What is a Local Offer?

The purpose of the local offer is to promote choice and inclusion for families by providing information about services available to young children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
It is to help parents to make the right choice in an Early Years setting, specifically for children with SEND. Pre-Schools and Nurseries are being asked to update the information held on the Family Information Portal to promote their inclusive practice.

Here is Little Dragons’s SEND Local Offer for:


The purpose of a local offer is to enable parents and carers to see clearly what services are available for children with SEND in your area and how to access them. The following questions and answers form our local offer and shows how Little Dragons provide for children with special educational needs and disabilities. We are an Ofsted Outstanding Early Years Provider since June 2013.

How do we promote British Values?

Little Dragons Pre-School and Clubs actively promotes inclusion, equality of opportunity, the valuing of diversity and British values. Under the Equality Act 2010, which underpins standards of behaviour and incorporates both British and universal values, we have a legal obligation not to directly or indirectly discriminate against, harass or victimise those with protected characteristics. We make reasonable adjustments to procedures, criteria and practices to ensure that those with protected characteristics are not at a substantial disadvantage. As we are in receipt of public funding we also have a public sector equality duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, foster good relations and publish information to show compliance with the duty. Social and emotional development is shaped by early experiences and relationships and incorporates elements of equality and British and universal values. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) supports children’s earliest skills so that they can become social citizens in an age-appropriate way, that is, so that they are able to listen and attend to instructions; know the difference between right and wrong; recognise similarities and differences between themselves and others; make and maintain friendships; develop empathy and consideration of other people; take turns in play and conversation; avoid risk and take notice of rules and boundaries; learn not to hurt/upset other people with words and actions; understand the consequences of hurtful/discriminatory behaviour.

What should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?

At Little Dragons Preschool we take children from the age of two years old and offer a home visit for each child. This gives the child the opportunity to meet their designated key person in their own home, aiding the transition to pre-school. It enables you and us to collect and share information in a confidential environment. It also gives you the opportunity to voice any concerns about your child’s development. Ongoing observational assessments are made of all children and are linked to the Development Matters stages of development. This in some cases identifies individual needs. If your child’s key person has identified a possible need, they will discuss this with you and our setting Senco (Emma Stacey) We can then plan (One Plan) with you to support your child’s learning and development.

Please view: www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-guide-for-parents-and-carers ,this is for you the parent, it is a parent’s guide to the code of practice.

Should your child need further support i.e. from several agencies a One Page Profile will be created. Our Senco will offer support and advice to your child’s key person and other staff in the setting and will also liaise with other professionals to seek advice and support in identifying individual needs where necessary. The pre-school can seek this through the Early Years Advisory Team at Essex County Council, where we can access specialist support and if necessary training with your permission. The ECC team offer settings advice and support to ensure we are meeting your child’s needs and are able to refer appropriately. They can and will meet with parents/carers should you request it. Should the One Page Profile not meet all the required needs of your child then a EHC plan can be requested, see below for further details.

What does EHCP stand for?

At Little Dragons ‘the local authority will be contacted and an ASSESSMENT of education, health and care (EHCP) may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person through a EHC plan. This is likely to be where the special educational provision required to meet the child or young person’s needs cannot reasonably be provided from within the resources normally available to mainstream early years providers’ (SEN Code of Practice)

How will you support my child to settle in?

After starting Little Dragons pre-school you will be invited to attend the initial session with your child. Parents and children can find this transition a little daunting and to relieve any anxiety we want you to get to know us first. You and your child will relax once you have got to know us and the settings routines and boundaries. This time also helps us to build up a picture of your child’s likes and dislikes we can then plan for their next session accordingly.

We will work with you in partnership to support your child to enable him/her to access our inclusive setting. We strive ourselves on good partnerships with parents/carers and have an open door policy to parents should you have any concern.

Observations, assessments and evaluations all contribute towards your child’s learning journey and their key person will be responsible for this and to oversee your child’s well- being. The learning journey will contain written observations, photographs and samples of your child’s work which support staff in assessing and planning for your child’s progress within their next steps. Learning journeys are accessible to your child and yourselves on a daily basis and can be signed out to share at home too.

Your child’s key person will be in the sessions your child attends on most days fostering a positive relationship we have a buddy system in place with a designated person to help should your child’s key person not be in.

The key person will identify individual needs and plan next steps, accessing additional support from line managers as necessary. Your child’s learning style, interests and stage of development will be used to support their development. And a termly report and meeting takes place to keep you up to date. Each child is given a home/pre-school diary, your child’s key person writes in this on a weekly basis letting you know activities they have enjoyed, we encourage you to contribute as well.

Our manager Karen Montgomery will maintain an overview of all children and the Senco will work with all staff to ensure we are providing the relevant and appropriate support.
We will work in partnership with you, reviewing the one page profile targets (where necessary), and planning new ones together. We will give you regular ideas to use at home and to support your child in their learning through our weekly activities.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

We will get to know your child through ongoing observational assessments. These assessments will be linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage of development and will be set out in their learning journey. The key-person will also work with the Senco on your child’s ‘One Page Profile’ to support the learning and development of your child. This enables planning for your child’s individual needs and their learning goals.

