Guidance on identifying and meeting any additional needs ‘step by step’ with a graduated response.

Here are some of the questions parents will ask.

“I’m really worried and the Nursery is concerned about my child’s progress. What will happen next?”

All children are different. The first thing to do is arrange a meeting with the Early Years setting to discuss concerns and work out the best ways to support your child. The nursery may contact the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) and together you may decide your child needs additional support.

You may also see the following words, these can be used to mean the same as Special Educational Needs

  • Additional Learning Needs
  • Additional Educational Needs
  • Additional Needs
  • Disability

SNAP Cymru: Early Years

Further Information Can be Found in:-

“What is a SENCO?”

The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) offers advice and support to members of staff and parents. The SENCO will gather information in discussion with you and arrange appropriate support for your child if necessary. This is called Early Years Action. This ‘action’ may mean different materials or equipment, small groups, individual support for your child or training for staff.

The action will be recorded in an individual educational plan (IEP). The action will help your child develop and progress to his or her full potential.

“My little boy has to have an individual educational plan. He’s only three, what does this mean?”

If, despite additional support or action, your child is not making the expected progress then the SENCO (with your agreement) will consult other professionals and may involve external support services. These external services could be from health, speech therapy, educational psychology or a specialist teacher. They will help with assessing and meeting your child’s needs by giving specialist advice. This is called Early Years Action Plus.

Statutory Assessment

Usually, the additional action taken is successful. However, a very small number of children with significant difficulties may require their needs to be considered in greater depth. This is completed through a Statutory Assessment » where the Local Authority (LA) gathers detailed information from a range of professionals that may be involved with your child. As a parent you are the prime source of information and the LA will involve you fully as a partner in this process.

If the information collected confirms that your child has significant difficulties, then a Statement » of your child’s Special Educational Needs may be issued. A statement will identify and record all the additional support needed.