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Early Years (0-5 years) Special Educational Needs and Disability Support

The Early Years Team is a group of professionals from Health and Children’s Services who work together to support pre-school children aged 0-5 years with a range of special educational needs and disability including language and communication difficulties, learning difficulties, physical and/or sensory impairment, difficulties affecting behaviour, severe and complex disabilities and children who have experienced disadvantage in their early years.        

When making a referral or being referred;

The information you provide on the referral form will be considered by the Early Years Team at their next meeting.  A member of the Early Years Team will then contact you to discuss what will happen next.  We aim to contact families within 6 – 8 weeks of receiving the referral.  

At first, the Early Years Team may want to gather more information about your child’s needs, for example from a professional such as a Health Visitor.  A member of the Early Years Team may also arrange to meet with you and your child.  The meeting can take place in your home, at your child’s pre-school if they are attending one already, or in another place that is convenient to you such as your local Children’s Centre.  The meeting can also involve other people supporting your child, for example, a professional such as a Health Visitor or a relative.  Your contact from the Early Years Team will plan the arrangements for the meeting with you.  They will explain their role to you and may also talk to you about other professionals who may be able to help.  The purpose for meeting with you will be to find out about your views of your child’s development and the kind of support that you think your child may need.  Your contact from the Early Years Team may spend some time playing with and observing your child to find out more about their development and may also give some advice to the pre-school.   

If any reports are written, the Early Years Team will send a copy to you and reports may be shared with other professionals who support your child with your permission.   

If you are a professional and require a referral form you can contact the local authority.    

Parents can speak to their health visitors, GP's or Nursery Senco's for more information on how to be referred.

'One Plan' approach - ‘All About Me’ document

The Special Educational Needs & Disability reforms talk about a ‘One Plan’ approach to ensure that children and young people with additional needs are met through ‘person centred planning’.

Thurrock is keen to adopt the ethos of Early Support and keen to support families and carers to be fully involved with professionals enabling them the opportunities to express their child’s needs, wishes and goals.

‘All About Me’ is the document that can start this process, it is designed to be individual and personal to the child/young person.

It can be as creative as you like, using photographs that you are willing to share; we have devised a template as a guide which you can use if you wish.

Families can create an ‘All About Me’ themselves, or with the support of their keyworker or the professional that knows the child best.

It is designed to be a working document that can be updated as and when required.

It is also designed so that it can be used as a basis for the Early Support & Team Around the Child Approach, as well as feeding into more formalised documents if Educational & Health Care Planning is required.

 

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