Your child’s key person, Senco and Manager will work together to make sure that the environment, routines and activities support your child’s needs, they will communicate with the rest of the staff to provide consistency and understanding within the team.

We will ask for copies of assessments from other professionals before your child starts, and advice from ECC will be sought, if necessary with your prior permission.

Karen Montgomery will monitor and analyse progress of children within the setting to address any areas of weakness. This information will be used to focus on specific areas and adapt areas that are not meeting the children’s needs.

The children are involved in planning for their next steps and help to stick these into their learning journeys which they love. The children also have their own planning board, this gives all children a voice and a sound involvement in their own learning and development.

How will you and I know how my child is doing?

Assessment systems are in place The 2 year old Progress Check, your child’s Key Person will write a report about your child’s next steps each term which will cover the EYFS 7 areas of learning. Parent helpers are always welcome, this will allow you to stay and help see how your child is interacting within the setting.

We have regular charity events for Little Dragons this gives parents the opportunity to build relationships with other parents and helps you build relationships with practitioners in the setting.
We are a very welcoming and happy setting, with very good team working relationships with each other and our families.

Newsletters are on our website and information is displayed on the notice board outside the main door. Notices are put up on our front door with what is happening at preschool and a list of learning intentions and activities are displayed and sent out regularly enabling you to further support your child’s learning.

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

Our practitioners are welcoming and friendly, providing an inclusive, sensitive and positive approach. They provide good role models for positive behaviour and are consistent in the day to day care of all our children. We are flexible in our routines to provide a positive environment for your child’s needs and provide key-person care such as changing nappies.

Individual health care plans can be adopted if necessary and staff will be trained in giving the appropriate medication for your child if required. Should your child require regular prescribed medication you will be required to complete and sign a Medication Book on arrival and once administration of the medicine has been completed you will be asked to sign the form on collection.
There is always a minimum of 1 First Aid trained member of staff in each session. Staff undertake a vigorous recruitment and induction process. Karen Montgomery and Lydia Forrest are Designated Safeguarding Officers, all staff have completed online Safeguarding training and senior members of staff are on a rolling Safeguarding programme.

Policies and Procedures are available for parents to view within the setting and on our website www.littledragonspreschool.org

Activities will be adapted to ensure your child is able to interact fully with the environment, and visual strategies, such as a visual time table is used to help them understand our routines. Our book area is welcoming and provides a quiet area to retreat to if your child is tired, or needs some quiet time.

We are aware that some kinds of undesirable behaviour may arise we will refer to our behaviour management policy and will work with you and your child to provide a consistent and planned approach to improve behaviour.

What specialist services and expertise are available at our preschool?

Karen Montgomery: Level 6 BA in Early Years and is an Early Years Professional. She has experience working with children with speech and language delay, ADHD and has supported children on the Autistic Spectrum.

Lydia Forrest: Level 3 in Early Years and has training in The Inclusion Development Programme covering Speech, Language and Communication, Autism, Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulties. An Elklan level 2 S&L and more recently The Early Years Send Code of Practice 2014. Several other relevant SEND courses with certificates all available to view within our setting

Emma Stacey: SENCO, Equality Named Co-ordinator (ENCO)

You can also ask to see our training list should you wish. The setting endeavours to cater for children from all cultures and religions and has multi-cultural resources within our setting. We value and respect others beliefs and visual support is given such as communication books, photos and visual timetables.

All children have made very good progress within our setting and are happy and well catered for. We have good links with local Children’s Centre’s ‘Barnardos’ and can sign post you to support groups available through them for example drop in Speech and Language sessions and parenting skills classes. Links to our local church who undertake “Messy Church” and we have good links with Autism Anglia. We will work alongside the specialist services involved with your child and they are welcome to visit our preschool at any time.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by Pre-school?

All pre-school staff regularly access ECC Early Years training and have overall vast experience working within the Early Years age group. All have a First Aid qualification and some members of staff have attended Speech and Language training supporting Early Communication (Elklan level 2). Other training attended is cascaded to all staff at staff meetings and a record of staff training is kept on file. We are supported with advice from NHS Speech and language therapists, specialist teachers and local health visitors.
Should specialist training be required for an individual need then we will be able to access training via the ECC Early Years team to support an identified SEND.

How will my child be included in activities outside Preschool including trips?

All visits or trips would be planned in order to include all of our children. We will endeavour to include parents/carers in the planning of the visit off site to identify the needs of your child. All parents are invited to join us on our trip.
A risk assessment would be carried out prior to each visit and we would also take along any aides or medication should your child require it.

How accessible is the Pre-school environment? (Indoors and outdoors)

We have a level indoor pre-school space within our bungalow and age appropriate children’s toilets plus a disabled toilet with rail and dedicated changing facilities. We have a smaller front enclosed garden area, a sensory garden and a larger enclosed garden to access larger equipment. The main access has a very slight slope and is accessible for wheelchairs. We have a sensory shed with designated soft areas, feely boards, lights and a dark den for sensory exploration (which will be completed in the Autumn term). All children can access this area with practitioners. Please note we provide multi-sensory activities as part of our weekly planning.
We have a mud kitchen, sand, water, wood, bark and a stage in our front garden. All of which can be accessed by ALL children.We have a large paved area for parking running directly alongside the setting.

