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SEND Information

How does the pre-school/ nursery know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child has special educational needs?


At Tom Thumb Nursery we operate a key person system. When your child starts with us, they will be allocated a member of staff who will work closely with your child observing, assessing, and planning for your child’s interest and needs. On Tapestry (our online learning journey) you will be able to see regular updates on the activities your child is doing as well as ideas on how to support your child at home. If we have any concerns regarding your child, we will first come to you as the parent to discuss these concerns and together we will plan and discuss how we will support you and your child within our setting.  If you have any concerns regarding your child, please speak to your child’s keyperson. If your child needs any extra support in any area your keyperson will work with you and the SENCO to plan how your child will be supported and discuss what implementations, we will put in place. It may be suggested referrals to specialist such as speech and language or SEND Early Year Service would be beneficially, but we would only make referrals with parental consent.


How will the pre-school/ nursery support my child with special educational needs?  


At Tom Thumb Nursery we are dedicated to be an inclusive nursery where all children have an equal right to access education. We work with children, parents, outside agencies and specialists to make sure your child receives the support needed to thrive in our nursery setting. Each child is seen as an individual, with their needs assessed on a case-by-case basis. The SENCO will work with the keyperson, parent, and any outside agencies to set targets and plan resources/ activities to help support your child within the setting and at home. The SENCO can also make referrals to outside agencies such as SEND Earl Years Service, Speech and language etc. (only with parental consent) if needed and work with them with regular visits. If you would like more information about what is available in the local area please visit-



How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?


The amount of support your child will receive will depend on their need. The support given maybe in the form of focused group sessions, 1:1 time focussing on targets, extra resources, or equipment. If extra support is needed a referral to the SEND Early Years Service can be made. If your child is accepted onto their caseload after an assessment your child will be given an advisor/ practitioner that will work with the SENCO to supply support within the nursery and co-ordinate between different agencies as well as providing support and advice for you at home. Additional funding may be available from East Sussex in some cases but will have to be applied for each term. The level of funding available will depend on your child’s need and will be decided by the local authority.  

How will the pre-school/ nursery review my child’s progress and how shall they share it with me?


Your child will have an online learning journey which is used to share with you daily activities your child is accessing and share ideas on how to support your child at home. Additionally, we hold three events a year (at the end of Christmas, Easter and Summer term) where parents and their child’s keyperson have the opportunity to discuss the child’s progress and answer any questions and address any concerns. We also complete written reports at 27 months, their transition to the pre-school floor and on their transition to school. Your child’s keyperson is always available to book an appointment for a meeting to discuss any issues that may arise. In some cases where outside agencies such as SEND Early Years Service are involved there will be opportunities for parents to meet with supporting agencies and the SENCO/keyperson to discuss progress and/or transition to school. Children with Sen will have in place a Setting Based Support plan with targets set and review every term (around 6 weeks). This will be shared with parents and targets and activities to support at home will be discussed.

What support will there be for my child’s overall well being?


At Tom Thumb Nursery all qualified staff are trained in Paediatric first Aid and child protection. There is a dedicated safeguarding lead and deputy, of which at least one is contactable at all times. Upon starting at Tom Thumb Nursery, we ask you to share with us any dietary needs or medication that may need to be administered. We have appropriate procedures in place for the administering of any medicines and first aid treatment and will develop plans with you in regard for any long-term health requirements. Where necessary we will work with any outside agencies in coming up with a care plan for your child’s needs. As a setting we value well-being and have a well-being co-ordinator who has a degree in Psychology. She offers group small group session to support children’s emotional well-being. We encourage lots of activities within the nursery where children learn to respect others and to help deal with emotions appropriately but seek out support in letting their feelings known. If your child needs support in managing their behaviour your keyperson will work with you and the SENCO to identify triggers and suggest strategies to support, you at home and at nursery. If needed, we can refer to other agencies for further support.  

What training do the staff have in supporting children with special educational needs or disabilities?


