Early years inclusion A to Z of resources
Recommended documents and guidance relating to Early Years Foundation Stage, Inclusion, Regulation and Inspection.
ABC Chart Behaviour Support
- what happened before the behaviours?
- can you identify triggers?
- what was the event, who was close by?
- what happened during the behaviour?
- what was the behaviour? (emotional, physical etc)
- how long did the behaviour last?
- what happened after the behaviour?
- how did staff and children react?
- was a consequence given because of the behaviour?
- what do you think the child was trying to communicate?
Parental Engagement - Inclusion Audit
The attached audit provides early years settings with comprehensive guidance on how to engage, co-produce and build positive relationships with parents carers. The audit is a culmination of a project supported by the charity Contact which included a range of Early Years SENCO's and specialist services representatives.
The audit covers the following aspects:
- welcome and care
- value and Include
The audit is in draft format as we would welcome further comments for Early Years SENCO's (please email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Website: Contact is a charity for families with disabled children. They support families, bring families together, and help families take action for others.
Information on supporting children who are on the Autism Spectrum or those who have Complex Communication Issues.
Support can be accessed via the Pre School or via Traded Services from Complex Communication Needs Team
Further information on supporting children on the Autistic Spectrum can be downloaded from the following websites:
Download: Advice sheet on supporting children with their sleep (PDF)
The advice covers the following areas: Sleep diary, relaxation techniques, transitions, environment, diet, routine and co-Sleeping
Resource for Aiding Interaction and Developing Shared Attention:
The Inclusion Team has produced an information leaflet listing a selection of resources, toys and ideas that may be useful to support children with interaction, shared attention, turn taking and early communication.
The resources should be used by parents and carers and practitioners for developing shared attention with an adult in the first instance. When children are confident in this skill, adults should then introduce another child to the activities to develop interactions and shared attention with the child’s friendship and peer group.
The resources are particularly useful for children with complex communication needs and/or autism. Please email the Inclusion Team on email@example.com to request the ‘Aiding Interaction and Developing Shared Attention’ information leaflet, or call the Inclusion Helpline on 01905 843099.
Inclusion resources supporting positive behaviour development:
Download: Behaviour as communication (PDF)
Download: Benefits of inclusion (Word)
A Coping Plan is available to support children who present with behaviours that demonstrate that they are not coping in your early years environment. It supports early years practitioners in thinking through how they can change the environment and the staff responses to the child in order to help them cope better. This is a document created by Vale of Evesham School team, Worcestershire Hub and the Central Learning Partnership Trust. Please contact them on the following email or telephone number to request a copy of the Coping Plan template:
Download: SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Guidance for Early Years Childminders (PDF) an overview of the statutory requirements for SEND, including guidance on the Graduated Response, inclusive practice, funding and much more.
Cluster EYFS SENCO Autumn 2023
Download: Autumn 2023 SENCO Cluster meeting (PDF)
Code of practice
SEND Code of Practice - download the full guidance SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years from GOV.UK
Early Years Guide to SEND Code of Practice - download the guidance specific to Early Years Provision: SEND: guide for early years settings from GOV.UK
Physical Disability Outreach
- North Worcestershire: Chadsgrove School Support Services PD Team
- South Worcestershire: Regency High School PD Team
The WCC Continence Policy is currently being updated. To access a copy of the existing document please email the inclusion team on firstname.lastname@example.org
Cystic Fibrosis for more information on the condition please visit the following website: Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Delayed and Accelerated Transfer Policies
Worcestershire’s guidance for parents and schools on the process for either:
- delaying entry into school for matters of SEND
- delaying entry into school due to summer born
- accelerated transfer
Contains all relevant guidance, paperwork and flowcharts for understanding the impact of the decision - which must be taken in consultation with the accepting school head.
Disability Access Fund (DAF) & Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
See F below for guidance on the DAF and DLA.
Early Help family support
Early Help family support means providing help and support to a child, young person or their family.
- request services from Early Help Family Support
- Early Help assessment
- Early Help family support district teams
EYFS Early Support tracking documents
The Early Years Inclusion team, in consultation with practitioners' from mainstream and specialist provisions have updated the EYFS Early Support documents to reflect the changes within the revised EYFS. The documents are in draft format as we see them as a work in progress, and we welcome feedback from SENCO's and practitioners on their content. Comments can be sent to email@example.com.
