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Grove Cottage

Childcare type: Day nursery

At Grove Cottage Special Needs Nursery we offer one to one support for children with special needs, including learning disabilities, Down's Syndrome, Autism etc. We have a multi sensory room and outdoor play area with an approved safety surface. On Tuesdays we take the children to Grange Paddocks swimming pool. We have regular visits from the local physiotherapy and occupational therapists. There is a speech and language therapist who the children can see every Tuesday (for an additional fee).

Who to contact

Contact Name
Maria Sims
01279 656085

Where to go

Bishops Stortford Mencap Nursery, 151
London Road
Bishop's Stortford
CM23 3JX
Get directions

Other Details

¬£25.00 Per session
30 Hours Provider
3-4 Year Old Funding?
2 Year Old Funding?
Age Range
6 months to 5 years


Ofsted URN
Latest Inspection:
Latest Inspection
Inspection DateInspection TypeInspection Judgement
04/07/2018Inspection (Early Years Register)Good

Local Offer

Early Years Extended Local Offer Response

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 Grove Cottage each child is treated as an individual.
  • All children who attend Grove Cottage have a learning disability of some form, even if this is not yet formally diagnosed. 

Are you taking children without SEND?

  • On entry to the nursery we do a base line assessment to identify their needs.
  • We work with many professionals who include Local inclusion team, Health visitors, Speech and Language Therapists, Educational Phycologists, Advisory Teachers, Children’s centres, Occupational therapists and other SENCo.
  • The Manager /SENCO acts as lead Professional for many families using Early Support to allow involved professionals to work together.
  • The children all have a key worker who will track and record the Childs progress. This will allow us to highlight areas that need extra help, and call in the appropriate experts.
  • We carry out a Two year old check to assess progress and discuss the findings with parents.  It is recommended you  share this with your health visitor and any professional that may be involved
2. How will setting staff support my child?
  • All children at Grove Cottage have adult support to help with meet their  individual  needs
  • With the approval of parents the Manager is able to call a Team around the Family TAF Meeting which allows all professionals involved to share information.
  • We would advise that Early Support is used to start the assessment process, and as much information is gathered to make this successful.
  • Other professionals will be invited to come observe the child . This allows us to form an IEP, which is a list of agreed achievable targets that will allow the chid to progress.
  • IEPs are updated every six weeks by the Childs key person and SENCO.  Progress is reported and any amendments to targets are made before parents sign the new document.
  • This helps maintain good Home Nursery relationship with the families.
3. How will I know how my child is doing?
  • We have an open door policy so parents can talk to staff on a daily basis.
  • We have parent’s forums, IEP meetings TAF Meetings.
  • When a professional visits nursery we complete a visit form.  A copy is given to parents, allowing them to always be aware of changes and updates to how that professional is working with their child.
  • Parents are also welcome to be at these visits, so forging good relationships.
4. How will the learning and development provision be matched to my child's needs?
  • We keep a photographic record of the children’s progress in a developmental journal which parents are always able to look at and take home to add others pictures and comments.
  • An IAELD may be done. This is a Hertfordshire based, Individual Assessment of Education to allow us to share levels with other professionals. It allows us to adapt the planning and learning to each Childs individual needs, while working as a peer group.
  • Staff work closely together to plan activities differentiated to all child’s abilities. The staff all have Special needs training and are kept up to date with early years changes.

Staff use observations and assessments to plan the curriculum to meet the individual child’s needs

5. What support will there be for my child's overall wellbeing?
  • We are able to offer  support with issues surrounding feeding,  toileting , sleep, behaviour, speech and language therapy, and family support.
  • The Children’s Centre and Health Visitors also offer support. We believe in creating a positive support network for our children and their families.
6. What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by setting?
  • At Grove Cottage we have a wealth of experience of children with additional needs including Downs Syndrome, Autism and complex medical needs.
  • We use Makaton and  PECS (picture exchange) to support communication.
  • Children also have input and visits from; Inclusion development officer, Early Years Consultant, Essex Pre-School teacher, Visual Impairment concultant, Occupational Health, Community Health, Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy, SENCAN, Health visitors, Paediatricians, Opthalmology, Educational Psychology Service, Specialist teachers
7. What training and/or experience do the staff, supporting children with SEND, have?
  • The Manager and Deputy are SENCOs.
  • Staff undergo regular training in a great breadth of additional needs.
  • We have our own in house Speech and Language department and work with the hearing and visual impairments team.
  • We are also able to advise parents on training they may also access.
  • Staff access training from Herts County Council,
  • Staff receive training  updates where needed in response to changes in the nursery population’ s SEND 
  • Management staff attend local SENCo cluster meetings to share developments and practice
8. How will my child be included in activities outside the setting?
  • We offer one to one for all children if required
  • Activities are planned and differentiated with adult support ( if needed)  to enable each child to participate at their individual level
9. How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child's learning and development?
  • We are involved in TAF meetings, and regular parents forums give us the chance to discuss and update IEPs with you. We believe in transparency at all these meetings so your questions and concerns can be answered.
  • We will involve you as much as possible, to enable you to support your family on this important part of  a complicated journey.
  • We value your input into planning for your child and see this as key to meeting each child’s needs.
  • We update targets half termly for those with IEPs, which we share and agree with parents .
  • Other target planning is shared at our termly parent forums, but parents are always welcome to discuss progress and have access to their child’s Learning Journey at all times.
10. How accessible is the building / environment?
  • The building and mini bus are fully wheelchair accessible and all our activities are open to all.
  • We are able to take the children weekly to Swimming, as well as outings related to nursery topics.  We have special pushchairs as well as a hoist within the building. The Nursery has a sensory room to allow quiet time or sensory therapy when needed.
  • We have disabled toilets and special changing facilities for all children. We are able to offer a separate sleeping area when needed.
  • We have a good outdoor area which is risk assessed and checked daily before use. The main play area is equipped with a safety surface.
11. How will the setting prepare and support my child with transitions between home, settings and school?
  • We work very closely with the next setting to enable a smooth transition, allowing the families to visit as much as possible. We strongly advocate the sharing of information between us and other settings, to enable a positive transition.
  • We do home visits before the child starts to allow us to form strong relationships. Families fill out an ‘all about me’ booklet, to share simple facts that make transition easier such as likes and dislikes.
  • The nursery has a uniform and book bag which allows the children to feel part of our Nursery. Staff also wear the same uniform.
  • The children are provided with a home / nursery log to enable communication. Where needed they can also access a photo book about the setting, providing additional point of reference when managing activity and environment transitions. Parents are welcome to stay and settle their child in until they feel comfortable to leave them in our care.
12. How will [the setting's] resources be used to support children's special educational needs?
  • Toys and equipment are used to enhance all children’s education and development.
  • We borrow resources from specialist agencies to further develop our resources. Occupational therapists may advise on resources and Advisory Teachers.
  • We have our own sensory room
  • We have safely surfaced outside area
  • We use our targeted work to identify toys and equipment specific to an individual child’s special  need and development
13. Who can I contact for further information about the Early Years Offer in the setting?

Maria Sims Grove Cottage Special Needs Nursery Manager 

01279 656085

Last updated on 19/08/2019
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