Bambinos Childcare Centres are committed to the integration of children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and has high aspirations and expectations for all children. The inclusion of all incorporates children, young people, parents/carers and all staff.

All children have the right to be educated and develop their full potential alongside each other. It is a positive experience to be able to share the same opportunities and overcome any difficulties together. Children learn from interacting with other children and by giving them these experiences children with SEND can be educated and develop alongside peers without special educational needs.

All individuals are included within this policy; those with special educational needs (he/she has a learning difficulty that needs special educational provision to be made), those with a disability, those from minority ethnic groups; travellers; and other cultural groups.

The legal frameworks used and related to this policy are (this list is not exhaustive);

The SEN Code of Practice 0-25 years (2015)

The DfES Inclusion Development Programme

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework

The Children and Families Bill 2013 & 2014

The Equality Act 2010

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014

The Children Act 1989: A child is disabled if he is blind, deaf or dumb or suffers from a mental disorder of any kind or is substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital deformity or such other disability as may be prescribed.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995: A person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day to day activities.


1             To recognise any special needs a child may have and ensure all staff are aware of the DfES Code of Practice on identification and assessment of special needs.

2             To work in close partnership with the Local Authority and operate under the guidance of the local offer.

3             All staff should be aware of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and the SENDCO and deputy SENDCO for each setting.

4             To employ a special needs co-ordinator (SENDCO) who is experienced in the care and assessment of children with special needs and a deputy SENDCO who can assist in their duties.

5             To ensure each nursery SENDCO and where possible the nursery deputy SENDCO attend training opportunities each term, to update their knowledge and understanding of SEND for all children.  

6             To assess each child's specific needs and adapt our facilities as appropriate.

7             To liase with other agencies, including the health and education authorities and seek advice, support and training and establish firm partnerships with other professionals to ensure all needs are met.

8             To develop and maintain a core team of staff who are experienced in the care of children with special needs.

9             To ensure that all children are treated as equals and are encouraged to take part in every aspect of the nursery day.

10          To promote positive images of those with special needs wherever possible.

11          To ensure the highest level of support possible and inclusive education for all children with SEND, ensuring children with SEND engage in activities alongside children who do not have SEND.

12          To ensure all children with SEND have a right to a broad and well-balanced education and dependent on the individual child’s SEND the nursery will endeavour to provide a ratio of 1:1 through applying for such funding from the local authority or cluster funding. At all other times, the nursery’s usual staff ratios will apply – see Staffing Policy.

13          To monitor and review our practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments.

14          In accordance with the SEND Code of Practice 2015 Bambinos employs systems to support early identification and timely interventions to support children’s learning and development. We ensure;

·         Decisions are informed by the insights of parents and those of children and young people themselves

·         Have high ambitions and set stretching targets for them

·         Track their progress towards these goals

·         Keep under review the additional or different provision that is made for them

·         Promote positive outcomes in the wider areas of personal and social development

·         Ensure the approaches used are based on the best possible evidence and are having the required impact on progress.

Early identification

Children are routinely assessed and monitored from their first settling-in session at nursery. This includes a baseline assessment being carried out in collaboration with parents/carers and termly assessments thereafter including a child’s Progress Check at age 2 years. Progress is monitored and tracked in individual Learning Diaries and this system lends itself very well to early identification of any additional support children may require.

Children with additional needs will also have their progress tracked in an Early Years Developmental Journal which can break down their development into small and measurable steps. Other journals can be accessed for children when necessary, such as the Developmental Journal for babies and children with down syndrome.

The nursery collects and analyses progress each term which also aids early identification of children who may require additional support by assessing stages of development against the EYFS indicators.

The nursery has highly qualified and experienced practitioners who are able to work together with the setting SENDCO, parents/carers and other professionals that may be required for the benefit of the child.

The SENDCO’s role

-          The role of the SENDCO includes ensuring all practitioners within the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEND and the setting’s approach to identifying and meeting SEND as detailed in this policy.

-          The SENDCO acts as an experienced and knowledgeable practitioner on SEND in advising and supporting all practitioners in the setting.