Whilst the revised EYFS indicated that detailed tracking is not required for the majority of children meeting their milestones, tracking of children with significant delays and additional needs is still required as part of the Graduated Response Cycle. The documents include statements from the new Birth to Five Matters and Developmental Matters. We have also included the the months of development within the documents as this aids parents understanding of the length of delays for the children with SEND and additional needs. The secure early support steps and stages will still be used by preschool forum and inclusion team to determine whether criteria has been met for inclusion funding and integrated assessments.
Download: Physical (Word document)
Download: Communication (Word document)
Download: PSED (Word document)
Download: Thinking (Word document)
Equality Act 2010
An overview of the Equality Act 2010 and the requirements and responsibilities of Early Years providers in meeting the requirements.
Equality of opportunity policy
A template providing guidance to Early Years settings on what should be included within the SEND policies within settings.
Requesting an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment
Do you have a child who is being put forward for an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment in readiness for starting in reception?
If so, you might find these two guides, written by the Inclusion team, a useful tool as they take you carefully through the process, giving practical hints and tips along the way.
Families in Partnership
Families in Partnership is the Parent Carer Forum for Worcestershire. They are an independent group of Parent Carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). They work alongside social care, health and education to make sure the services and support being provided meets the needs of our children and young people living in Worcestershire.
Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
There is no particular treatment for FASD, and the damage to a child's brain and body cannot be reversed. But an early diagnosis and support can make a big difference.
Once the condition has been diagnosed, a team of healthcare professionals can assess the child's needs and offer appropriate educational and behavioural strategies.
Find support from:
Inclusion Supplement Funding for Children with Additional Needs
Please ensure that you have read the criteria before completing an application for:
- 0 to 5 non NEF (including holiday funding)
- GR4 challenge
- exceptional early years funding
- holiday and out of school provision for school aged children
Download: Inclusion funding panel deadline dates (Word Document)
Information on when the inclusion funding panel meets to make decisions on applications. Includes deadlines for when applications MUST be received by.
Download: Inclusion supplement calculator and recording spend sheet (Excel)
Excel spreadsheet to help settings predict their termly inclusion funding in order to spend it appropriately throughout the whole term. It also includes an overview sheet for recording the inclusion spend, and the outcomes the spend achieves.
Inclusion Funding - Disability Access Fund
Guidance on how early years providers can access the Disability Access Fund, along with guidance on supporting parents with the Disability Living Allowance.
Health care plans
Guidance on when to put in place a health care plan when supporting children with complex health needs. We have provided:
Download: Blank health care plan template (Word)
Download: Contacting emergency services (Word)
Download: Acoustically friendly environments (PDF)
More information on the support available for children with Hearing Impairments can be found on the following Hearing Impaired Team pages.
Individual Education Plan (IEP) and review sheet
Integrated two and a half year old review
The integrated review at age two has retained all key aspects of the existing two-year progress check and Healthy Child Programme (HCP) health and development review, as set out in key governmental guidance.
Through developing communication links between health visitors, early years practitioners and parents or carers, a more complete, holistic picture of a child’s progress can be gathered, identifying developmental needs and offering timely support or interventions.
Read more information about the integrated two and a half year old review and what is involved.
Looked After Children
More information on how to support children in the early years who are Looked After
The Local Offer
The Local Offer is an on line information service, setting out the SEND provision and support that is available in Worcestershire. For more information, download the article below,
NICE - The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
Evidence-based recommendations for the health and social care sector, developed by independent committees, including professionals and lay members, and consulted on by stakeholders. Visit the website, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
Normal entitlement - Good practice guidelines
A tick list which sets out the baseline of best practice within early years settings, supporting practitioners to audit their provision to ensure all required activities, resources and approaches are employed within your setting.
The guidelines provide information on the baseline of everyday practice that should be available to support all children in your early years provision.
Download: Good practice guidelines (Word)
Effective observations of children in your setting are essential to identify children's individual strengths and areas for development. The observation tools below will support you in planning the next steps required to support the children to fulfil their full potential.
Observation Sheets available below:
Download: Blank time sample (Word document)
Download: Observation record form (Word document)
- individualised planning: this includes blank templates of Individual Provision Maps (IPM's) or Individual Educational Plans (IEP's) Individual Support Plans (ISP's), and 'Records of Intervention'
- advise on Individual Planning: a guide to the Graduated Response when supporting children with additional needs
- blank provision map: for giving an overview of children's needs and the resources that support them
Download: Writing SMART targets (Word)
Download: Provision map blank (Word)
For more information on the Provision May Cycle please book on the following training available from CPD online - 'Effective Early Identification of SEND'
Guidance on communicating sensitively with parents of children with SEND has been compiled by parents to support Early Years Practitioners when liaising with parents/carers in your setting.
