Early Years Training & Resources
A range of training opportunities and resources for Early Years Settings
nasen offers a range of training opportunities and resources specifically for leaders and practitioners, working in the Early Years (EY). nasen is also currently working alongside, The Council for Disabled Children, I CAN, The Communication Trust, Contact, School Improvement Liverpool and Nursery World, as part of the DfE-funded EY SEND Partnership.
Face-to-face CPD for Early Years Practitioners
nasen are pleased to confirm that with funding from the DfE we have been able to develop two new courses for Early Years practitioners with help and support from other partners. Attendance on these courses is FREE for practitioners, however there may be some eligibility criteria.
If you work in a private, voluntary or independent Early Years setting, would like to develop confidence and knowledge about effective SEND provision for the children in your care, and would like a FREE gold membership then this course is for you. The Early Years SENCO Award is a 12.5 day course running over 13 weeks which includes the course venue, lunch and printed course materials.
This FREE one-day course (worth £199) is aimed at SENCOs and managers in PVI settings from West/East Midlands, North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber regions who would like to develop their skills in leading a whole-setting approach to SEND. It will provide you with the tools and skills to conduct an Early Years SEND Review, leading to improvements in practice and outcomes for children with SEND. The course is delivered by Achievement for All on behalf of nasen, through the EYSEND Partnership.
We are pleased to announce that we are now offering FREE places on our half-day course: ‘The Four Broad Areas of Need: What EY Settings Need to Know’, worth £100! The needs covered include: autism, speech, language and communication (SLCN), dyslexia, social, emotional and mental health needs and more.
Early Years SEND Review Guide
The EY SEND Review Guide has been developed by AfA and nasen, as part of the EY SEND Partnership, to support leaders in Early Years settings to review their setting’s practice for children with SEND. We strongly recommend that you undertake training so that this guide can be used as effectively as possible – we are currently offering DfE-funded training for EY settings in the West Midlands, East Midlands, North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humberside.Early Years Review guide
The guide is also available as a 'white label' PDF, which can be printed without images etc:Early Year SEND Review Guide - White label
An editable word version of the tables within the guide is also available, and should be read in conjunction with the full guidance:Early Years SEND Review guide - editable
Early Years SEND Resources
A bank of resources designed specifically for the Early Years will give educators the resources and training needed to enable them to identify and meet the needs of young children with SEND. The resources are FREE, but we do require you to be registered as a nasen member at a bronze level or higher. If you are not already a member, register today.
You can access the resources in any order; they are a bank of materials not a formal course. If you are an Early Years leader and want to use these resources with your staff, then please read the Information for Early Years Leaders first.
As an early years leader or manager, you may want to use these resources to support the Continuing Professional Development of your staff, so we have some suggestions to help you:
Focus On SEND Training (Early Years) is a good starting point; this will give you a baseline and enable you to view the accounts of your staff, so you can see how they are getting on and where they might benefit from your input. This could include being able to see what further training might be useful for them. Focus On SEND Training will give your staff a sound foundation in understanding good practice for SEND for them to build upon.
The webcasts are short presentations offering information and points for reflection. We recommend that they are viewed in the order presented as there is a logical progression but your staff are free to select any they want to access at any point. Equally, you might wish to support individual staff by directing them to specific webcasts. These could form an alternative starting point to Focus On SEND training, or you might like to suggest that your staff watch them after completing Focus On SEND training, to add depth to their knowledge.
Each webcast comes with a supporting document, containing the content of the webcast and some short reflection activities, and many have references to other useful sources. It will really help your staff’s professional development to complete these activities, either individually or as part of a group.
The webcasts include ‘reflection points’ where viewers are asked to stop and think; these will be most effective if the webcast video is paused at this point to allow staff time to do this reflection; you may wish to ask for feedback and discussion at these points.
You may wish to use the webcasts either individually or as a set, to enhance a staff meeting or CPD session. For example, if you are doing some development work on the role of the key person, then you could view the webcast about the role of the key person in relation to children with SEND as part of that session.
It is generally more effective when CPD takes place as part of a group, and occurs over time i.e. short fortnightly sessions tend to be more effective than a day once a term. Working together as a group also allows for discussion, deepens the learning, and will make it easier for staff to try things out in the setting so that they can then come back together to reflect further.
The face-to-face training resources are provided so that you can lead and deliver these sessions in your own setting, even if you are not confident with SEND, as the resources provide everything you need to be able to do this effectively. Face-to-face training, especially when delivered over several sessions with time for action and reflection in between each session, is a very effective way of developing your staff's skills and confidence.
You can decide whether you want to run the sessions as a whole day, two half days, or a series of one-hour sessions. It is generally most effective to space out learning, giving staff time to reflect, try things out and then return to discuss what they have tried, so we would suggest that you plan 5 one-hour sessions over the course of several weeks if possible.
The face-to-face sessions are a chance for you as the leader to really understand your staff’s attitudes, beliefs and levels of confidence, and to try to address any misconceptions that they may have. They also provide essential opportunities for you and your staff to discuss practice, perhaps in relation to individual children, and to consider your setting’s approach to meeting the needs of children with SEND.
You could use face-to-face training to introduce staff development for SEND, and then supplement it with other resources, but it may be better for staff to interact with some of the other resources first, so that there is a shared level of basic understanding which can then be dissected and discussed face-to-face.
The miniguides are designed to be read and referred to over a period of time. This will probably work best if staff have already had some input from one or more of the other resources available on the nasen website. You could suggest that staff read them online, or perhaps that one or two copies are printed out to have available for staff to quickly and easily refer to in the setting.
You may also decide that it would be helpful to have some copies available for parents, carers and visitors to your setting. This would support the message that you are an inclusive setting, as well as providing parents and carers with a valuable source of information. The miniguides could also be used to refer to in meetings with parents or carers, about their child with SEND.
View one webcst a week in staff meetings and give staff time for reflection activities
Have these guides available to all staff to refer to
Focus on SEND
Ask all staff to complete this early years module & provide all staff with information & a link to the training
Use the face to face training materials to deliver a one hour training session every other month.
20 useful webcasts to help you support children in the Early Years. Titles include: the role of the key person, the four broad areas of need, social and emotional well-being in young children, and many more.
Four handy mini-guides are now available. The guides look at how to identify and support children with SEND in the early years for: PVIs and governing-body led settings, childminders, reception classes and maintained nursery settings
These materials, split into 5 sessions, have been designed to help you facilitate training in your own setting. Sessions include: The role of the SENCO, high quality inclusive teaching, and working together with parents to support all children.