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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Below is a brief description of what Acre Wood Day Nursery (Arlesey) Ltd can provide for any child with a special educational needs and/or disabilities; Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are often referred to as SEND.

SEND can be wide ranging and what effects one child may be very different to that of another child. At Acre Wood  Day Nursery (Arlesey) Ltd we look on each child as an individual and we will endeavour to address the need specific to them. To help us achieve this we have our own Special Educational Needs and Disability co-ordinator (referred to as SENCO). Hayley our SENCO officer has under gone SENCO training which includes a Special Educational Needs Level 3 Qualification. Hayley also undertook training in Speech and Language for Children with Autism.

Our Policies and Procedures manual is very comprehensive with a clear value that makes certain we strive to provide both the best and were possible equal opportunities to all children.

At Acre Wood Day Nursery (Arlesey) Ltd we employ a high ratio of staff who are fully qualified nursery nurses; that’s level 3 qualified or higher. Some of our staff are level 6 qualified (that’s degree level) As part of their professional training they are taught to be vigilant in looking for signs of a child with or potentially developing a Special Educational Need /Disability and to make certain Acre Wood Day Nursery complies with the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice 2015. If you would like to read the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice 2015 please click HERE

A User Friendly Nursery

From the very first moment you come to Acre Wood Day Nursery you will find our nursery has been designed with people who have special educational needs and disabilities in mind. All of our nursery is on a single ground floor level, no problematic stairs to worry about. A very small ramp from our rear garden affords access for anyone with mobility concerns. Our two children’s toilet blocks are very easily accessible, all fitted with infant WC sized toilets for ease of use. One of our toilet blocks is fitted with easy to use infrared sensor operated taps, making washing hands easier for children who find turning taps on and off difficult. Our other toilet block affords conventional taps so children with disabilities can endeavour to learn if they wish too, by simply having a go at turning them on and off. Rest assured our trained staff members are always at hand to help.

We also have an adult disabled, user friendly WC, fitted with alarm call facility.

Food at Acre Wood Day Nursery (Arlesey) Ltd

Food allergies can kill. Food intolerances can make a person ill. It is for this reason we work very closely with our parents. We have produced a food ingredients list to indicate on our menu any of the 14 categorised allergens as defined by the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation (EU FIC). It came into force on 13 December 2014: You can read more about this law by going to

Any parent that alerts us to known food intolerance /allergy which their child suffers from will be given a risk assessment form to fill in. From this our staff and the parents will together draw up an action plan on what needs to be done to keep the child safe. Our cook is required to seek instructions each day from our qualified nursery nurses about which children are in attendance and their known food allergy / intolerance. Our cook also has her own list of known food intolerant/allergy children in the kitchen, affording her more details about their individual problems. When the food is served the food for those children with intolerance / allergy is placed on a separate tray, covered with tin foil and the child’s name written on it. After discussion with parents, if required we can sit a member of staff next to the child at dinner time for extra safety.

Occasionally parents issue this nursery with an Epipen, just in case! An Epipen is only provided to this nursery after the child has been prescribed it by a doctor. Many of our staff have been trained in the use and administration of an Epipen (automated injection pen of Adrenaline for the treatment of Anaphylaxis), however the law was changed in 2012 (Medicines Act) on using one in an emergency situation; they can be administered by anyone if done with the intention to save a life in an emergency.

Our staff members are very vigilant; they are trained to look for children who are not known to suffer with food allergies / intolerances but suddenly start showing signs of reacting to food they have just eaten.

Children with Medical Needs and/ or Physical Disabilities

When a child first starts at our nursery we will discuss with the parents any known disabilities. Risk assessment will be undertaken along with an action plan on how we work with the child to enhance their nursery experience. We very much want the children with disabilities to get as much out of this nursery as those with no disability. Where appropriate to do so and with parental consent given, we will work with other professional agencies and the parents to achieve the best outcome and support for the child. Progress reports and observation reports to parents and where appropriate to other professional agencies will be made available, your child’s development will be monitored.

How can our CCTV help with medical needs / disabilities?

CCTV is not a legal requirement in children’s day nurseries, however we believe it is so valuable to the well being of children we have fitted a total of 12 cameras at our nursery. All three of our classrooms, plus our two gardens are fitted with CCTV recordings. Even our car park has a camera recording. So to answer our original question how can our CCTV help with medical needs / disabilities?

The answer is, CCTV has a dual purpose;

  • Safeguarding children
  • The potential to replaying to parents or third party professionals captured moments such as an Absence Seizure or a Febrile Seizure. If needs be copies can be made available of what occurred so parents can show their doctors; put simply, seeing is believing!

Parents as partners

We cannot emphasis enough the role parents jointly have in working with this nursery to bring about the best results for their child. Our staff will work very closely with the parents, discussing and planning how to afford the child the very best start in life. We will always seek parental consent before approaching other professional agencies (the exception being where we have a mandatory legal obligation to pass on information).

Child development is so important, that’s why at Acre Wood Day Nursery we make staff training a reality. Our staff frequently attend refresher /updating training. Our staff are trained to observe and identify Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. They use their expertise to liaise with parents and other professional agencies.

Extra Help

If your child has a learning disability or physical or medical need, where appropriate to do so and with parental consent, our SENCO officer will work closely with other professional agencies. We use observations and the Early Years Foundation Stage to help us identify any children who may need extra /additional help and support. For those children whose needs are more complex or severe the local authority will carry out an Education Health and Care Assessment which will determine how the child’s needs are to be met. The support can and will vary depending on the child’s individual and / or medical needs. Types of support may include:

  • Visits from the Early Years support team
  • Adapting routines and activities to meet the child’s individual needs which can include things like providing a visual time table or using alternative communication systems e.g. photographs or picture references.
  • Following advice given by other professionals e.g. speech and language therapist.
  • Time allocated into the daily routine to work on outcomes specified in the child’s SEND support plan either on a 1:1 basis or in a small group.
  • Offering and providing 1:1 support for those children who need it and have been allocated it.

We may be provided with additional funding following an early years assessment of a child. This will be used to the support the child with their need.


We hold medicine either in locked high up the wall cabinets or a fridge if it is required. We have and genuinely do implement a strict policy on administering medication; Click here for further information.

“The Local Offer” from Central Beds Council

Central Bedfordshire Council has information available to children and parents on the subject of Special Needs and Disability. It is often referred to as THE LOCAL OFFER.

If you would like information on this please CLICK HERE


Further information you may find helpful;

Definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010

Equality Act 2010

Early Years Foundation Stage and the Disability Discrimination Act

House of Commons Library. Briefing Paper, Number 07020, 16 October 2015. Special Educational Needs: Support in England