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Problems with SEN funding at preschool

(22 Posts)
notfromaroundhere Mon 01-Jun-09 21:28:01

DS1 is 3.8, DX with ASD in December last year.

In May the Ed Psych assessed him at home then at preschool and submitted an Initial Assessment Report to the education panel. The panel have agreed to fund 1.5hrs 1-1 per session, up to a max of 5 sessions. The total session time is 2.5hrs.

It seems this isn't workable for his preschool as it will put their ratios out as they already have 3 children who get 1-1. The preschool owner told me that I won't be able to increase DS1's sessions from the 2 that he is doing. (I had wanted to increase them from September). She was quite obviously annoyed about it all.

I'm going to try and speak to the owner about it properly on Friday as I was caught off-guard by her reaction. Is the funding going to be more trouble than it's worth - e.g. preschools can't find staff to work for 1.5hrs or is there a workable solution? I've already pulled him out of one preschool and would hate to disrupt him again.

Any ideas would be gratefully received

cat64 Mon 01-Jun-09 21:58:07

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notfromaroundhere Mon 01-Jun-09 22:26:51

Thank you for your reply

Yes DS1 is at preschool 2 sessions a week, and the LEA will fun 1.5hrs out of 2.5hrs for 5 sessions.

No, it is a small setting, as are all the preschools in the area (we're fairly rural) which is making me wonder if it will be the same story everywhere else. i.e. they would need to take on another member of staff but would struggle to get someone.

They run 5 Mornings only, no afternoon sessions. (apart from an option lunch club twice a week)

I know 1 child has 1-1 support for the full 2.5hrs, not sure about the other 3.

I really thought getting some funding would be a good thing! I hadn't actually spoken to her about increasing his sessions and her comments (with a face like thunder) about not being able to increase them was the only thing she had to say about it.

He does not cause them any problems as he is the withdrawn, bottle it up and save it for home type; he is at his happiest when he is playing alone or playing running around games which is what he is doing there atm. I'm all for him having fun but I want to get him prepared for Primary School (sept 2010).

cat64 Mon 01-Jun-09 22:56:22

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notfromaroundhere Tue 02-Jun-09 20:29:21

Glad it's not just me that thinks it's a strange attitude, I'm aware my perception of the situation will be biased in favour of DS1.

The more I think of it the more I believe it is a staffing issue tbh as there is normally a max of 4 staff on per session and 1 child has full time 1-1. I assume the other children getting support are in on different days to my DS1, either that or they are getting help for smaller amounts (my friends child has 30 mins 1-1, 3 sessions out of 5 so 1.5hrs a week rather than a session). I don't know the regulations on staff ratios but assume that DS1 having 1-1 for 1.5hrs of a 2.5hrs session will impact on it somehow.

It's very frustrating and I'm not sure what to do about it, which is the general theme I am finding since DS1's DX.

lou031205 Tue 02-Jun-09 20:53:18

On what basis does your DS need the 1:1? Will he cope for the other hour? I ask because there are 3 levels of SEN funding. DD1 was allocated 'standard' funding, but preschool aren't coping, so the inclusion officer has applied for 'enhanced' funding, which should cover the whole 2.5 hours.

notfromaroundhere Tue 02-Jun-09 21:14:29

He will cope for the hour as he's passive and withdrawn at preschool but does not display any challenging or difficult behaviour there at all (not the same story at home!). So the 1-1 would be to help him socialise and engage etc and hopefully get him to go the toilet which he hasn't done there since his former keyworker left a couple of months ago. A Specialist Teacher is also to make termly visits to give them advice.

He is very much on his own agenda and the current set up at preschool where he does pretty much as he wants won't help him in the longer term when he starts at primary school.

lou031205 Wed 03-Jun-09 10:55:48

I assume that with a diagnosis of ASD it would be unhelpful for him to have places at two settings? Children can split funding between settings.

bubblagirl Wed 03-Jun-09 11:13:18

you can go to 2 pre schools with government funding could you do 2 mornings at 1 and then 2 at another at all

my ds also gets 1.5 hrs out of 2.5 hr day and copes well with this he does 4 days well at 2.5 hrs as this is the only pre school in area and only open 4 days

but you can choose to send to another and they will get the extra funding for the other 2 days or so

my ds is also to his own agenda and they have introduced a now and next so he chooses a reward once completed his specified time on there activities

could you ask if senco are involved they make sure pre school have all props needed to help my ds and his 1-1

the odd hour he has gives him chance to relax from being so pushed to do there things there way but they still guide him in play and amke sure his not alone to much but understand his time is needed as much as the one to one time

