The role of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)
All group childcare settings such as nurseries and after-school clubs will have a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo).
The role of the SENCo involves:
- ensuring all practitioners in the setting understand their responsibilities to children with SEN and the setting's approach to identifying and meeting SEN.
- advising and supporting colleagues.
- ensuring parents are closely involved throughout and that their insights inform action taken by the setting.
- liaising with professionals or agencies beyond the setting.
You should not be charged extra because your child has a disability or special educational needs. There may be additional funds available to support your child in a setting and the SENCo in the setting will be able to discuss this with you.
SENCos are supported in their role by the setting's linked Inclusion and Improvement (I&I) Adviser, who is part of the Achieving for Children Early Years Service. It is the role of the I&I Adviser to fully support the setting with all aspects of inclusion.
Should the SENCo need to widen the support for the child then they can call upon the Early Years Service to provide advice and practical support about approaches to identification, assessment and intervention. This support also includes networks, training and disseminating good practice. In Kingston and Richmond there are also Inclusion Hubs. These are childcare settings who have received a fully funded, comprehensive and enhanced programme to better support the inclusion of children with significant needs.
When you are contacting childcare settings, speak to the SENCo and discuss how they can meet the needs of your child, including any additional equipment, language support or other assistance they may need. Childcare providers should make "reasonable adjustments" to their services so that your child has access to the same activities as anyone else.
Use the Childcare Search on the Community Section of this website
You can watch videos and find other useful information about inclusive childcare on the Coram Family and Childcare website
Find out how education settings can make simple changes or "reasonanable adjustments" to accomodate your child's needs