Stepping Stones Local Offer
Stepping Stones Nursery is located on the Regis School campus in Bognor Regis and operates under the United Learning Academy. We are a day care setting opening from 7.30am to 6.00pm offering childcare from three months to preschool age.
We aim to provide a home from home environment that welcomes and includes all children and families ensuring children’s learning is both inspired and achieved.
The setting has SENCo/INCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinators and Inclusion Coordinators) that work closely with all staff and other professionals to ensure all children and family needs are met and that no individual is excluded from any event, activity or community life.
All of our staff hold Level 3 or equivalent Early Years qualification, with several of us having higher level degrees in Early Years. We all regularly attend training in regards to the age of the children we are working with to be up to date with the most relevant knowledge. We all take part in First Aid and Child Protection training. The Senior Management Team also deliver training at our monthly staff meetings. The SENCOs hold higher level qualifications and attend regular training and network meetings. Our nursery has extensive experience and knowledge in supporting children with speech and language delay, developmental delay, managing and promoting positive behaviour and children with autism. We use sing and sign, Makaton, visual timetables, choice boards as well as many other techniques to support all children. Many staff at Stepping Stones have dedicated years of experience to the nursery.
There is full access into nursery, it is fully wheelchair accessible with slopes and we have a disabled bay in the car park. There are accessible toilet and changing facilities in all units. While we do have steps which lead out into the Preschool gardens, we can discuss other arrangements with parents during a showround or in their child’s induction. All doors to the Nursery (except from parent waiting areas) are keypad locked with cameras for staff in rooms to be able to see who is at the door.
Upon starting nursery your child will be assigned a Keyperson. This person will be your first point of call when it comes to any discussions about your child’s development. During your child’s visits and in the first few weeks the Keyperson will build positive relationships and attachments with your child and the whole family too. We understand that parents/carers know their children better than anybody and it is really important to us to work together to best support your child individually. We regularly ask for parents’ feedback and welcome any comments on our family feedback forms and yearly parents’ questionnaires. The Keyperson will be in charge of making observations and assessments which will support your child’s learning whilst at nursery. All staff within your child’s room work together to support and observe all children but it is the Keyperson’s responsibility to ensure the child’s journals are up to date. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum to make ensure your children and getting the best possible support to flourish in their early years.
Throughout nursery we will fully support your child’s physical and mental health. Children will have access to free flow play throughout the day to encourage physical exercise, as well as lots of group games, and taking part in Sticky Kids and Tumble Tots which support children’s physical development. The under 2s rooms are very spacious to allow children to explore their surroundings whilst learning key milestones. We use an outside catering company called Zebedees who provide us with nutritious, healthy meals, and we also have healthy snacks during the day and enjoy cooking activities with the children to promote healthy eating throughout nursery. We encourage children to have a positive sense of self and use lots of praise and encouragement to make them feel valued as individuals. We use small group times to have discussions about our own and others feelings, how we can recognise them and use different strategies to help children to understand how to deal with them. We encourage independence and selfcare which promote their sense of self. We play lots of different games to support children turn taking and sharing.
To support our communication with families with English as an additional language we signpost to other agencies for support, use Makaton, visual timetables and choice boards throughout rooms. We encourage parents to provide us with a list of keywords in their home language which we can place around the room to support the child, and staff in the room will learn this to make your child feel safe and secure.
If you have any concerns about your child’s development we encourage you to talk to your Keyperson. They will work closely with you to offer advice and work together to support your child’s individual needs. They may also be able to signpost you to any helpful outside sources they may be able to give you advice and support. We have lots of informative leaflets available for milestones regarding development which may support you, your child and family.
If the Keyperson has a concern then this will be discussed with you and we will plan how to support and monitor their needs. Your child’s Keyperson will work closely with you to create a One Page Profile to really focus on and explore the area of need. The Keyperson will also work closely with the SENCO to develop this One Page Profile or Individual Plan (IP) with children with SEND which are reviewed regularly. These plans include individual strategies to be carried out at nursery as well as information from you the parents, who will help to complete the plan and how often it will be reviewed.
The SENCOs support all staff in monitoring children’s progress and will make suggestions and referrals to other agencies if staff have concerns about a children’s development. We will always ask for parental consent before making these referrals.
If we feel it necessary we may gain further advice and support from outside agencies such as our Early Years and Childcare Advisor, Early Childhood Service, Community Nursery Nurse, Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT) and/or Family Outreach Worker.
If you know your child has Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) before joining our nursery please discuss this during the registration period so the appropriate support can be continued. The staff will work together with you to create an Individual Plan involving all outside professional agencies advice to ensure your child’s support remains consistent. If a child is identified when starting nursery to have a special educational need then an appropriate keyperson will be allocated to suit the needs of the child. Staff training and knowledge will be taken into account to give the child the best support.
If necessary, inclusion funding or enhanced funding can be applied for to support the child in the setting. Advice can be given to families on two and three year old funding eligibility.
Who can I contact for further information?
If you want to discuss something about your child your first point of call will be your child’s keyperson.
All staff within the child’s room will be involved in their development.
If you are worried about your child you can talk to any member of staff who you feel most confident speaking to. The SENCOs are always around for advice and support to the whole family.
If you are thinking of joining our nursery please contact our manager, she will be able to help you with booking a showround visit and can answer and questions you may have: Lorraine Mellers on 01243 871044.
Our SENCOs are Chrissie and Emma K.
For further information about West Sussex Local Offer please visit https://westsussex.local-offer.org/