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Nursery Plus

Bluecoat is one of three Nursery Plus bases in North Devon which covers Great Torrington, Bideford and Holsworthy. Our Nursery Plus team is led by Teacher Becky Rollinson supported by Assistants Stella Littlejohns and Leanne Watson. Find out more about the team.

What is Nursery Plus?

Nursery Plus is a Devon educational outreach service which supports early years settings in receipt of Early Years Education Fund to meet the needs of children identified with additional or Special Educational Needs.  Nursery Plus is a component of the continuum of SEN provision in Devon and promotes the inclusion of all children and the expectation that all children will achieve their potential.

Nursery Plus aims to:

  • Increase the number of children who start school achieving expected levels of development
  • Support children who have significant barriers to learning to be school ready
  • Enable settings to include children with social and emotional difficulties
  • Ensure children who have not already been identified have appropriate interventions and referrals in place prior to starting school

Nursery Plus achieves this by supporting early years settings to provide high-quality early learning through:

  • Highly differentiated planning to meet the individual needs of the targeted child
  • Modelling good practice to settings to support effective inclusion of all children
  • Promotion of child centred approaches and independence


Admissions Criteria

  • The child is in an early years setting
  • The child is in receipt of Early Years Education Funding (EYEF) on commencement of Nursery Plus intervention.
  • The Child is due to start school in the coming academic year (school start date, SSD, will be next September). If the child is in receipt of 2Gether funding a setting may make a referral during the term they turn three
  • The setting has followed a graduated Response and provided the child with a differentiated curriculum to support their individual needs
  • A Nursery Plus referral form has been received in time for the admissions panel meeting

In addition to the above

 The child is either:

  • not more than 12 months delayed in one or more of the Prime Areas of the EYFS
  • The child is making progress but this is currently too slow to catch up with their peers
  • The child is not in receipt of support from Portage
  • The child has not been referred to the single point of access and does not need an integrated assessment

Or the child:

  • Is showing delay in some areas of the EYFS (more than 12 months but not more than 2 years)
  • Has been supported through a graduated approach but has made little or no progress despite the implementation of targeted level strategies in one or more of the 4 areas of need
  • Has been referred to the ICS single point of access and is awaiting an assessment
  • Has had an assessment at the children’s assessment centre and has been discharged without further specialist intervention identified but continues to require support within the setting to ensure that their needs can be met
  • Has identified SEND and will continue to need support through school but will not meet the criteria for an EHC plan
  • Has significant emotional and social difficulties which are impacting on the child’s ability to engage in learning
  • The setting has significant concerns regarding the child’s development but no other services have been involved prior to starting pre-school
  • Another support service has identified that the setting would benefit from onsite support to include the child and meet the child’s additional needs ie physical difficulties team


Which children are most likely to benefit from Nursery Plus support?

 Children who:

  • Have difficulties/significant difficulties understanding what is said to them or tend to follow others
  • Have limited/very limited language –  find it difficult express themselves and their needs
  • Have difficulties following instructions
  • Have difficulties with some speech sounds
  • Have difficulties/significant difficulties following routines and boundaries
  • Are unable to focus for any length of time
  • Lack confidence
  • Are quiet or withdrawn
  • Rarely interact with other children
  • Are reliant on an adult
  • Often choose the same activities to engage with
  • Are disruptive or challenging
  • Have difficulties with self help
  • Do not know how to play with toys or use equipment appropriately
  • Have difficulties with fine or gross motor skills
  • Have identified areas of delay but no current assessments or services are involved
  • Could make better progress if barriers to learning were removed


How Are Referrals Made?

All referrals will be made by Early Years setting adhering to the criteria for referrals using a county agreed referral form.  Before a referral is made it is recommended that settings should contact their Early Years Consultant to discuss the referral and current provision.   Referrals can be made termly and should be submitted to the local Nursery Plus team.  Referrals will be reviewed against the criteria by a panel on a termly basis.  Dates for admissions meetings and referral deadlines will be posted on a termly basis on the Babcock LDP website.  Places are limited and allocated on a priority needs basis.  All Nursery Plus teams will hold a waiting list where necessary and additional local review and admissions meetings will be held where places become available

When a child is allocated a place:

  • The setting will be contacted by standard letter to confirm offer
  • A leaflet for parents, a leaflet for settings and a setting support contract is sent
  • Support for the child will start no later the beginning of the following term but may start as soon as a place is available
  • Nursery Plus staff will contact the setting to confirm day of visits and finalise any other information that is required for the setting or parents

When a child is not allocated a place but is on the waiting list:

  • the setting will be contacted by standard letter notifying them that the child is on the waiting list
  • the child’s name will sent to Professional Lead for Early Years
  • the setting will be asked to contact their EYC for advice in the interim
  • name of child to be placed on waiting list in case place becomes available in near future in which case setting will be contacted again

When a child is not allocated a place:

  • the setting will be contacted by standard letter
  • the child’s name will sent to the Professional Lead for Early Years
  • the setting will be asked to contact their EYC for advice

It is the responsibility of the setting to inform parents of the outcome of the Nursery Plus referral.