COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE
As well as providing a range of free resources to support literacy, the talk to your baby section of the website provides downloadable quick tips sheets to promote speech and language. They're available in a range of languages.
This website provides lots of information, current research, courses available and also publishes free resources, including Universally Speaking which is a booklet for schools, settings and parents.
This is a website for practitioners and parents and provides a progress checker which can be useful if you have concerns about a child’s speech and language skills.
ICAN offer a free call back service called ICAN Help where you can speak to a Speech and Language Therapist if you have concerns about a child, the number is 020 7843 2544.
Selective Mutism is an emotional disorder of childhood in which affected children speak fluently in some situations but remain consistently silent in others (definition from SMIRA - Selective Mutism Information and Research Association). Early intervention is vital, in some areas this will be from Speech and Language Therapy and in others Child and Adult Mental Health Services. This booklet is very helpful, particularly page 16 which gives a breakdown of the stages of confident speaking in pre school and school settings. SMIRA has a very active Facebook group and a useful website.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Understanding Childhood provides free, downloadable information leaflets for parents and practitioners. Topics include Divorce and Separation, Bereavement, Tempers and Tears and Sibling Rivalry.
YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people, they provide a free parent helpline.
A range of film clips and downloadable factsheets/booklets from East Midland National Centre for Sport and Excercise Medicine.
ERIC is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and young people with ongoing continence problems and has a free helpline and email facility for parents and professionals as well as a range of free downloadable leaflets. . They have a webpage discussing the myths around toilet training and school which can be found here.
USEFUL FOR SENCOs
The Early Years section begins on page 78 but I would also recommend reading Chapter One which explains the principles.
This has been produced by 4Children and the Council for Disabled Children, a must read for all SENCOs.
The Equality Act 2010
The Council for Disabled Children have published a guide Disabled Children and the Equality Act 2010 for Early Years.
This is an adapted version of the Early Support Developmental Journal and as it's only 15 pages long is much easier to print out. A great way to identify a child's developmental starting point and to record progress.
I recommend regularly completing this tool for every child in your setting to help identify any gaps in development. Remember to complete it from the beginning, thinking about the child as they are now. Gaps in development can be significant.
Brilliant website and blog, lots of great articles, interviews and up to date information.
Sources of Funding for Early Year Settings
If you have children attending your setting in England who are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance you can claim £615 per year Disability Access Fund for them, contact your Local Authority for further information. Further information about this and Inclusion Funding is available here. Don't believe local myths about funding for children with SEND, check out the facts!
There is a wide range of information available on the early years section of their website, including a poster giving questions to ask at each stage of the graduated response.
Teachwire publish a free downloadable magazine for SENCOs. Although it's aimed at school based SENCOS, some of the articles are also relevant for SENCOs in the Early Years.
Free online training and resources from NASEN
You need to set up a Bronze account to access the resources but this is free to do. There are twenty Webcasts on a range of topics, four Miniguides for different types of early years settings and Face to Face Training Materials.
USEFUL FOR PARENTS/CARERS
IPSEA stands for Independent Parental Special Education Advice and offers free and independent information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities. A much needed support for parents, please signpost them!
Information and Advice Services (previously parent partnership service) have a duty to provide information, advice and support to disabled children and young people, and those with SEN, and their parents. There should be an IAS Service in every local authority in England. From this page you can find the contact details of your local service. If you're in Wales, please look at the website Snap Cymru and for Scotland, the website for Enquire.
A national charity whose website contains a wide range of information, including medical information, support groups, benefits, childcare/education and a free helpline. Their booklet Concerned about your child? is very helpful.
This booklet providers a guide to children's learning and development in the early years.
I try to check these links regularly but if you find any that don't work please contact me and I'll send you a free toolkit to say thanks.