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Welcome to the May 2021 Early Years SEND Bulletin

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Welcome to the May 2021 Early Years SEND Bulletin
by Tina Newman - Friday, 14 May 2021, 12:39 PM

From Carrie White, Early Years SEND Lead Teacher

Wow, it’s May already, and things are beginning to look like we can return to our ‘normal’ lives once again.  The excitement of the vaccination programme and potential promise of never returning to lockdown is real.  However, there is also a sense of grief and loss about the last year and a bit.  In a discussion with the Educational Psychology Team, it is apparent that we are going through a grieving process - grieving for lost loved ones, but also for the time and opportunities lost through the pandemic.  This manifests in a wide range of ways some people experience a loss of confidence and a real sense of questioning everything they do. 

When thinking of the impact of Covid on our children, there has been an awful lot in the news lately about the lack of language skills children have which has been impacted on since lockdown.  Early Years was mentioned in the Queen’s speech as a priority area.  This is, of course, our priority area and we are acutely aware of the language issues experienced by some children.

Looking forward, we have the New Early Years Foundation Stage, New Development Matters and Birth-Five guidance coming into play for September and as settings you need to look at how this will have an impact for you.  We are working alongside Medway Early Years Limited and a group of different settings to identify and plan how best to report the information needed for funding applications and an Education Health Care Plan needs assessment.  We will be providing some training around this for you in the future.

A huge thank you to you all for the support you provide for our children.


Upcoming EY SEND Webinar Training:

Role of SENCO-18th May 1:30 - 2:30 this is a change of time

Education, Health, Care Process-21st May 10:30 am -11:30 am

Behaviour that Challenges 1st June 10:30 am - 11:30 am

If you would like to book onto any of the training courses, please email Tina Newman at with your SENCo’s name/name of the staff attending and the email address to be used to join the session. As with the other sessions we’ve offered, the email address will be added on to a Microsoft Teams group which could be seen by other delegates and other EY SEND Team members.

The training programme for September 2021 is in the process of being written and we are hoping to offer face to face training once again.


It is that time of year where we start to consider those moving onto school and those who will be joining you for the new academic year.  For those children who are moving onto school, please complete the usual transition document which details where the children are, how they have been supported and the things they like and send these to your EY SEND Practitioner as well as onto schools.  This year has felt like a constant transition period as due to the nature of lockdowns and Covid closures it has been really tricky.

Transition Working Party

I am really keen to set up a working party to look at the transition for children but due to the new EYFS I think it is important to start this project in the new academic year, so we have a long time to gather everyone’s thoughts together and provide a detailed policy and some training to all settings in preparation for the main transition point in July 2022.  Thank you to those of you who have expressed an interest in joining this working party, there is still time to join all you need to do is email me at


Special Educational Needs Inclusion Funding is available for children the term after they turn 3.  It is there to support the child in setting, this can be used by the setting in any way the feel is appropriate so long as it is supporting that child.

To apply for funding, you need to submit an application form and provision map to Funding panel sits monthly (where possible), and you will receive an answer to your request as soon as possible.  At the moment I am completing the funding applications and panel results on top of the other work I have to do so I am doing the best I can for you - we are in the process of arranging for a new administrator to do this.

Invoicing - Please send invoices to as well.  In order to process your invoices quickly, please use an invoice number with the format of the child’s initials, the month and then the year.  For example, Carrie White’s funding invoice for May 2021 would have the invoice number CW052021.  We are not able to process invoice numbers such as 1.

There has been a back log in some of the invoices which I know is really frustrating.  I have emailed the team who pay the invoices and am still awaiting a reply.  Please be patient as I will do my very best to ensure this gets resolved as quickly as possible.

Forms - the funding forms are available on the elearning website.

From the homepage (you can copy and paste link on your web browser), click on Early Years Information and Guidance, click on Referral forms for Practitioners. It will ask you to log in but if you don’t have log in details, you can just click on ‘Log in as Guest’ and you should be able to access all the forms there.

SENCo surgery

During our SENCO surgeries, we can (with parental permission) discuss a child and where they are in regard to their development.   It is important for settings to be prepared for the discussion, so please come prepared with the following documents: 

  • Summary of 2YO Progress Check
  • On Entry Data (if available)
  • Current EYFS levels with some supporting evidence
  • IEPs (if appropriate)
  • Any reports from outside agencies e.g., SaLT, Paediatrician, etc.
  • Consent Form from Parent/Carer

Please remember we are not able to tell you the progress of referrals to SALT/OT/Health Visitor. To do this, please call Snapdragons on 0300 123 3444.

Early Years Wellbeing Webinar

Please see below for the link to the recording of the wellbeing webinar- please click on the link to watch the video.