Guidance EARLY EDUCATION. Supporting children aged 0-5 with SEND to access their childcare

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1 This guidance has been reviewed following the publication of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years published by the Department for Education and Department of Health in July 2014 and effective from September 2014 and its most recent update which became effective from January The Code of Practice (CoP) is statutory guidance which along with other organisations, the Local Authority (LA) and early years settings in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sector that are funded by the LA must have regard for. Other statutory guidance and regulations which may be helpful: Children and Families Act 2014 Working Together to Safeguard Children (2013) The Children Act (1989) Equality Act (2010) Reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils (2012) Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (2014) The Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice: Protecting the vulnerable (2005) The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 Content The Universal Offer Special Educational Needs (as outlined in the CoP) Disabled children and young people (as outlined in the CoP) Working in partnership with parent/carers Identifying need SEN support in the early years The role of the SENCO (as outlined in the CoP) Involving external specialists Requesting an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan Discretionary Funding Page 1 of 15

2 The Universal Offer In Norfolk, we expect all children aged 0-5 to be provided with a standard Universal Offer when accessing childcare from providers offering early years provision. All children including those with SEND should have access to a broad based EYFS curriculum that meets the individual needs of children to ensure they learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe as part of the EYFS statutory requirements will have an identified key person who is the first point of contact and has responsibility for working with the child on a daily basis with support from the SENCO should be offered different opportunities or alternative approaches to learning to meet a range of learning needs will be offered an individualised approach to learning by practitioners identifying and meeting individual needs will have resources available to meet the ages and stages of their individual development will have intervention plans as part of any identified SEN support, which their key person will oversee in its implementation with support from the SENCO will be monitored to regularly review the effectiveness of the support and the monitoring of the child s progress All early years providers will have a comprehensive SEN policy which is acknowledged and adhered to by all staff have clear arrangements in place to support children with SEN and disability offer a graduated approach in accordance with the SEND code of practice 0-25 (April 2015) - assess, plan, do & review have a named setting SENCO in line with the SEND code of practice 0-25 (April 2015) ensure all staff have access to training which will up skill practitioners to be confident in managing a range of learning needs to include all children in early years settings be aware of the Equalities Act 2010 and make reasonable adjustments for children covered under the protected characteristics have a clear policy to enhance positive behaviour within the setting and ensure that it is applied consistently across the setting by all practitioners have support plans in place for those children identified with SEND, which are monitored and evaluated regularly have and maintain a culture of high expectations for all children amongst practitioners have good and effective working partnerships with parents, offering clear and transparent information have arrangements in place to work collaboratively with other professionals i.e. health, social care, schools etc., to ensure children benefit from an integrated approach This offer will be a standard inclusive practice where providers will optimise their existing resources and receive assistance from other external sources and specialists to support the following principles the participation of parent/carers in decision making the early identification of need and intervention to support collaboration between organisations high quality provision to meet the needs of children with SEN a focus on inclusive practice and removing of barriers to learn Page 2 of 15

3 Special Educational Need (as outlined in the CoP) A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her * A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she: o has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or o has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions For children aged two or more, special educational provision is educational or training provision that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age by mainstream schools, maintained nursery schools, mainstream post-16 institutions or by relevant early years providers. For a child under two years of age, special educational provision means educational provision of any kind A child under compulsory school age has special educational needs if he or she is likely to fall within the definition in paragraph above* when they reach compulsory school age or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them (Section 20 Children and Families Act 2014) Post-16 institutions often use the term learning difficulties and disabilities (LDD). The term SEN is used in this Code across the 0-25 age range but includes LDD Page 3 of 15

