Upon joining Fittleworth Playgroup your child will be allocated a key person. This is a member of staff who will monitor your child’s progress throughout their time in Playgroup. This helps us to ensure that we provide for your child’s individual needs. This is also the person you can talk to about your child’s progress and experiences whilst at Playgroup.

Each child has a Learning Journal in which we make observations about their progress . Parents are welcome to look at these at any time.  Ultimately, these Learning Journals are passed on to your child’s first primary school who will carry on the EYFS into the Reception Year.

To ensure that your child settles in as easily as possible, we recommend that you accompany your child to one or, two sessions in the weeks leading up to your child’s official start date. This gives your child the opportunity to get to know the environment and gain confidence. Once they start Playgroup you are welcome to stay with your child as long as you think necessary to settle them in.

On arrival at Playgroup, your child will be introduced to their key person. They will be shown where their coats and bags will go. The key person will give a tour of the Playgroup to familiarize them as to where things are e.g. toilets, etc.

After leaving your child at Playgroup, you are welcome to ring at anytime during the session to find out how your child has settled in.

We, as staff, are committed to working with parents to ensure that each child settles in successfully at Playgroup. We are always happy for you to visit the Playgroup prior to your child joining us and for you to stay with your child as they settle in their first few days.

What to Bring:

  • Change of clothes (including pants and socks – extra pairs are helpful if your child is starting toilet training. Please avoid dungarees if possible as they are tricky for children to get off in a hurry!)
  • Suitable shoes (wellies for wet weather – no flipflops or backless sandals please!)
  • Nappies, wipes and nappy sacks
  • Warm hats and gloves for cold weather
  • Sunhats and suncream for hot weather

What We Provide:

  • Playgroup t-shirt (extras available to buy)
  • Book bag
  • Wet weather coats and trousers

Local Offer

1. How does the Early Years setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs or disabilities?

Parents and families are always welcome to come and meet us at Playgroup.  Before a child starts with us at Playgroup we like to meet with the parents/carers – this gives both the adult and the child the opportunity to see us and get a feel for our warm and caring environment.  We understand that every child is unique and individual and their needs can be different from others.

At this initial meeting any concerns that a parent may have can be expressed and discussed.  During a child’s first few weeks with us, their progress and interaction will be observed closely by their key person and any concerns they may have will be discussed with the Parents/carers.  Then, if both parties feel it is appropriate, we will advise you and ask for permission to seek support from West Sussex County Council Inclusion Support Team.

2. How will the Early Years Setting staff support my child?

Before a child starts with us at Playgroup we ask parents/carers to fill out an “All About Me” form.  This will give the child’s key person some idea of the child’s favourite toys, feelings, routines, how they communicate, and information about members of their family, friends and special relationships.  We would use all the information provided to help with settling the child in with us.

At Fittleworth Playgroup we understand that all children develop at their own rate and their own ways.  Knowing our children individually and working together we support them in their learning.  We promote positive behavious and progression in all their development and achievements.  We observe the children at play and use this for planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing their individual educational plans (Next Steps).

3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

Here at Fittleworth Playgroup we value all children and their learning, and we use the Early Years Foundation Stage as a guide for the curriculum which will be adapted by the child’s key person to meet the child’s needs.  We observe, monitor and plan and adapt activities and resources so every child can be included to develop their learning.

4. How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

All the Fittleworth Playgroup team use the Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage.  Observations are recorded and shared with you in our one to one meetings which take part at least once a term.  Your child learning journal is kept in the bookcase in the playroom and you are welcome to take these home as often as you would like too.  By working together any area may be highlighted for the need for extra support.  Following the EYFS for guidance and recording progress, we complete a two year old check for children aged between two and three, this shows us and parents a starting point for their child’s development stage.  This would also highlight if extra support might be needed.  Together we would plan small steps to achieve the best outcomes.  The key person and the settings’ INCO (Inclusion coordinator) would meet with the child’s parents/carers and discuss the child’s development and ways in which both the setting and the home environment can be of support.  We celebrate achievements made both at home and in the setting.

We have half termly newsletters which are sent home to keep parents/carers updated which what has been happening at Fittleworth Playgroup. Our notice board in our entrance will also have updates of events and support agencies.

