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We have a little girl at the setting who has developmental delays in all areas. She is 3 but developmentally around 18 months to 2 years. A lot of professionals are involved with Mum, including educational psycologists, Area SENCO, Doctors etc. We now have funding for 3 hours each day for one to one time with her. However she is with us for a full day, usually 8.30am until 5.30pm each day. It's great to have this funding, but although she is meeting her IEP targets through our hard work, now she has moved into our Pre-School room it is becoming harder for the staff to spend one to one time with her for the rest of the day, and ensure that the rest of the children get our attention.


There is also the problem of the fact that she 'destroys' displays and tips pens, paper, crayons etc out everywhere. Obviously we have to have all these items out for the other children to be able to access.


The professionals have said that there are advantages for her in staying with us, and I do agree, as does her parents. However, now we have had the funding given to us we seem to have been left on our own. I would ideally like some specialist training in how to deal with children of this age in our Pre-School room, and if there are any special resources we should be providing that will help her.


Inclusion is a wonderful thing, but we do have concerns in the effect this will have on the other children, in terms of offering them opportunities, and addressing how to handle the little girl's behaviour when she is destroying things, apart from the usual 'stop' sign we have been told to use.


I have thought about asking Mum to pick her up earlier, as I know she finishes work around 3.00, but she does have other children which she has to fetch from school. However, they don't come and fetch the little girl straight away and usually leave her until 5.30pm.


Has anybody else had experiences with a SEN child in a private setting, (Birmingham area), and is there any advice/websites you can recommend.

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Hi Sheila, it seems you have just about all the support available at the moment, I think 3 hours a day is about average. The PLA in Birmingham have an inclusion team who will work with you for a total of 70 hours, you decide amongst yourselves how you want the hours split, it used to be 14 weeks but they saw doing it hourly might be more beneficial. You dont have to be a member and it doesnt cost you anything. I cant remember how you get onto the waiting list though.

Another thing that crossed my mind, is it mandatory that the little girl be in pre-school if its so much harder to deal with her needs? If she's working at 18m-2yrs then she could by rights be in the 2-3 room. I wouldnt be comfortable with asking mom to collect earlier, it doesnt entirely shout of inclusive practice, alhtough I can see you want to be able to provide for the other children too. Can your setting senco be available to work with her a bit more often, or would that reduce ratios in other areas?

Sorry I cant be more help, good luck

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This raises some very serious issues about inclusion, doesn't it?


If this child is deemed to need the support of a dedicated person in order to fully include her and enable her to access your provision, what use is three hours' support when she spends a whole day with you? Does her need for support magically diminish after lunchtime? I know this is a budgetary decision - I'm pretty sure in this area our funding for one-to-one support is for a two and a half hour session. There is a world of difference in groups funding the extra half hour (as we do for our three hour sessions) and the situation you face with this little girl.


As Rea mentioned - is it appropriate for her to be in the pre-school room given that her stage of development is that of a child much younger? Would the staff in the other room be able to offer her higher levels of support - or is it felt that this might compromise the care and support offered to the other children in the room?


Is mum using the time her daughter spends with you as a form of respite care, I wonder? It sounds to me that caring for her daughter must be both challenging and exhausting - no wonder she doesn't rush straight away to collect her when she finishes work. It makes me wonder if there are any benefits or allowances she can claim (or that you can claim on her behalf) to continue to provide this care after her period of funded support ends.


You say there is a wide range of professionals involved in this little girl's care - would it be in order to ask for a review meeting so that you can discuss the problems you are facing? Clearly your staff feels very unsupported - as you say the funding is one thing but you do need to be able to ask questions about what strategies might work well to support the work your whole team is doing with this little girl.


Perhaps your Area SENCO can identify another stream of funding because clearly what is currently on offer isn't enough at the moment.


In an ideal world there would be enough money in the budget to support all children who might otherwise find it hard to access pre-school services - but in the meantime we just have to struggle on with what is on offer. It is often not ideal, and it is no wonder that people start to question whether children with additional needs as profound as you describe should be in mainstream settings at all. (I hasten to add that this is not my view, but I can understand why practitioners faced with the situation you and your staff are in might feel this way).


Good luck with trying to find the right level of support for this little girl - you're obviously doing a sterling job in difficult circumstances. Receiving the odd pat on the back is nice, but it doesn't solve your problem, does it?


I hope you find a way through.



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My thoughts are similar to Rea's in that maybe this child will be happier with children who are at the same level as her.


My son (aged 9) has global development delay, he should be in a Yr 5 class but is now in a Yr 2/3 class. When in the Yr 5 class he found the work too difficult, his peers much bigger than him, his growth is delayed too, and he felt 'excluded', thus he displayed innapropriatte, attention seeking behaviour including being the 'class clown'. Since being in his Yr 2/3 class he is much happier. The main benefit is his social maturity is equivalent to his current class peers, thus he feels totally included and is therefore also progressing academically, at his pace.


Your young girl is at a level for sensory explorative play, mainly solo / parallel socially and doesn't understand the concept of 'look don't touch' required for special displays etc.




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Hello there Sheila. I would definitely look into support from PLA as Rea suggested, (although I did think you needed to be a member), I found their support invaluable last year when we needed it for a child who then went onto special school. There is an application to fill in and a waiting list.


I do wonder if you have come across the Early Support programme? We have only just received the packs as a Children's Centre, but it sounds like your family could benefit from a more coordinated service for their child. You could also find out if you have a Children's centre in your area, as I know that part of our role in our CC is to support or find ways to support children with additional needs in our reach settings. Sometimes this may be direct support of the child, in other cases it may be support of the family, in order to support the child.

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You could also find out if you have a Children's centre in your area, as I know that part of our role in our CC is to support or find ways to support children with additional needs in our reach settings. Sometimes this may be direct support of the child, in other cases it may be support of the family, in order to support the child.

Is this just a special feature of your children's centre, or is this part of the general responsibilities for all children's centre, mundia? I know there are differences between how some centres have been set up depending on whether they offer the full service, or 50% offer or whatever the terminology is.


Can you tell that my understanding of how Children's Centres work is a little sketchy to say the least? :o



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Aha Maz, its one of those million dollar questions again isnt it?


I don't know what other CCs do, and there are times when I don't think I'm doing what I think I should be!


But, the way I see it is this. (bear in mind I do mean the way I see it, which means it could be a load of old whatsit)


My role is to lead and support provision (that's the main role of CC teachers); both in the CC and within the CCs designated reach area (this is the bit not everyone agrees with as some CC teachers only work in their CC).

Part of the CC role is support families in a whole range of issues which affect outcomes for children.

It therefore follows that if a family in my reach area attends a setting also in my reach area, then we should support the family, but we also should support the setting the child attends in order to improve outcomes for that child. It may be in various ways, eg through supporting the setting SENCO; helping with referrals to relevant bodies if they are not already involved; making sure families get the support they need (so I would work closely with the family worker). It may be supporting the settings with an aspect of delivery which enables the keyworker for a specific child to spend some quality one to one time with them, whilst giving them an additional adult (ie me). Its really about thinking in a joined up way like this...


1. what does this child need?

2. what does this family need that may help with number 1.

3. what does this setting need to assist with 1 and/or 2?

4. What can we do? What can others do, (ie signposting on)



Bet you wished you hadn't asked now Maz?

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