-          The nursery SENDCO liaises with other professionals and outside agencies as appropriate to support children with SEND in the setting.

-          Bambinos ensures the nursery SENDCO receives regular and up to date training through the Early Years’ Service including attending conferences and courses each term. The SENDCO will also make monthly visits to each room in the setting to find out if any staff have any concerns over any children and offer advice and support and act appropriately depending on their findings. An accurate record of this is kept as a register of all children with SEND or additional needs and what is being done to support them.

-          As part of this support, the nursery SENDCO will ensure observations and planning is appropriate and meets the child/children with special educational needs appropriately across the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.

-          The nursery SENDCO can and should share all concerns, interventions, support and action plans with the nursery manager and/or Area SENDCO for additional advice and support.

-          The nursery Deputy SENDCO should support the SENDCO in all their roles and responsibilities as detailed above.


Designated SENDCOs and Deputy SENDCOs for Bambinos

Houndiscombe rd site: Melissa Williams (SENDCO) and Kelly Casemore (Deputy SENDCO)

Plymstock setting: Kim Kane (SENDCO) and Abbie Backhauser (Deputy SENDCO)

Tavistock setting: Sarah Brady (SENDCO) and Chloe Pearce (Deputy SENDCO)

Woolwell setting: Stephanie Thompson (SENDCO) and Charlotte Smith (Deputy SENDCO)


We work in close partnership with all our parents and carers right from the first time a parent/carer enters the nursery. We view our parents and carers as the key person, carer and educator in their child’s life. Parental input, viewpoints and knowledge is highly valued and sought to effectively support children with SEND.

Parents are included at every opportunity of early identification, early support, action plans, IEPs (Individual Education Plans) and referrals if required and permission sought. Targets can be identified and worked on collaboratively at home and at nursery in partnership with parents/carers. Consent to share information is gained from the parent/guardian with legal responsibility for SEND support or advice.

Parents are supported through the nursery SENDCO, key person and manager at all times and can sign post to additional support networks should they be required such as Portage. Upon enrolment or when appropriate, parents are given information on PIASS (Plymouth Information Advice and Support for SEND).

Parents can access the Local Offer online from the Local Authority and can view who the setting SENDCO and Deputy SENDCO is at each Bambinos setting.

SEND Support in the setting

Bambinos Childcare Centres’ inclusive admissions practice ensures equality of access and opportunity. We provide a wide range of resources to support and extend all children from birth to five and routinely review and assess resources and environments to ensure they are appropriate for the needs of children in each room. We endeavour to provide additional resources to support children with SEND if appropriate.

The nursery is committed to work with any child who has SEND and/or a disability to enable the child to make full use of nursery’s facilities.

We feel it is paramount to find out as much as possible about a particular child’s condition and the way that affects his/her educational needs by: -

·         Liaison with the child’s parents.

·         Liaison with any professional agencies including attendance at all meetings

·         Reading any reports that have been prepared.

·         Attending any review meetings with the local authority.

·         Regular monitoring of observations done on the child’s development.

·         Liasing with primary schools/other nurseries for transition purposes.

·         Raising staff awareness and monitoring and reviewing our policy annually.

All children will be given a full settling in period when joining the nursery according to their needs.

Bambinos Head SENDCO Hannah Toule         

Head of Education and Welfare Hannah Toule works closely with all staff to make sure there are systems in place to plan, implement, monitor, review and evaluate the special needs policy of the nursery, always making sure plans and records are shared with parents. Deputy Head SENDCO is Jessica Robertson. 

The Bambinos Childcare Centres Head SENDCO makes regular visits to all our nursery sites to work with staff on areas of SEND and evaluate, monitor and review on-going practises. This strengthens each nursery’s links with other Bambinos settings as well as other agencies and ensures expertise are used to their best potential.

Bambinos Childcare Centres work with a wide range of outside agencies and professionals through the local authority, including Speech and Language Therapists; Educational Psychologists; CAHMS; Health Visitors; Pre School Advisors, and Area SENDCOs (this list is not exhaustive).