4 Disabled children and young people (as outlined in the CoP) Many children and young people who have SEN may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 that is a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This definition provides a relatively low threshold and includes more children than many realise: long-term is defined as a year or more and substantial is defined as more than minor or trivial. This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and longterm health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer. Children and young people with such conditions do not necessarily have SEN, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEN. Where a disabled child or young person requires special educational provision they will also be covered by the SEN definition. As Early Years providers you have responsibility for Working in partnership with parent/carers Where a provider identifies a child as having SEN they must work in partnership with parent/carers. Parent/carers must be involved in discussions and decisions concerning their child s individual needs and the strategies and/or interventions that will be used. They should also be actively supported in contributing to intervention plans, assessments and if applicable an (EHC) plan. They should also be given information and guidance to participate in any such discussions, and receive progression summaries as set out in the EYFS framework. Children also have a right to participate in any decision making process, however their views should be given due weight according to their age, maturity and capability. It is important that providers seek the consent of parent/carers before introducing strategies to support the development of an individual child, and listen when parent/carers express concerns about their child s development. Identifying need All early years providers are required to have arrangements in place to identify and support children with SEN or disabilities and to promote equality of opportunity for children in their care. These requirements are set out in the EYFS framework. In addition to formal checks, practitioners should use their own observations, specialist advice and any other assessments available (including those written externally to the setting) to determine progress and individual development. Page 4 of 15

5 Early years providers should regularly review and evaluate the quality and breadth of the support they offer or can access for children with SEN or disabilities, as it is important that there is no delay in making provision for a child s special educational need. When a child appears not to be making progress either generally or in a specific aspect of learning, then it may be necessary to present him or her with different opportunities or use alternative approaches to learning. As defined in the CoP, the following may or may not indicate that a child has SEN and that care should be taken when considering if special educational provision is required. A delay in learning and development Difficult or withdrawn behavior Speech and language Difficulties related to learning English as an additional language are not SEN When identifying need, the special educational provision should be matched to the child s identified SEN. These areas of need and support are Communication and interaction Cognition and learning Social, emotional and mental health Sensory and/or physical needs SEN support in the early years: As described in the CoP [Sections 5.39 to 5.46], all settings should adopt a graduated approach with four stages of action Assess analysis of child s need and regularly reviewed Plan outcomes, interventions, staff training and parental contribution at home Do key worker role and implementation Review impact, evaluation and planning next steps The graduated approach should be led and coordinated by the setting SENCO working with and supporting individual practitioners in the setting and informed by EYFS materials, the Early Years Outcomes guidance and Early Support resources. Page 5 of 15

6 The role of the SENCO (as outlined in the CoP) Ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting s approach to identifying and meeting SEN Advising and supporting colleagues Ensuring parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting Liaising with professionals or agencies beyond the setting Contract of Care The provision of childcare is an agreement between the childcare provider and parent/carer. Involving external specialists The decision to involve specialists should be agreed with the parents/carers of the child, as part of the partnership working arrangement. Specialists could include Early Years Advisers, health visitors, speech and language therapists, portage workers or educational psychologists, who may be able to identify effective strategies, equipment, programmes and other interventions to support the child. Requesting an EHC Plan When a child has not made the expected progress having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational need, an EHC Plan could be requested. Please refer to our NCC website for further guidance and support. Page 6 of 15

7 Funding available to Providers Providers must use their full spectrum of existing financial resources when determining the support to meet the needs of all children including those with SEND. These resources will include - Fee Income Early Education Funding (This includes a deprivation supplement for children living in an area defined as most deprived) Early Years Pupil Premium Discretionary Funding Most children will be able to access and participate in a mainstream setting and make progress through Development Matters statements and the early learning goals through high quality provision which includes effective differentiation of activities. This means appropriately planned, quality experiences and provision, built on observations of children s starting points and interests in order to develop their learning. Understanding and quality interactions are essential to support any progress. A very small number of children with high level needs may not make reasonable progress despite the relevant support arrangements being in place. In this case an application from an early year s provider can be made for additional discretionary funding for consideration by the Early Years SEND funding panel. Small number of children with a high level needs 0-5 aged children accessing childcare in Norfolk Page 7 of 15