At Tom Thumb Nursery we pride ourselves on having a highly qualified team with a high majority of staff holding an NVQ level 3 or higher. Our SENCO is a qualified teacher with QTS and is a qualified EYP. She has completed specialist training in Autism, sensory circuits, Makaton, Portage, Speech and Language training( including 2 Elklan training courses) and attends regular inclusion meeting run by East Sussex. All staff have the opportunity for continuing professional development and most have completed the online SENCO training run by East Sussex. The majority of staff have received basic training in Makaton and a few have training to level 3 and higher. If a child has a specific area of need, we will (where possible) find appropriate training for staff to help support the child within the setting.

What specialist services and support are available to the pre-school/nursery?


As a setting we have a qualified Elklan trained member of staff that is able to support children with small group sessions to help support speech and language development. We welcome support from any outside agencies offering support either with written suggestions or with them coming into the setting to support individual children (with parental consent). During these times a member of staff will sit in on the session so they will then be able to continue to support the child with additional sessions with advice from the specialist. We work closely with health visitors and complete 27 month check and share these with health visitors (with parental consent) and are able to discuss any areas of concern or need for further observation/ investigation.

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside the pre-school/ nursery, including trips?

All children will have access to all the activities and resources available within the setting including trips. If your child needs additional resources and/or additional help to access the environment, we will apply to the local authority for additional funding to help support your child in our setting.

Parents are invited to share any expertise within the setting and are asked to make regular contributions to Tapestry (online learning journey) to share ideas or activities.


 How accessible is the nursery?

Unfortunately, due the lay out of the building in which Tom Thumb is based there would be difficulty in accessing the setting for children with certain physical disabilities. The setting has many stairs which have been assessed as being too narrow for a stair lift so it would be advisable for a parent to visit the setting to see how this may be barrier to your child accessing the setting or whether we would be able to cater for your child’s needs. Each floor has visuals and visual timetables to support children throughout the day. For children with English as and additional language (EAL) if needed, parents will be supplied a policy and procedure pack in their home language and we ask parents to supply commonly used words to be able to use with their child within the nursery. If additional facilities or equipment are required within the setting, we will work with the local authority to gain funding or other outside agencies to acquire (where possible) what is required.

How will the pre-school/nursery help my child move on to school?

The transition to school is an important time in your child’s life. We aim to work closely with schools, teachers are encouraged to visit the children within the setting and their keyperson is available to discuss the child’s strengths/needs. If visits are not possible, we will try to contact the school via telephone. We incorporate transition activities such as school uniforms, displays with photos and logos of schools the children will be attending. In the summer term we have a parent meeting where we share with parents their child’s summative assessments that will be passed on to schools (including any SBSP’s) and a chance to discuss progress and transition. In some cases, if your child is receiving support from the local authority a meeting will be arranged for outside agencies, parents, new school and nursery will be arranged to plan how to support your child in transition and plan how to support your child in school.


East Sussex Local offer.

The Government asks that all local authorities (in our case, East Sussex County Council) provide information as clearly as possible so that parents, carers, children and young people can make informed decisions.

The East Sussex Local Offer consists of an information site which outlines how different SEND processes work and what support is available for children and young people with SEND, and their families. It also includes a SEND-specific directory listing local and online services, which you can use on East Sussex 1Space.

Visit the East Sussex Local Offer website at:


 Amaze Special Educational Needs and Disabilities 

Information Advice and Support Services (SENDIASS)


If you are a child or young person with a special educational need or a disability (SEND), or the parent of a child or young person with SEND, you can contact the Amaze SENDIASS advice line for information and advice.

Community Integrated Therapies & Equipment (CITES)

CITES are a team of qualified occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, assistants and administrators who provide non-acute therapy to children and young people living in East Sussex.


 Children's Integrated Therapy and Equipment Service (CITES)



i-go is the East Sussex Children and Young People's Additional Needs Register and free leisure discount card. The card is available for those aged 0-25 with additional needs living or studying in East Sussex. This could include physical, learning, social, emotional and mental health needs.

Visit i-go at:






For more information, please contact the setting directly on 01323 647630 or email


For the East Sussex Local Offer please click on the link below