On first assessment and notification of any special educational needs, staff will follow the steps and action below:

Initial response after identifying a need

Bambinos adopts the graduated response to inclusion, as part of the Plymouth Local Offer Graduated Response and Devon’s Graduated Response Tool. Practitioners gather information to observe, track and assess the child’s needs, learning difficulty or difficulties using the EYFS, the child’s Learning Diary and/or the Early Years Developmental Journal and Summative assessments. This is in line with Assess, Plan, Do and Review within the graduated response. Practitioners aim to capture the voice of the child and may consult with universal services such as the child’s Health Visitor. Consultation with the SENDCO is necessary and an Individual Education Programme (IEP) may be written. Extra support and provision will be addressed within Bambinos Childcare Centres, and this will be a journey in strong partnership with parents at every stage.

Access – Community Health, Wellbeing and SEND (Plymouth LA)

Access aims to bring all services within Plymouth under one umbrella to reduce repetition and enable better access for children and families to the services required. Agencies integrated within Access include Livewell Southwest (LSW), Plymouth City Council (PCC) and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP). If working with a child with SEND and it has been agreed with the family that ‘more help’ may be required from a service to enable further assessment or intervention, a referral should be made direct to Access. Consent must be gained from the parent of guardian with legal responsibility in this instance.

A request for more help form should be completed and emailed to Information such as baseline assessments, other assessments or reviews, ASQs from the Health Visitor and/or ASQs from the nursery, Early Help Assessment Tools, TAM/TAC minutes and parent input should be included wherever possible.

Bambinos works closely with families and all agencies in supporting children achieve the desired outcomes.

Families and professionals can contact PCC SEND professionals linked to the nursery or can contact PCC Children’s Gateway on 01752 668000.

Safeguarding concerns should be made to the PCC Children’s Gateway on 01752 668000. Please see the Child Protection Policy for more information.

 LSW provides an Early Help pathway for children who may require CAMHS on 01752 431613.

For concerns about a child who is already known to the Child Development Centre or have been referred to the service, contact can be made at or 01752 439400.

Early Help Approach in Devon & Single Point of Access (SPA)

Devon’s Graduated Response Tool is used in the first instance as detailed above under ‘initial response’.

An Early Years Consultant (EYC) is allocated to each Devon setting and support the setting in early identification of children with SEND. The EYC can give advice and support in the first instance. Consent must be gained from the parent of guardian with legal responsibility in this instance.

Nursery Plus can provide additional support in helping children with SEND reach their potential in the year before they start school and ensure children not already identified have appropriate interventions prior to starting school. A referral can be made through ‘egress’ to request this support to

Settings can make a request for additional services to SPA for children with SEND via Children and Family Health Devon by completing a referral form. Information should be sent to or on 0330 0245321.

Additional information such as baseline assessments, other assessments or reviews, ASQs from the Health Visitor and/or ASQs from the nursery, Early Help Assessment Tools, TAM/TAC minutes and parent input should be included wherever possible.

Bambinos works closely with families and all agencies in supporting children achieve the desired outcomes.

Devon Children and Families Partnership promotes an Early Help approach which uses the Early Help Assessment Tool to assess a child’s need. This service manages the cases of children with more complex needs and is responsible for linking effectively with other services to make sure that children and families get the range of support they need to meet their needs.

Devon settings can contact Early Help on 0345 1551071 or Out of Hours Early Help on 0345 6000 388 for further information and/or the setting’s current Early Years Consultant in the first instance.

An Early Help Assessment Tool may be required and should be used when there are concerns about a child’s progress or vulnerability, their needs are unclear and the support of more than one agency is required. The Early Help Assessment Tool can be used to assess the needs of unborn babies, infants, children or young people aged between 0 – 18 years. The Early Help Assessment Tool should not be used for those children whose needs are understood and are being met or those for there are Child Protection concerns – procedures set out in the Child Protection Policy must be followed in that instance.

