to provide a differentiated curriculum, relating learning targets, tasks, resources and learning support to individual children’s needs in order to maximise their achievement and progress.  The nursery plans using the Early Years Foundation Stage (2012).

As well as a differentiated curriculum, children with Specific Needs at Early Years Action and above will have an Individual Education Plan drawn up.

At Early Years Action Plus, support will be provided from the outside agencies involved in writing Individual Education Plans.

In our setting we believe it is essential that the children with Specific Needs are taught in a fully inclusive classroom and that their needs are met within the curriculum being planned.  As far as possible the Individual Education Plan will help the child to be included into the planned curriculum within the session.


There are a wide range of high quality resources that reflect not only the immediate community but also gives opportunities for the children to explore the wider world around them.

The learning environment is divided into three main areas which enables children to follow all six areas of learning and development with in the Early Years Foundation Stage. The Bumblebee and Caterpillar unit realises that the three prime areas are paramount and therefore works to support and build strong foundations, before moving into the other areas.

It prides itself on a self-contained baby unit including its own milk kitchen and sleep room.   This enables strong relationships to be formed encouraging secure attachments in a safe and secure environment that promotes autonomy through the babies needs and interests.

Once the children reach the age of two, they join the Caterpillar group which is situated on the upper floor of the nursery.  This consists of two rooms that take into account all areas of learning, providing age appropriate resources and equipment and also offers free flow play to the outside. They are supported by seven practitioners, which actively encourage them to learn and extend through play via observations, assessment and daily planning.

The next stage of our transition is the Butterfly room which is an open planned room with access to a mezzanine which allows space for quiet times such as computer work, story times and small group activities, a role play and small world area, art and craft area, a construction area as well as taking into consideration mathematics, science and literacy.  These areas are carefully planned through linking the continuous planning into children’s extensions and interests.  The children have unlimited access to an outside area, with additional opportunities to encourage understanding of the world through the exploration of growth and decay, taking care of living things and changes within the natural environment, as well as sharing experiences through their senses. Children are encouraged to become independent in their choices but are supported by six members of staff who again recognise and have a good knowledge of their key children’s development and extend their learning through following the children’s interests and needs.  In addition to this topics are also followed to enable further interests to be discovered and followed on.

The enabling environments takes into account not only the age appropriateness of resources and equipment but also the abilities of the children recognising when we need to offer extra support or when to extend activities for the gifted and talented.

The Outside Areas

Include a large grassed area which contains our vegetable plot and a stage for children to dress up and perform to an audience plus a large paved area that has been colourfully designed to encourage physical play.  The outside area is incorporated into the planning with a vast range of resources and is therefore considered as another classroom.  Children are encouraged to be outside all year, whatever the weather with the provision of suitable clothing.

Transition into School

The setting has a close working relationship with the local Primary school.  Meetings are arranged during the term, prior to the children going to school.  The team leader of the Butterfly group liaises with the head of the Foundation Team, passing on useful information via the transition records with the consent of the parents.  A visit is organised prior to transfer to school.  Additional visits via workshops are arranged in consultation with the parents and the primary school.

Arrangements for Complaints

These are defined in the settings complaints policy that is available for all parents and other interested persons to read.  All complaints will be treated seriously and will be investigated, where necessary action plans will be put into place to overcome the cause of the event re-occurring.

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