Option Unit 2 – Working with Children with Disabilities and Special Educational Needs and their Families in a Pre-School Setting
E1 – Describe how pre-school settings can create an inclusive culture for children with disabilities and special educational needs
Creating an inclusive culture in the pre-school is essential for the wellbeing of all who are visiting, working or using the setting to feel welcome and at ease. The setting must be able to adapt and meet the needs of all children to ensure inclusion, to meet our legal duties to actively promote equality so that all children have equal access to our service. “Providers have a responsibility to ensure positive attitudes to diversity and difference – not only so that every child is included and not disadvantaged, but also so that they learn from the earliest age to value diversity in others and grow up making a positive contribution to society” (Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework Section 1.14 DCSF May 2008).
It is important to recognise and understand the types of attitudes and behaviours that individuals may hold which may lead to unequal treatment or discrimination. Staff and volunteers should be respectful and welcoming to all families and take time to develop positive, non-judgemental relationships to support individual needs. Settings should Identify any potential barriers that exist which might prevent children from attending or making full use of the service and how to remove them. Barriers may be attitudinal, environmental or institutional.
Relationships with parents, staff and other professionals should be developed so they can work together with ease consistency, share information and understand the systems in place to support children who may require additional support through Early Years Action, Early Years Action Plus, Statutory Assessments or the Common Assessment Framework. Professionals and organisations may provide training and guidance on how to work with children.
The setting should develop clear policies which outline the attitudes, methods and actions to take to ensure inclusion in all aspects of practice. The setting should also have a SENCO and an ENCO (Equality Named Co-ordinator) who work to ensure all children and families feel supported as well as coordinating the staff team so there is a shared involvement to ensure the policy is effective. The SENCO will also work to produce and implement individual education plans (IEP’s) to support children’s needs and maintain accurate records.
An access audit should be conducted regularly, identifying barriers for disabled users, visitors and staff members. Where barriers exist reasonable adjustments should be made to ensure there is physical access. Settings should become familiar with accessible resources they can obtain either free of charge or purchase specialist equipment. Planning should be reflective of the needs of all children, with clear differentiation and resources which reflect diversity so all children feel represented and valued. The staff should use reflective practice to consider whether they are meeting the needs of children and should be able to access training and development opportunities to support them in their role. (399 words)
E2 – Describe the role of the SENCO in making the pre-school setting inclusive
The SENCO role requires a practitioner to possess many skills and qualities, including the ability to work with children, parents, staff and other professionals to ensure the inclusion for children with special educational needs. A SENCO should possess a good understanding the SEN Code of Practice 2001 and equality legislation, as well as hold information on government programmes and initiatives to achieve co-ordinated services for young disabled children and their families, including Early Support. “It is important to identify the need for additional support as early as possible. Without it children will not get the help they need...
Bibliography: Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework Section 1.14 DCSF May 2008
Early Years Foundation Stage: 1.2 Inclusive Practice
www.education.gov.uk › ... › SEN and disability paragraph 1.6 SEN and Disability Green Paper Updated 20 December 2012
DFES – 2001
Special educational needs Code of Practice, Crown Copyright 2001
Tassoni, P – 2003
Supporting Special Needs, Understanding Inclusion in the Early Years, Heinemann
Tassoni P, 2006 Second Edition
Diploma in Pre-School Practice, Heinemann
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