8 Any application for discretionary funding will need to demonstrate that existing provision /resources have been optimised and other non-financial support including specialist advice has been sought. Despite taking relevant and purposeful action to identify, access and meet need the expected progress has not been made. Examples of other support available (this list is not exhaustive) Individual support plan which clearly identifies need and monitors progress Considered opportunity, differentiated resources within setting (eg. toy and book libraries, children centres, sensory rooms, access through technology) Resources (available for loan) eg. Play At IT equipment, sensory suitcases, early years reference library More opportunities to engage in focused activities FSP consider early years Advice from Early Years Adviser Advice and guidance from external specialists which may include health colleagues, Portage, SALT, ASD specialists Training opportunities to enhance practitioners skills and knowledge which should then be embedded in day to day practice Networks will ensure practitioners have opportunities to engage with other early years professionals offering peer to peer support (for example SENCO and Behaviour) Who can apply for this funding? Any provider who has signed the Norfolk Local Agreement and the Authority has agreed that Early Education funding can be offered to families. Purpose of discretionary funding All children develop and learn in different ways and at varying rates; however they will all have areas of strengths and special interests along with areas of weakness. A child may have a special educational need if despite appropriate activities and an individualised support plan, they continue to experience greater difficulty in learning than their peers. Therefore this funding if awarded by panel will provide financial support to initiate and deliver the special educational provision that is additional to and different from that made generally available to other children of the same age. It should enhance staff ratios within the environment in order to increase the capacity of the children s key person to offer intervention. Page 8 of 15

9 The Application The panel will prioritise those applications to support children with the most complex need, ensuring they have access to their entitlement to Early Education Funding will be awarded on a termly basis only as the application will be needs led. The setting will need to re-apply for subsequent funding based on their reviewed resources and cohort of children with support plans Each child listed must be banded in accordance with need There is no guarantee that every request for funding will be met Retrospective funding for a prior claim period will not be considered unless there is an exceptional circumstance Funding awards are not transferrable to other settings Settings must exhaust all external resource options before applying for funding Funding will not support The delivery of the Universal Offer (standard inclusive practice) offered to all children Resources available through the Local Offer One to One support (unless specified on an EHC Plan) Applications must be submitted via to by the deadline stated on the form - EYSEND. To ensure fairness and transparency applications will be anonymized prior to panel. Page 9 of 15

10 The Banding It will be necessary to band each identified need for the application and the minutes/hours required. When identifying the need, settings should not include the following as part of their calculation to determine hours per week required to support children with the most complex need in their care. To keep records up to date Transitions to school Settling in periods Toileting (unless this is related to the child s SEND) Attending meetings and training Resources No Band Universal Offer available to all children Band 1 Band 2 Band 3 Band 4 Band 5 Universal Offer WITH Support Plan Universal Offer WITH Support Plan AND involvement from external resources Children with special educational needs should be offered different opportunities and require alternative approaches to learn and should have a support plan in place to monitor progress which is evaluated and reviewed regularly. Children have special educational needs and are offered an individualised approach to learning which requires adult support to implement specific support strategies. Advice, guidance or resources will have been sought from external agencies to support strategies so the child can make expected progress. Children with special educational needs who without adult support are unable to actively engage in activities for 50% of the session. They will have an individual support plan which requires frequent specific interventions on a daily basis from an additional adult in order to make expected progress. Children with special educational need which without adult support has an effect on their ability to actively engage in nursery activities for 75% of the time. They require an individual support plan with specific interventions in place and additional support from experienced practitioners for the majority of the session to make expected progress. Children with complex special educational needs or medical needs which affects their ability to actively engage in nursery activity for 100% of the time without adult support. They should have an individualised programme of activities to make expected progress and will have an ongoing multi professional team to support and offer advice for planning. Information required for an application Setting details Setting context and need for funding Detailed evidence of external resources sought and current practice Detailed evidence of how strategies or intervention will be used to support progress List of children with support plans and their identified need Agreement to adhere to funding conditions Page 10 of 15