There are numerous charities and support groups for parents of children with additional needs including:
SEND Local Offer information on all services for SEND within Worcestershire
Inclusion Funding Explained
Find out more about the Inclusion Funding Early Years settings can claim to support children with SEND. Written to help parents understand the process, with each individual level having a corresponding leaflet to set out the expectation of support for each level of need (known as the Graduated Response Level).
The leaflets available within the Parent Leaflet - Inclusion Funding explained document include:
- normal entitlement support
- graduated response 1
- graduated response 2
- graduated response 3
- graduated response 4
- graduated response 4+ challenge
- exceptional early years funding
Record of intervention
Risk assessments should be carried out across all aspects of your provision. The Inclusion Team recommend that any child who has a Health Care Plan in place should also have an accompanying Risk Assessment. Both documents should be up-dated regularly to demonstrate the steps that practitioners are making to meet the needs of the child and to keep them safe from harm.
Download: Risk assessment template (Word)
Download: Guidance on completing risk assessments (PDF)
An example risk assessment (PDF) has been create to aid early years practitioners in completed a risk assessment. These documents should be created for any child who has a Health Care Plan in place.
SCERTS - Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, Transactional Support
Download: Early Years SCERTS Questions
SENCO Communication Sheet
Download: SENCO Communication Sheet (Word)
SEN policy for Early Years settings
WCF Inclusion Team have created a template SEN policy to help Early Years settings to consider all aspects of SEN and Equality of Opportunity when creating or reviewing your settings policy.
Cerebra (a charity dedicated to helping families with children with brain conditions) has released an excellent resource for parents explaining what sensory processing means, and the impact it can have on children. The resource contains information on:
- hyper-reactivity (where children experience too much stimulation from incoming sensory information)
- hypo-reactivity (where children do not respond or register sensory input)
- sensory seeking
It also explores the impact on behaviours, sleep and levels of anxiety, along with insights into specific disabilities such as Williams syndrome, Downs syndrome and Fragile X syndrome.
The resource is aimed at parents, but is relevant for all early years settings to download, we recommended the information is disseminated by the SENCO to the staff team to raise awareness, and it is an excellent resource to add to your staff and parent SEND folder.
It includes case studies and guidance on different assessments along with strategies to help support children to better manage their environment and build up resilience, all of which can be applied within early years settings.
We would recommend that you spend some time looking through the Cerebra website, as it contains lots of excellent information and parents of children with sensory processing issues should be signposted to the website.
Support plan and review sheet
Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)
The Worcestershire Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) Pathway has been developed to support anyone who has an interest in children’s speech, language and communication development. It contains a wide range of information, strategies and explanations of SLC development to support early years providers. In the identifying SLCN and developmental norms section there is a ‘speech and language, communication development chart’ to track development which the EY Inclusion team recommends settings use to identify children who may have gaps in their development and require referrals to the Speech and Language Therapy Services.
Once a child is identified as having a significant delay in their speech, language and communication development – early years practitioners should start tracking the child’s skills and progress on the EYFS Early Support Tracking tools.
Speech and language resources
Inclusion Development Programme - Supporting children with speech, language and communication needs early years - Guidance for practitioners in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Staff training record
Download: Staff training record template (Word)
Starting Well Partnership
The Starting Well Partnership support families, parents, children and young people across Worcestershire to lead happy, healthy and fulfilled lives. Visit their Starting Well Partnership services page to find out more about the services and support available in your area.
Team around the child (TAC)
Promoting good oral health in early years
Promoting good oral health is important in supporting children and young people to achieve their full potential in education and being fully prepared to live happy, healthy, independent and prosperous adult lives.
In Worcestershire twenty percent of children enter school with evidence of decay. This is largely preventable; messages of oral health need to be integrated with lifestyle advice to ensure greatest health gain. There are significant opportunities to influence this in the school environment through encouraging healthy lifestyles.
Initiatives for schools to support good oral health
The Oral Health Foundation's resource, Dental Buddy is already used to promote dental health in hundreds of UK schools and early years settings.