Parents/carers are welcome to speak to staff at the beginning of a session or at the end of a session.  We can always book to have a longer meeting if either feels this would be beneficial.  We have Link books which can also be used to inform staff and home of any achievements or something special.

5. What support will there be for my child’s overall wellbeing?

Here at Fittleworth Playgroup we promote independence, teaching and guiding the children.  We support the children to feel good about their own success.  Our setting value diversity and promotes equality.  We adapt activities to make them inclusive for all.  Our learning journals are accessible to parents/carers at any time.  We have an open door policy where parents can visit or contact us at any time.

6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the Early Years Setting?

At Fittleworth Playgroup we work with professionals such as the West Sussex County Council Inclusion Support team, Nic who specialises in Technology for Children, Drop in Speech and Language Therapist, Community Nursery Nurses and Health Visitors.  We are always working towards the best outcome for the children in our care, learning and development.

7. What training have the staff supporting children with SEND, had or having?

All our staff understands the importance of supporting all children and meeting their needs.  They follow our setting polices and work to best practise.  We share information in our staff meetings and in house training sessions.  We have a trained INCO who works alongside the key person and the families.  All staff has training in child protection and is paediatric first aiders.  As a setting we are continuously develop our skills and knowledge by attending training sessions.

8. How will my child be included in activities outside the early years setting including trips?

As part of our learning programme we go on off site visits around our local area.  Risk assessments are made beforehand.  All of our children’s needs are met and every child can be included on these visits.

9. How assessable is the early years setting environment?

Indoors and Outdoors

Fittleworth Playgroup is a purpose-built building and all on one level.  It is bright and airy and has an accessible toilet for adults and also one available for children. We benefit from having large doors which open out onto our garden area.  We do have 3 steps up to our front door – however if you go through the school entrance and round to the playgroup you can avoid these steps.  Our equipment is very colourful and creates a warm and inviting space.

10. How will the Early Years Setting prepare and support my child to join the Early Years setting, transfer to a new school?

Here at Fittleworth Playgroup we follow our policy.  We prepare children for the transition to school and involve parents and the receiving setting or school in the process.  We will prepare records about the child’s development and learning in the EYFS in our setting.

We build up good relationships with the feeder schools, arranging visits for their teachers to come into our setting.  We provide school uniforms for the relevant schools in the role play area.  We display photographs, posters and books of “Big School” which all promote positive images to make the next step exciting.  We encourage a free flow session with the reception class at Fittleworth Primary School.  All children are allowed to take part in this session regardless of age or which school they could be attending so they can see that school is fun!  The reception class teacher for Fittleworth also comes over and invites the children to take part in a phonics session.

11. How are the Early Years settings resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

All of our toys and resources are accessible for all children and are age appropriate.  We complete work shop audits and improvement plans for all areas within our setting, ensuring that all children’s needs can be met.  We adapt the environment to support the quality of learning.  With parent consent we can liaise with the WSCC Inclusion Support team for support, which may include equipment and resources that they can offer, and that we may receive them in a swift and effective manner.  We also are a member of the local toy library and can borrow more specialist toys as and when needed.

12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support the child will receive?

The key person works closely with the child’s family and the settings SENCO.  It is with parents’ permission that we can always contact other professionals such as the WSCC Inclusion Support team to advise and guide us the best support needed for the individual child.

13. How are parents involved in the Early Years setting?  How can I be involved?

We are a committee run playgroup which is formed of parents.  Parents are always welcome to come along to a committee meeting and have a say in what is going on in the child’s setting, learning and experiences.  This can be as involved as you want to be or as little as you want it to be.

Parents are always welcome into the setting to play or to share their skills or interests with the children.  We also provide parent feedback cards which we value and address.  For children under 2 years of age a form goes home telling parents key information of what their child has been up to on that day.   We have a large white board in the reception are where we write a brief description of what the children over 2 have been up too.

Who can I contact for further information?

Please feel free to contact Karen Coles, playgroup Manager if you have any questions o require further information – enquiries@fittleworthplaygroup.co.uk or 01798 865777.