UCL Day Nursery


Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

The UCL Day Nursery is committed to provide an inclusive learning environment for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

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

When your child first joins the Nursery we encourage you to discuss any areas of concern with your child's key worker, the nursery manager or the SEND coordinator at the earliest opportunity. Our staff are fully trained are able to identify where children may need some support through observation and assessments. Your child’s key worker will give regular feedback and communicate with you each time your child is at the Nursery. Please read our SEND policy for further information. 

How will staff support my child?

We can effectively accommodate children with special educational needs and help them develop in the best possible way. The trained SEND coordinators on each site and the nursery manager will oversee your child's education. A key worker will be assigned to carry out the day-to-day care and support the learning and development of your child. A secondary key worker will also be allocated in the event of annual leave or absence through sickness.

The key worker's role is to carry out observations, liaise with parents or carers, plan for the child and support targets on the child’s education, health and care (EHC) plan. The EHC plan is a single plan that shows the support that a child will need for education in school as well as support from health and care services. 

Parents and carers will be encouraged to participate in regular meetings along with the other professionals that are involved and have contact with your child.

EHC plan information on gov.uk

How will the curriculum be matched to my child needs?

We are committed to ensuring that all children are able to access our services, made to feel welcome, and that our activities promote their welfare and development. We look at each child’s individual needs and adapt activities accordingly, making them accessible and inclusive. We will put an plan in place for your child, so that the key worker can facilitate your child’s individual needs and development, helping your child to achieve and learn.

How will you help me to support my child’s learning?

We recognise that parents hold key information and play a critical role in their child’s education. This is why we aim to include parents at all stages of the assessment process, offering support and guidance and arranging time for the parents to discuss their child’s progress. We also allow parents to access their child’s individual learning records, and encourage them to work on the same targets at home. We will also ensure that parents are aware of local services available to them.

A communication diary can be provided for all the children in our baby unit, and for those with an EHC in our toddlers and pre-school unit to enable  regular communication between parents and the key worker. The parents will be given the opportunity to contribute with new targets when it comes to changing the targets for the EHC. We can also identify training for the parents to give them a better understanding of their child’s needs.

EHC plan information on gov.uk

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

Any child with special educational needs at the UCL Day Nursery will receive the daily high standard of care that we give all children. Alongside daily care needs such as feeding, changing and toileting we will provide additional care that is needed to meet the individual child's specific needs. We use visual timetables, signs and symbols to help communicate with the children. 

What specialist services and expertise are available?

We believe that a strong multi-agency approach is the most effective way to support a child or young person with SEND. This is why we work closely with experienced professionals such as the speech and language therapy team, family support service, and physiotherapists among others. We encourage outside agencies to observe the child interacting at the Nursery and we attend all key worker meetings.

What training have the staff supporting children with SEND received?

At least one member of staff on each site is trained and experienced as a SEND coordinator (SENCO) and regularly attends SENCO support meetings and inclusion update meetings. The staff working with children with SEND at the Nursery are experienced and knowledgeable in this area. They will be qualified, trained in paediatric first aid and have a sound knowledge of children’s development. Many of our staff have undergone Makaton sign language training and use it on a daily basis in the classroom and most have also had behaviour management training. We actively promote new training sessions and will seek out training in any specific areas that are required.

How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom?

Nursery trips will be accessible for ALL children. We fully encourage outdoor learning and make full use of our outdoor spaces and local area. We request parental consent for activities outside the nursery grounds and thorough risk assessments are carried out before any trip or activity.

We make arrangements that meet the needs and safety of individual children and on occasions an additional member of staff may be assigned to support a child.

Please read our outings policy for further information.

How will the Nursery prepare my child for a new environment?

We offer two weeks settling in before your child is due to start so that your child and family can get to know staff and familiarise yourselves with the environment and routine. This also gives us a chance to discuss any specific requirements that your child or you may need.

We understand that this may be be an apprehensive time for you, as well as your child, so all of our settling in sessions are completely free of charge, and you can have as many as you feel necessary. During this time you and your child will build a relationship with an assigned key worker and co key worker. We can also provide visual aids of staff and photos of the Nursery to support the transition into nursery life.

If your child is moving from another setting, we can make visits and liaise with their current key workers to keep their routines consistent. When the time comes for your child to go to school, we liaise with your child’s new school and can invite new teachers to come into nursery and meet with your child and key worker. We are always available to discuss any concerns parents may have about impending transitions.

How are resources allocated to children’s special educational needs?

You can apply through Camden Council for an inclusion bursary fund or for early years education entitlement funding. We allocate our budget to provide additional resources and adapt the environment accordingly, for example by hiring an individual needs assistant to support your child with their daily activities.

Who decides what type of support and how much my child will receive?

Observations and assessments carried out by the child’s key worker will identify what type of support the child needs. This will then be discussed with the SENCO and the parents in order to determine the desired next steps in the child’s development. Known as an individual education plan, progress will be monitored closely by the key worker, overseen by the SENCO and discussed with parents.

If a child needs extra support we will refer them to the Early Year’s Service, who will assign a support worker to coordinate the relevant professionals and parents, and make sure the child has a clear and effective plan of support.

How can I be involved in the UCL Day Nursery?

We understand that family life plays a fundamental part in a child’s education and development. It is vital that we hear your views, ideas and personal observations. We discuss each child’s individual next steps with their parents or carers and agree on appropriate targets together. In addition to the daily feedback we have with all parents and carers, we hold two parent’s evenings per year. This gives staff and parents or carers the opportunity to ask questions and discuss progress.

We offer an open door policy so all parents or carers are welcome to spend some time to see how their child interacts at the Nursery. All parents can come in and play and we welcome help at special events and outings.

Who can I contact for further information?

Once your child has started the nursery, your first point of contact will be your child’s key worker or SENCO, who will be able to offer guidance and point you to other professionals. We also have a list of drop-in sessions and support groups at the local children’s centre on our parent’s noticeboards. If you would like more information on how the Nursery can support you and your child, please contact the Nursery manager on nursery@ucl.ac.uk