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Our philosophy

Happy Hours Pre-School, as a member of the Early Explorers Nursery Group, is committed to treating each child as an individual.  All children are different, and it is this that creates their uniqueness and their individuality.  We believe in helping children to ‘Create memories and skills for life.’


1. How does the setting know if children need extra help and what should I do if I think my child may have special educational needs?

At Happy Hours Pre-School we encourage an open and honest flow of information between the setting and all of our parents.  To enable us to do this we complete ongoing observational assessments (including group observations) which are discussed by the practitioners and of course with parents.  Together, we can discuss any areas of concern and how we can support your child both internally and also with the support of external agencies.

Your child will be assigned a key person to look after them when they first start at the setting and we encourage parents and carers to talk to this person openly about any areas they feel their child may need extra support in.  We also have an open door policy which means that parents can come and speak to our Pre-School manager Charlie Phoon, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (Debbie Lafferty) or our Deputy Manager (Linzi Mann) at any time.

We aim to provide many opportunities for you to discuss your child’s educational needs through home visits, regular parents meeting and termly consultations.

2. How will Happy Hours Pre-School staff support my child?

During our settling-in program, the Pre-School and parent/carer will share information about the strengths and needs of your child. Parents and carers will have the opportunity to accompany their child on a visit to help settle them and develop a relationship with their child’s key person. The child will always be at the heart of all we do and it is through our work with parents and the wider family that we aim to achieve this.

Observations, assessment and planning all contribute to individual play plans and ongoing planning which specifically focuses on your child’s current interests and next steps for their development.  We will also listen to you as parent/carer as well as observing and listening to your child. Our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (Debbie Lafferty) will explain to you how your child’s individual needs can be met and how we review the effectiveness of these strategies through regular ongoing observation.  Informal discussions will take place between parent/carer and key person to ensure the strategies remain appropriate and effective at all times, and in addition the key person will build up a solid relationship with the individual child to ensure that their voice and opinion is also heard. 


3. How will the curriculum be matched to my child’s needs?

At Happy Hours Pre-School we use various methods of teaching to enable us to support each child to reach their maximum potential.  Specially designed activities and equipment allow your child’s key person to record an ongoing record of development alongside the Early Years developmental framework.  The setting will provide regular feedback to discuss how your child is progressing and we will work with you to encourage home learning as well as in the setting.  If your child is struggling in a particular area or equally, if they are over achieving, we will talk to you about how we can both support your child, including support from outside agencies and other professionals.  Most importantly, you will be able to see a record of how your child progresses within their learning journal.  Each child’s learning journal is recorded and monitored through individual and group progress reviews which highlight all development, progress and any areas still requiring additional support, this is reviewed every term by the SEND coordinator and Manager and acted upon as required.

4. How will both you and I know how my child is doing and how will you help me to support my child’s learning?

Your child’s Learning Journal and relevant Individual Plan is readily available within the Pre-School for you to access at any time.  All progress is reviewed using Observation of Play and Learning (OPAL) which is produced by Barnet Early Years Alliance (BEYA) and details clearly expected developmental milestones in each area of learning and for each stage of development up to the end of Reception year.

We do not use contact books for all our children however we are happy to introduce one if it will be of benefit and in situations where it is appropriate for us to share and report information on a daily basis.  If an Individual plan is deemed necessary it will not only detail strategies for us to use here at the Pre-School but also how they can be adapted for support at home.  These strategies will be discussed and reviewed regularly by all those concerned to ensure they remain effective.

Whilst our staff are always available to discuss any concerns you may have on a daily basis we also invite you to our half termly conversations and 6 monthly spotlight meetings which provides an opportunity for parents to have an input into the future plans for the Pre-School and help us to improve the education and care we provide to your children.   This, together with information from you about their current interests, will allow us to adapt our planning and activities accordingly.  We hope that this will allow you to have a good understanding and knowledge of your child’s current progress, and how we will endeavor to extend and challenge them appropriately. 

5. What support will there be for my child’s overall well-being?

Where appropriate we will carry out an individual risk assessment for a child with additional needs to ensure that the premises are suitable and that, as much as possible, the risk of injury to themselves and others is kept to an acceptable minimum. 

It may be necessary to increase staff ratios using the relevant inclusion funding to maintain the necessary levels of supervision to allow us to achieve this.  The risk assessment would also include any medical and personal care required and a full discussion will occur as to whether we are able to provide this based on our current levels of basic first aid knowledge and training.

In some circumstances it may be possible for individual members of staff to attend training to deal with some minor additional medical needs but this would be discussed on an individual basis.  We have a high ratio of Pediatric First Aid trained staff and are able to administer medication that has been prescribed by a doctor with your written consent, as stated in our “Illness and Medication Administration Policy”.

As stated in our “Managing Behaviour Policy”, in situations where behavioural issues are a concern, an ongoing discussion will be conducted with parents/carers, and a relevant behaviour support plan will be designed to ensure that consistent care and support is provided by all adults.  The child’s contribution will also be included through information provided by the parents and the key person’s own observation and knowledge of the child. As well as the  This will enable us to observe and highlight any triggers, patterns and effective strategies to build and focus on those behavioural issues. 

If you have any concerns at any time for your child’s overall well-being we encourage an open door policy and would encourage you to seek assistance from your child’s key person, the Preschool Manager (Charlie Phoon) or SENDCo Debbie Lafferty

6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the early years setting?

All our staff are experienced practitioners who have worked in early years for some time and some of them are parents themselves. 

