At this stage, many children with special educational needs will get the support they need from their local nursery. If you as a parent, nursery or professional have concerns about a child's development, his or her teacher should follow a step-by-step process to provide them with extra support. Between the ages of 2 and 5 there are 2 stages of assessment, early years action and early years action plus.
At each of these stages the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) at your child's nursery will help to monitor his or her progress and will draw up an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which should be reviewed regularly - ideally every term. The SENCO will also work with other professionals to get the right package of support for your child. As a parent you should play an important part in developing the IEP, and your child's views should also be considered.
We had the support of a SENCO from when our son was first diagnosed. She worked with him at his nursery and continued until he started at mainstream school.
The early stages of graduated response are:
Early years action
If your child needs additional support, his or her nursery may make an arrangement with the SENCO to provide extra help. This support will be provided within the nursery, and with nursery resources.
Early years action plus
If your child's nursery cannot meet his or her needs they may request additional support, for example from a physiotherapist, a speech and language therapist or an educational psychologist.
For most children, these stages will provide enough support to meet their educational needs. However, in some cases you as a parent, the nursery or a professional may decide your child requires a statutory assessment to provide for their needs more fully. After the assessment, the authority will decide whether to issue a statement, a document that describes in detail what support your child should receive and what help will be provided for them.