Identifying and supporting children with additional needs in the early years (aged 0-5)

Welcome to the 0-5 years area of the SEND local offer for Newham.

Within this section you will find information on: -

1) What to do if you are worried about your child’s development
2) What are MENCAP providing in Newham?
3) Making an early notification and what this will provide.
4) What to expect from early years settings in Newham
5) The Special educational need code of practice (2015)
6) Our improvement journey

What to do if you are worried about your child’s development?

If you are worried about your child's development or behaviour, then contact your local health visitor who will work with you and your child to identify and support their development. You can also access the services and activities at your local children centres and speak to a member of the team.  If your child is in an early years setting (school based nursery’s, nursery schools, pre-schools and child-minders) please speak to a member of staff. 

Contact Point - H.V - Patient enquiries - ihrcds@newham.gov.uk 0203 373 9983 option 3

What are MENCAP providing in Newham?

The Strengthen, Empower & Nurture (SEN) Project is an early year’s family support programme supported by MENCAP and the Newham SEND Hub for Early Years.

We are developing opportunities for parent caregivers who have a child with additional needs to:

  • Join Family Support Groups, online or face to face
  • Develop your understanding of SEND with other families who understand and care
  • Share skills and ideas with each other to build confidence and knowledge
  • Explore volunteering roles with us
  • Find the support you want and need with our team of staff
  • Have support via our workshops on completing disability living allowance applications.
  • 1:1 support via a ‘Family Connecter’
  • Early Positive Approaches to Support (E-PAtS) Groups 
  • Closed Facebook Group: (‘Supporting each other – Newham’) 

Contact point - Ieva Jupe on: 07814 078 247 email: newhamfs@mencap.org.uk 

Mencap’s closed Facebook Group is a support network for families who have children with additional needs:

This group shares useful information, activities and top tips for parents & caregivers of children who have special educational needs and parents & caregivers will also have opportunities to support and talk to each other.

The group can be joined by following the steps below:

1. Families simply complete the attached Terms & Conditions Form and email it to: raksha.patel@mencap.org.uk and Rachel.ashcroft@mencap.org.uk
2. Search for Mencap’s Facebook Page on Facebook and then select the ‘Supporting Each other – Newham’ group
3. When the completed form is received, requests to join the group will be approved

We look forward to welcoming you to this very exciting support network for families in Newham!

Early Notification

When a health care professional or early years setting identifies that a young child, under 5, has or probably has special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND) they can notify the local authority through Early Notification. (Early Notification Newham)

The purpose of the Early Notifications from health is to ensure that the local authority is aware of children who may have additional or special educational needs, to provide children the right support at the right time. Each notification is reviewed by a panel made up of colleagues from education, health, and early help. Action taken following an Early Notification includes:

  • Allocation of a funded 2 year old place at an early years setting, when delays have been identified from the HV check (Healthy child programme)
  • Support from MENCAP and the family connectors
  • A ‘Early positive approach to support (EPAtS)’ programme
  • Early years settings (pre-school and childminders) can receive support from the Area SENCO team to apply for funding to support your child while they are accessing their free entitlement hours.
  • Referrals can be made into the Special education support service (SESS), made up of complex needs and dyslexia service (CNDS), Language, communication and interaction service (LCIS) or the sensory team, who will provide additional support.

Contact point - Early.Notifications@newham.gov.uk.

What to expect from an early years settings in Newham

Within Newham we have a variety of inclusive settings such as, school based nursery’s, nursery schools, pre-schools and child-minders) (You can find the settings by clicking here). Early education provides an opportunity to build on the knowledge the children have already gained at home.

All Newham settings recognise and build upon each child’s developmental profile to meet the individual needs of all children. All settings must follow the ‘The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities code of practice’ to support early intervention for all children with additional needs and SEND.

Early years: guide to the 0 to 25 SEND code of practice

Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years

The Area SENCO Team support practitioners working in pre-schools, child-minders and children’s centres across Newham to identify children early and provide extra support. This support will be recorded on an Early Years Support plan (link to EYSP). Most children’s need will be met through early intervention at SEN support as staff in early years settings can provide the support they need. For the small number of children who will continue to need a high level of support,  then the setting or you, can request an Education Health and Care needs assessment. Please see the 0-25 SEND pages of the Local Offer.

Contact point - SEND Contact Us line - 0203 373 6472  Lines open Mon to Fri 10.00 am – 4.00 pm excluding Bank Holidays 

What is the SEND code of practice?

The SEND code of practice (2015) describes the principles that should be observed by those working with children and young people who have SEN or disabilities. These include:

  • taking into account the views of children, young people and their families;
  • enabling children, young people and their parents to participate in decision-making;
  • collaborating with partners in education, health and social care;
  • early identification of the needs of children and young people;
  • making high quality provision to meet the needs of children and young people;
  • focusing on inclusive practices and removing barriers to learning; helping children and young people to prepare for adulthood DfE Early Years Guide to the SEND code of practice 2014 (link to full version of the code of practice).

Our improvement journey

As part of our improvement journey we are committed to:

  1. having a L3 qualified SENCO in every pre-school setting and a L2 qualified SENCo in every childminder setting.
  2. Having an early years support plan that supports the learning and development of the child, as well as provides for transition to their next education setting
  3. Working with health, education, early help and third sector colleagues to support the needs of children and families in Newham.

We would welcome your feedback, please provide this by clicking the 'Give Us Your Feedback' button at the bottom of the website. 

Last updated: 26/09/2022

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