We also have a designated SEND Coordinator and Inclusion Coordinator who regularly maintain up to date knowledge by attending relevant training, and in addition (with your prior permission) we have access to the Early Years Inclusion Team which consists of Early Years Advisory Teachers.  The advisors can come into the setting and support us with any child who has additional needs.  They are able to help us co-ordinate any relevant outside professionals to assist in the child’s learning and development journey, such as Family Out Reach Workers, Speech and Language Therapists, Physiotherapists, Hearing Advisory Teachers, Medical Nurses etc. We happily welcome these professionals into our setting and where possible take account of their input and advice in providing the best possible care for an individual child.

7. What training are the staff, supporting children with SEND, had or are having?

As detailed above our SEND and inclusion coordinator maintains up to date knowledge through relevant and regular training, and any additional training is undertaken as and when necessary depending on the needs of our current children. She is also very experienced in working with Children who have SEND. 

Happy Hours Pre-School has a dedicated team of six staff.  We always have at least one member of staff to every 8 children over the age of 3 years and one member of staff to every 4 children under the age of 3 years present during each session.

The owner holds a Foundation Degree in Early Years Childhood Studies.  The manager holds a Early Years teacher (Eyts) The SENDCo holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and has a variety of SEND training experience and knowledge. Our deputy manager holds a Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education, three of our staff member holds a level 3 qualification in Childcare and Development and one of our staff member holds a level 2 qualification in Childcare and Development.

8. How will my child be included in activities outside the early years setting including trips?

Prior to starting at the Preschool a full discussion will have taken place between parent/carer and the Manager and all activities will be adapted as much as possible to ensure that all children can access all the areas of play regardless of any additional needs.  Any planned trip will always involve a detailed risk assessment, including the needs of individual children to establish the level of support, resources or adaptations required and a discussion will take place with parent/carer to find a way forward to enable each child to participate fully.

9. How accessible is the early years environment? (Indoors and outdoors)

We are located within a Church Hall which currently has wheel chair access into the setting.  Disabled access is available to a large dedicated toilet area and directly onto the fully paved garden area.  

10. How will the early years setting prepare and support my child to join the early years setting, transfer to a new setting/school?

At Happy Hours Pre-School we provide settling in sessions in order to help your child familiarise themselves with their new surroundings and get to know our indoor and outdoor learning environment.  Each child is assigned a key person, who will form a relationship of trust and support with the parent and the child during these sessions and will ask for care plans and registration forms to be completed with questions which will help identify the children’s needs and establish whether any agencies have involvement in their child’s development before starting with us.

If required staff will attend training related to a child’s needs before they attend the setting which will be specific to your child’s needs.    Home visits are offered to new children requiring an enhanced transition to help support a continuity of care between home and the setting. 

Transition to primary school or next setting.

During your child's transition to Primary school or moving onto another setting the Key person and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (Debbie Lafferty) will share information with the school or new setting along with the parent/carer.

Learning journals, progress records, group observations and other relevant documents will be passed on to their new setting.  Teachers are invited to come into the Pre-School to observe your child in their play and current environment and enable us to share as much information as possible to ensure a smooth transition.   Regular meetings with schools and other settings ensure that we understand the importance of a smooth transition and you will be given time to discuss this with the Preschool to discuss any concerns your may have for your child before they move on.

The use of role play with school uniform, books and lunch time practise is a good way to help a child become familiar with new routines.  Part of our philosophy as a Preschool is to encourage children to become independent, life-long learners and therefore the transition process into school takes place through your child’s time with us.  We believe that by preparing them to become confident children with high levels of self-esteem we will encourage your child to flourish in the wider world around them.

11. How are the early years settings resources allocated and matched to children’s special educational needs?

The children have access to a wide range of activities and materials to explore and investigate.  These activities are made available to all the children all the time throughout each session.  If your child requires specific resources such as visual aids and timetables or equipment to aid them with their learning and care we will discuss this with parents/carers and other professionals to enable us to fully support the needs of your child.

12. How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child will receive?

Within the setting the process for highlighting potential additional needs will be completed as described above and an individual plan will be agreed and put in force through joint collaboration with parents/carers.   The setting will ensure that any strategies agreed upon are appropriate and achievable for not only the individual child and staff but also the parents/carers, and progress will be monitored through ongoing observation and discussion.  Should additional professional assistance be thought to be necessary the setting will, with parents/carers permission, make a referral to the Early Years Inclusion Team.  They will observe the Child at the setting and assist parents/carers and the setting with any additional strategies, advice or guidance for further parental referral to outside professionals.  The setting will then, where possible, work with these professionals and parents/carers to support the child’s further development and, once again, ongoing observation and discussion will continue to highlight all progress made.  Further information on the West Sussex County Council website

13. How are parents involved in the early years setting? How can I be involved?

Parents/carers are encouraged to be very involved in their child’s learning both at home and within the Preschool.  We regularly review policies and procedures with parents by sending them home with newsletters and updates.  We have daily discussions, Parent Meetings termly, and encourage parents to come into the setting and share experiences with the children from different cultures, religions, jobs they may do or simply to come in and read with the children.

14. Who can I contact for further information?

Should you be interested in your child joining our Early Years setting you can speak to or email the Manager (Charlie Phoon) or SENDCo (Debbie Lafferty) on 07395 125893 or 07886023508, alternatively you can email the owner (Danielle Wrightson) on

You will be able to talk about availability, book a visit to the premises and meet our team.  During your visit you will have an opportunity to assess whether the premises is suitable, discuss any needs or concerns you may have regarding your child’s development and what care we can provide.  Your first point of contact would be the Manager and once your child’s place has been secured you will be allocated a key person. 

For further information and advice you can contact your local Health Visitor or GP at your registered surgery, or visit The Family Information Service on their website:, or The Local Authority on their website  You can also email the Local Authority with any questions at

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