If a practitioner identifies the need for more than a single service/universal approach, a multi-agency Early Help offer can be coordinated. In this case the practitioner must liaise with the setting SENDCo and Manager, explain the Early Help process to the family and obtain a consent form (copies in each Devon setting or online). Following this, professionals/agencies will be identified who could provide support to the family and an Early Help Assessment will be completed (copies in each Devon setting or online). A Team around the Child/Me (TAC/TAM) will be held where all professionals/agencies involved can discuss and agree a plan in conjunction with the family. A lead practitioner will be identified, and this could be an appropriate person from the setting or another professional/agency representative. Should funding be required or any other additional services, a request for additional services to SPA will be completed and submitted to Triage. Following each TAF a 12-week review date must be agreed to plan and review progress or sooner if there are relevant changes. Following the process, the support can be stepped down to a single agency/universal level or stepped up to statutory services by calling MASH on 0345 1551071. Safeguarding concerns must be acted on as detailed in the Child Protection Policy. Early Help documents are accessible at each Devon setting and through the

setting SENDCo and Manager.

Devon County Council (DCC) will introduce a system called ‘SEND Connect’ in Autumn 2022. This will operate in a similar manner to Access (in Plymouth) and enable education, health and care services to be integrated and offer children and families a single-entry point for help and assessment.

Team Around Me (TAM) or Team Around the Child (TAC): This is where other professionals including the nursery, work together in partnership with shared responsibility for the benefit of the child. The team can vary in size and membership will change dependant on the needs and journey of the child. A Lead Professional will be agreed within the group. The TAM structure encourages multi agency working and puts the child and family at the centre. Regular meetings will allow opportunity to share information and plan together. A SEND Multi Agency Support Plan which details the outcomes of the TAM will be produced.

Early Years Inclusion Funding/Resource Panels: Monthly meetings are scheduled for this panel (Plymouth) to meet to discuss requests for 1:1 support/cluster funding, made by the setting/Lead Professional/TAM/TAC. The TAM/TAC discussions and SEND Support Plan supports these requests. Forms 1 and 2 (Plymouth paperwork) must be submitted along with the SEND Support Plan, TAM/TAC minutes and any other additional evidence, especially professional written support/reports. Devon Application/review for Early years inclusion funding information can be found at Applications must be received the term before (please see the website) including for emergency applications. Forms must be submitted along with parental consent through ‘egress’ to

EHC (Education Health Care) Needs Assessment and EHC Plan: The child is considered for EHC Needs Assessment and there is a 20-week timeline for this process. Staff, the SENDCO, parents/carers and any outside agencies involved within the process consult and the LA considers the assessment and may then make a multi – disciplinary assessment. If it is decided that an assessment is to go ahead, an Assessment Coordinator is allocated whom will liaise closely with parents and all other parties involved. The setting and SENDCO would contribute to all forms with other professionals and the Assessment Coordinator would pull all together during the assessment and is part of the entire 20-week process. For a child to have an EHC Plan, there must be an education need and not just a Health need unless the Health need impacts the Education.

Parents are an integral part of this process and will constantly be consulted with at each stage. All procedures will be explained, and a close relationship sustained to ensure the best possible support for the child concerned. Parents should always be informed of any targets a child is working towards so that they can be worked on at home. Success and progression will be enhanced further with good cooperation and involvement with parents. Consultations with parents can take place daily and/or at regular appointments so that communication between all staff, parents/carers and agencies are well maintained.

If a concern is purely around health concerns or issues then this can be referred directly to the GP or Health Visitor.

All such referrals above must have the permission of the child’s parents/carers.

The setting SENDCO and/or deputy SENDCO and/or setting manager will attend all up to date training on SEND through the local authority. Consent must be obtained from the family/parent before disclosing and sharing information with external agencies unless it is a safeguarding issue, please see the Child Protection Policy for more clarification.

Confidentiality is taken very seriously and all staff must adhere to Bambinos Ltd policy on Confidentiality.

Disability Access Fund (DAF)

Claims are made through the local authority portals for children that may be entitled to DAF funding. This is paid direct to the setting.

Complaints about SEND provision

All complaints are dealt with in the same manner as Bambinos Ltd policy on Complaints – please see Complaints Policy.

This policy was adopted at a meeting of Bambinos Childcare Centres held on 12th June 2022 present Sara Richards and Senior Management


Signed on behalf of Bambinos Ltd


Policy to be reviewed within 12 months