During the Early Years (3 to 5 years), whether it’s their first tooth, or their visit to the dentist, a child’s early experiences of oral health can impact on the rest of their lives. To help you with planning your lessons, the Oral Health Foundation has developed a range of new resource named including one for EYFS. For early years, the overarching aim is to help young children achieve the five ‘Every Child Matters’ outcomes of staying safe, being healthy, enjoying and achieving, making a positive contribution, and achieving economic wellbeing.
Download: Transitions all about me (Word)
Transition a parents perspective with top tips from parents who have gone through the process
Ideas to help with transition
Parents from Worcestershire Parent Carers Council kindly shared their experiences, both good and bad, of their child's transition and the impact on the whole family unit.
They detailed the different strategies employed by professionals, and round table discussions produced a range of suggestions that can be utilised in your setting alongside the Transition Toolkit.
- transition booklets, passports, photo books
- take it a step further and have child, parents and key worker go to new setting together and take the photos, have a tour and then create the book together
- key worker to visit the new setting with the child to help settle them in
- new teacher and SENCO to visit the nursery setting to read or do other fun activities so they become a familiar face and get to interact with the child
- timetable of transition events for parents
- extra visits to the school
- home visits by the new teacher
- take it a step further and have the key worker attend as well
- stay and play sessions or a picnic
- visual timetables send a copy home as well to aid in discussions about what the child is doing at school
- parent information evenings meet staff, school nurse, and family intervention workers, visit the classrooms
- invite pupils and teachers to come to nursery to talk about school life
- involve older siblings at mainstream to support
- offer a video tour of the new school
- make sure parents know who they can talk to about concerns
- careful use of early help website
- informal coffee mornings for parents or weekly drop in sessions
- direct SENCO contact with receiving school
- all professionals to be involved at the same time
- get parents involved in producing IEP’s – thoroughly explain reasons behind what’s on IEP
- SENCO from nursery and SENCO from school meeting together
- take it a step further and have invite the parent to this meeting
- be clear about staff roles (a SENCO’s role differs in each setting)
- have a quiet place to talk to parents or visit them at home
- uniform of new setting in role play area or dressing up box
- take it a step further and make cushion covers for quiet corner with uniform shirts for feeder schools
- meet and greet everyday
- multiagency meetings beforehand
- all information is passed on so that parents and settings do not have to say the same thing over and over
- grandparents to stay with children until settled
- all about me book
- make parents aware of when the child can start school
- share learning journeys
- school themed role play
- right support for teachers and staff
- good communication channels
- play plan writing down key indicators for professionals to know and understand
- remember small details can be big details for children and parents lunch boxes, bags toilets (i.e. may have hand dryers)
- have a transition policy
- take it a step further have a parent or two help with developing and writing it
- have transition books on website
- partnership days
- marvellous me box – VAK learners
- use transitional objects - consider a personal tidy bag with their photo, in their favourite colour, they can put a special object in it and take it with them for settling in days and when they start school
- create a transition toolkit
- try to see the new setting from a child’s point of view, give them a video camera, what do they film, what’s important to them?
- get the whole family involved
- take the child to visit for school events schools play for example
- get parents to give talks to other parents and teachers
- keep parents and teachers fully informed
- SENCO’s to share knowledge with those who work directly with the children, provide more training
- signpost parents to services that can support them, be knowledgeable of those services
- allow child to take a photo of their parent or something else familiar to school with them
- always remember ‘the little things matter’!
- a great idea for reception teachers post cards from home
- give all parents a SAS postcard to write something their child did over the summer (where they went on holiday, new baby brother, for example)
- parents send these in before the start of the school year
- create a display of all the postcards
- every day for the first week, read out a few of the cards this is a great way for the teacher and children to all get to know one another better and help the child to feel like the teacher already knows something special about them
Every child in Worcestershire should have successful transitions throughout their early years and beyond. High quality transition planning can help children move into new environments with reduced anxiety and can support them to settle quicker. A major transition in a child's life is the move into reception class, and all early years providers will begin to plan for all children's transitions in school in the Summer Term, in liaison with their new school.
For children with additional needs, early years providers will plan more activities to make the unfamiliar familiar.
Download the transition templates below for ideas of different transition activities. The Inclusion Team, in liaison with specialist teams have created specific templates for a range of needs to support early years providers and reception teachers to plan appropriately.
Download: Sensory impairment transition template (Word)