bubblagirl Wed 03-Jun-09 11:18:01

my ds does special needs group and pre school and is fine with going between the 2 again he is calm and accepting but needs help communicating and socialising

if he's not going to school till sept 2010 then maybe ask around other pre schools and see if they can accommodate the hours you need all week if needed

my ds starts school this sept he is just 4 and he still works to his own agenda and probably always will do to a certain extent but has improved alot with his 1-1 help again only 1.5 hr but enough for him

were in middle of statement for school so will hopefully have full support when he starts with age i presume with the right help he will settle and understand how to act much more

madwomanintheattic Wed 03-Jun-09 11:27:12

just ring the early years team at the lea. do you know who your area incCo is? do the 'i'm really confused, can you explain it to me' line and they should sort the nursery out.
dd2 was doing 5 sessions with that funding and then went up to 7 to prep before school. the nursery sound very odd - normally they jump for joy because they get extra cash from the lea... they should be giving the support he needs in any case, whether he has the funding or not, so the staffing issue is a bit of a worry...
ours didn't employ additional staff - they just reworked the rotas to make sure the 1-1 time was available.

cat64 Wed 03-Jun-09 14:43:27

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lou031205 Wed 03-Jun-09 17:40:30

That's interesting. Not sure I follow the 18 mins thing?

How would the funding be influenced by others having funding?

cat64 Wed 03-Jun-09 19:05:52

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notfromaroundhere Wed 03-Jun-09 20:12:40

Thanks for all your replies.

Interesting to see how it works in other areas. We're in Essex and it's done differently. The Ed Psych told me when the panel made the decision he would either get:

1) nothing - case closed
2) nothing immediate but a review in 6 months
3) input from another dept e.g. Specialist Teacher
4) 1.5hrs 1-1 support
5) 2.5hrs 1-1 support

So very much set in stone.

My plan is to speak to the preschool again on Friday and see the owner was just having a bit of a strop (not unheard of). If it is a genuine problem (I'm only guessing but taking on staff may be a big issue for them as an NVq Level 3 left and the new staff member isn't qualified so would probably need a qualfied person to comply with Ofsted due to staff numbers qualified vs unqualified) then I will ring the SEN Ed people and other preschools in the area.

Splitting him across 2 different preschools won't work, he had a short course in a development nursery from Jan to April and his behaviour was a nightmare at home. (he would tantrum all afternoon after each session and my nerves just won't take that again).

lou031205 Wed 03-Jun-09 23:04:36

cat64, that is interesting. But surely unworkable if 1:1 is needed? My DD needs 1:1 support. Regardless of the needs of other children. So the scenario you present would mean her needs were not met. I am on the committee of our preschool, and there simply isn't the money to provide unfunded support.

cat64 Wed 03-Jun-09 23:52:37

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cat64 Wed 03-Jun-09 23:54:36

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madwomanintheattic Fri 05-Jun-09 08:37:48

cat - dd2 accessed this funding for her pd as we didn't statement until final year of nursery for yr r. she had early years funding from her 2nd birthday, but had a state nursery place (very rare!) from her first birthday. we lived in three different LAs across her nursery time and found very little difference in accessing funding or nursery places tbh - a phone call to the new early years team always got the ball rolling if we were moving areas. have never had any trouble with getting the sessions or support she needed.
op - usually the lea will up the support hours to max level for the FS1 year/ year before school (not sure if they call it something else now that the new eyfs is in place) - so you should find that your lea is happy to support 2.5 hours (ie to allow you to up attendance to 5 sessions in prep for school). quite a lot of leas have a lower level limit for the pre-pre-school year iyswim. so you may find that they are happy to up the funding from september in any case, as part of the run-up to school. a quick phone call to the incco will answer that for you. that may be what your nursery manager is fretting about?

notfromaroundhere Fri 05-Jun-09 11:12:03

Spoke to the preschool owner this morning and is all sorted. I think the letter from the Ed dept must have sent her into a flap hence the strop she had at me. She can't increase him from 2 sessions this term but there is no problem with him doing 4 sessions from next term. I am more than happy with that, particularly as 2 of the other children who get 1:1 are definitely leaving to start school and possibly the child who has full time 1:1 as well.

madwomanintheattic Fri 05-Jun-09 11:42:40

that's great. hope he enjoys the extra sessions x

notfromaroundhere Fri 05-Jun-09 19:58:07

aw thanks. I had to go in and get him today as he was refusing to leave and trying to hide so I think it's safe to say he will love it grin

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