What if English is not my child’s first language?

If you are a parent/carer whose first language is not English, you can nominate a representative who speaks English for you. We will then arrange prior to you and your child’s visit relevant interpretations for your child to be able to communicate with us and his/ her peers within the setting.
Our daily notice board lists our activities of the day and we can give your child a visual timetable.
Makaton signs and posters around the setting are used with pictures helping children identify equipment and play areas.

How will the Pre-school prepare and support my child to join the transfer to a new setting or school?

Little Dragons works closely with other settings/schools liaising with class teachers and your child’s key person to aid transition. We have good links with the local school, intake days are planned in the last half of the Summer Term and schools assemblies are attended by children attending Reception in September.
We will discuss any relevant information with you (with your permission) and your child prior to your child’s start date. We offer a flexible settling in period, should your child have difficulties settling in and when transferring to another setting or moving on to school. We will invite the key person/teacher to attend your child’s sessions at pre-school to help them become familiar with them and to discuss your child’s strengths and needs.
You will have an opportunity to discuss any requirements concerns with us and the class teacher or new practitioner.
We have always adopted good links with the school and other settings and we feel this gives us a consistent approach to ensuring the continuity of care for your child.
We plan circle times giving the children an opportunity to talk about their feelings, we also have books, sequence cards and photographs of our feeder schools, which we share and discuss with the children. We undertake PE sessions prior to school, helping the children to practice getting undressed and dressed. We offer school uniform in our role play area prior to school so the children should they wish can learn to put on their school uniform.
Your child’s learning journey, ‘One Page Profile’ or EHC Plan and any other information that may be relevant to your child will be passed on to the new setting/school giving them the time to make necessary plans for any changes they may need to make. Please note only with parent/carer permission.

How are Pre-school’s resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

A dedicated budget is available to train staff and Inclusion Funding can be applied for to support your child in our setting, if required. The ECC Early year’s team offer us a Lending Library of toys, Sensory Equipment and Topic Boxes.

We do however have excellent facilities and resources within the setting.

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

In line with the current Code of Practice which was adopted in September 2014 we adhere to this:
Through the observation and assessment process linked to the EYFS stages of development, and in discussion with you, the Key Person, the Senco we will identify what support is required.
Extra support will be put in place if necessary, whereby we will receive help from the ECC early years team. Ongoing partnerships with you, other professionals – including ECC early years advisors and ourselves will support the decision making process. Together with you and our Senco they will support the decision making process to plan targets on the one page profile and or EHC plan. This will be written after consulting with you and will include how you can support your child at home. Through regular observations we can track your child’s progress. Our Senco will give advice on meeting your child’s needs within the preschool in consultation with you and other professionals where necessary, with your permission.
Reports from health care professionals and other professionals, who are working with your child will be used to plan and support your child within the setting.
Staff meetings within the setting will ensure all staff working with your child knows your child’s strengths, needs, and how to support them inclusively.

How are parents involved in Little Dragons? How can I be involved?

We value parents/carers involved with Little Dragons. Parents/carers can come in to the setting to see their child in the play environment. We are run by a parent committee and are always looking for extra members to join, come along and get involved in the day to day running of Little Dragons preschool. We also have a fundraising committee and you are welcome to get involved with this too.
You are involved in identifying needs, identifying targets and next steps to focus on at home, in the setting and reviewing progress towards these targets.
Your permission will be sought before involving outside agencies and you are able to volunteer to help in session if you wish.

After School and Breakfast Club Facilities

We run a Breakfast and After School club facility. Breakfast club runs from 8am – 9.00am Monday to Thursday a healthy breakfast is provided. If your child/children attend the St Georges Primary school we provide a walking bus to take your child to and from school should you request this. The pre-school children will walk with trained staff to and from these premises alongside school children in the mornings. Our After School club runs from 3pm to 5.30 pm the children are collected by setting members of staff. As is stipulated above at least one member of staff is First aid trained and there will always be at least one Level 3 trained member of staff in attendance. Should your SEN child attend any of these sessions, the setting Senco will either attend or alternatively have the relevant risk assessments, health care forms and any guidelines in place, these would be shared with relevant staff to ensure continuity.

Anything else I should know?

Policies are updated regularly and are available for parents on our website any new information or updates will be available on our notice board.
Lastly, regular risk assessments are carried out to ensure our environment is safe and secure.
Should the need for specialist equipment be required to aid your child’s inclusion, with your permission an ECC administrator will be contacted alongside other agencies and equipment will be sourced. Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact via email or telephone Karen Montgomery Manager or Emma Stacey SENCO directly with any concerns or information www.littledragonspreschool.org or call 01206 231823 or 07857 503103 or useful websites are: www.colchesterandtendring.childrenscenters.org.uk and www.ican.org.uk