Many of our children successfully attend mainstream nurseries and pre-schools and with the right support in place we find it benefits not only them as individuals but their peers and carers as well.
As a parent leaving any child in the care of others can be a daunting prospect and when your child has additional needs there are more questions and concerns that you may have.
Ofsted reports and the recommendations of other parents are useful sources of information, but it is important to obtain your own perspective on which setting you believe will be best for your child. Visit them, see how the staff interact with your child and with other children and be prepared to ask questions (lots of them if you need to) and be prepared that they may have questions for you too.
As a parent you will know your child’s needs best, so it is worth taking the time to write down any concerns you have and identify areas where your child will require additional support or supervision before your visit. This will help you to ensure that these are addressed. Open channels of communication between setting and parents are invaluable to ensure that your child has every opportunity to flourish within their nursery or pre-school and to ensure that the staff have the understanding and knowledge to facilitate this.
If you have a portage worker employed by the county council, they are likely to have a wealth of experience in working with nurseries and pre-schools and will work with you and the staff to provide support for you as a family and for the setting.
Funding for free childcare is available for 2-year olds with a disability if certain criteria are fulfilled, which can help parents with costs. In addition, other sources of funding are available to settings if they require additional staff or equipment to meet your child’s needs.