11 The Early Years SEND Panel The panel will comprise of representation from the following Education Inclusion Service Education Achievement Service Early Years Finance It will take place termly and award funding for the specific claim period. Unless otherwise stated on the application form, funding will be awarded from the first day of opening for that claim period. Claim Period (term) Summer 2016 Autumn 2016 Spring 2017 Application Deadline NOON 5 th May 2016 NOON 29 th Sept 2016 NOON 9 th Feb 2017 Panel Date Claim Period Payment 18 th May th Oct nd Feb st Apr 31 st Aug st Sept 31 st Dec st Jan 31 st March 2017 w/c 30 th May 2016 w/c 24 th Oct 2016 w/c 6 th March 2017 The panel will assess applications on the basis of Number of applications received within submission deadline Budget available for claim period Setting engagement with Local Authority Completion of application form If funding is awarded, a setting must agree to the following conditions Monitoring visits from relevant early years professionals to ensure funding has been used as detailed in the application and the desired outcomes will be achieved Carry out agreed actions as detailed by relevant early years professionals to achieve desired outcomes Accept that the funding panel decision is final and that there is no process for appeal Advise the LA when a child included on the application cohort leaves, so that funding can be adjusted if applicable Agree to one application per claim period Confirm all non-financial support has been explored and put into practice where possible Confirm the setting is not in a position to fund the additional support requested This award is subject to an Audit if the setting is selected Page 11 of 15

12 A further panel will take place at the end of each claim period if required to consider applications where the initial decision was deferred or there is an exceptional circumstance. For all exceptional circumstance applications that are reviewed at this second panel for a claim period yet to commence, if funding is awarded, the maximum number of weeks funding will be paid is Summer 2016 Autumn 2016 Spring weeks 6 weeks 6 weeks The application will then be re-considered at the main panel alongside all other applications. This will enable the setting to revise the application as further reviews and monitoring of the children included on the exceptional circumstance application will have taken place, which may mean the banding needs to be adjusted, and also enable the insertion of any additional children. Children with an EHC Plan Children issued with a plan will automatically attract an advance payment of discretionary funding each claim period as follows Summer 2016 Autumn 2016 Spring weeks 6 weeks 6 weeks The aim of this advance is to ensure there is continuity of support for those most in need whilst providers are completing the application process for the new claim period. An application for funding must include children that have attracted an advance payment, so that panel can review the support and cohort of children with a support plan. The Outcome Panel will award funding based on the information supplied on the application ONLY. Prior funding awards will not influence new applications. To maximise a funding award, it is important that applicants clearly explain setting context define need that is additional to and different demonstrate that all sources of support have been sought and implemented determine how the funding will be used to support progress Page 12 of 15

13 Funding will not be awarded by stating a child s diagnosis alone. Each child s need, strategies and interventions currently in use must be concisely described, together with comprehensive detail on what the funding will be used for. The decision of panel will be one of the following outcomes Agreed This award indicates that the amount of funding requested has been awarded in full Alternative This award indicates that only a proportion of the funding requested has been awarded It means that panel members felt that o The remaining hours should be met through a standard inclusive practice and the Local Offer as appropriate o There was insufficient evidence for panel to award the requested funding in full Deferred This award indicates that a decision could not be reached at panel It means that panel members felt that o There was insufficient information to describe strategies and/or interventions used to date to support the cohort of children but need is evident o The use of a funding award is not clear All applicants will be given the opportunity to re-submit their application with further information. This opportunity will be time limited to ensure a decision can be agreed as soon as possible. Declined This award indicates that funding has not been agreed It means that panel members felt that o The hours should be met through a standard inclusive practice and the Local Offer as appropriate o There was insufficient information to describe strategies and/or interventions used to date to support the cohort of children and need that is additional to and different from is not evident o The use of funding could not be determined Page 13 of 15

14 o Funding has already been awarded for the period o Retrospective funding is not agreed All applicants will be given the opportunity to attend a SEND surgery. The aim of the surgery will be to review the application and offer advice to improve future content. To ensure fairness and transparency applicants will not be given the opportunity to resubmit their application. Applications received after the deadline date will also be Declined. The Award A setting will be informed via within 10 workings days of the panel decision. So that there is no further delay in implementing the special educational provision, the funding will be paid directly to the setting on the next published batch run. There is an expectation that the receipt of discretionary funding will have a positive impact on the child s needs and in most cases progress will be made. Also, changes to your cohort of children will have a bearing on future need The Hourly Rate 7.50 per hour The Budget Context for 2016/17 The budget available for Discretionary Funding to support children in Early Years across Norfolk with high level complex needs has been set at 500,000 which equates to 66,666 hours. Further advice Should you have any SEND queries, please contact your Early Years Adviser, or for funding queries or Page 14 of 15

15 Process BEFORE an application for Discretionary Funding is considered Page 15 of 15

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