Early intervention is essential to improve the life chances of children with a learning disability. Segal House Nursery is a unique environment where young children with a learning disability and their parents can get specialist help and support.
It is run in partnership with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
At Segal House Nursery we ensure your child can learn and play in a therapeutic environment, to help develop skills and achieve goals that would be unattainable without specialist expertise and support.
- Assessment: each child will be assessed by physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists. Their needs are addressed through the drawing up of Individual Programme Plans in consultation with parents. These IPPs are made up of a set of goals specific to each child that the therapists work through and review regularly.
- Key workers: we have nine qualified and dedicated key workers working in three different rooms at a ratio of one Key worker to three children. They will observe and assess your child and will provide an Individual Educational Plan to enable your child to access the curriculum at the correct level. 1:1 work allows the Key workers to record your child's progress and revise their IEP accordingly.
- Curriculum: key workers aim to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum through a range of activities including art, sensory activities, group work, soft play, music time and circle time. These activities are often built around monthly themes (including shapes, colours, seasons etc) and are designed to give the children the opportunity to develop their skills and work towards achieving their goals.
- Life skills: key workers will also give your child the support they need to develop skills including self-help skills (such as dressing / undressing) and basic hygiene (such as brushing teeth after meals and washing hands after toileting). We also promote healthy eating and encourage children to try new foods at snack times and lunch times.
- Music therapy: thanks to funding from the Northern Ireland Music Trust we have 1:1 and group sessions with a music therapist once a week until March 2011. The children thoroughly enjoy the sessions, and it provides a fun way of developing various skills, such as communication.
- Summer scheme: this runs every year during the last week in July and the first week in August and offers the chance for children from the Belfast Trust to return to the nursery and enjoy a wide range of in-house activities. Last year we enjoyed visits from the Assisi Animal Sanctuary, The Dogs' Trust and even some jungle animals! The children were able to participate in sensory activities and soft play and made great models from junk art. We are looking forward to having even more fun this year!
Segal House Nursery is a family-friendly place and is as much for the parents and families as it is for the children. Many parents will still be adjusting to the fact their child may have a lifelong disability; this can be a very traumatic and challenging time, so we operate an ‘open door' policy in order to provide you with as much support and advice as possible.
- Clinic: parents from the Belfast Trust will be invited to bring their child to the nursery for a clinic day. During this visit your child will be assessed by the therapists and the consultant paediatrician. You will have the opportunity to discuss your child with each of these professionals as well as with a social worker. It is an ideal opportunity for you to raise any issues that concern you and for us to find out if there's anything else we can do for you.
- Therapy evenings: the therapists hold regular therapy evenings which you are welcome to attend. The purpose of these meetings is to give you more information about the different therapies your child is receiving and to offer you support and advice on how you can best help them achieve their individual goals.
- Makaton training: Makaton is the main form of communication for a considerable number of our children and is therefore used a lot in the nursery. Our speech and language therapists provide excellent support in the use of Makaton in the nursery, and also provide training for parents and siblings so that you can communicate with your child at home and help develop their communication skills further.
- Parent workshops: We offer workshops every month to all parents on a range of topics including statementing advice, feeding and early communication, sleep and behaviour, and play and learning. These are facilitated by both Mencap staff and outside agencies who aim to provide practical advice and support to families.
- Coffee and chat: We offer regular coffee and chat mornings when parents can meet together in a relaxed atmosphere, along with our nursery manager, Carolyn Stewart. It is a great chance to catch up, make new friends and share ideas and advice. The coffee and chats are held in the Swallows Room where there is also a parents' information board, detailing various events and support groups that you might like to attend.
- Monthly newsletter: the key workers send home a monthly newsletter to let you know what topics, colours and shapes we will be learning about, as well as any birthdays or special events happening in the nursery.
- Home/nursery diary: the key workers write in your child's diary to inform you about all aspects of your child's day (activities, meals, toileting etc) and can also be used by parents to pass on any information that the key worker might need to know (medication required, appointments etc).
At Segal House Nursery we aim to provide all-round care for your child in order to give them, and you, the best possible start in life.
Special events at Segal House Nursery
We invite family and friends to join us to celebrate the children's talents at our special events.
- Nativity - all families and friends are invited to join us for our nativity performances in December. Each child has their own part to play in the nativity story, making it a very special occasion.
- Graduation - the children work hard throughout their year at Segal House Nursery and our end of year graduation recognises and celebrates their efforts. Another very special day!
Who to contact
For more information about Segal House Nursery, please contact:
Carolyn Stewart (Nursery manager)
Telephone: 028 9069 1351