Children with additional needs

Principle and statement of intent

In formulating this policy re refer to the following principles:

U.N Convention on Rights of the Child article 23 states that – Parties recognise that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child’s active participation in the community.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 sets out two main duties for childcare providers:

  • Not to treat a child with disabilities ‘less favourably’
  • To make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for children with disabilities

At Bumbles Day Care we believe in the principles of Equal Opportunities and therefore we welcome children whatever their level of ability. Our aim is to provide a stimulating atmosphere and appropriate learning opportunities for all children, so that they can feel respected and have their individuality and potential recognised, valued and nurtured.

We will build positive relationships with parents and carer’s to work effectively and keep them fully involved and informed with their child’s progress. Working together will help both, the child and the parent/carer.


Additional needs is defined in three ways. A child potentially has additional needs if he / she :

  • Has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age.
  • Requires additional support from the adults within the setting when carrying out our usual routine.
  • Has a disability, which prevents or hinders the child from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local education board.

Children with additional needs may include those with sensory, physical, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Between 3% and 5% of children in Northern Ireland are classified as having a disability. (NISRA, 2003)

It is noted that not all disabled children have special needs, neither are all special needs due to disability.

Specialist help

Children with additional needs, like all other children, will be admitted into Bumbles after consultation between parents/carer’s and the Bumbles manager. The manager will if appropriate and with consent, liaise and seek advice from other professional agencies, such as Early Years, GP, a Health Worker or Therapist.

We have a huge role working with Parents and Carers, to identify learning needs and develop strategies (individual care plans) to help work on areas of particular need. In normal practice, it is the role of the parent to access and involve outside professionals.

At Bumbles Day Care we will endeavour to accommodate all children wherever possible, by:

  • Adjusting the Curriculum to suit all ability levels, in all areas of development.
  • Ensure that all children have full access to the play opportunities offered within the setting.

Whenever a child with additional needs attends, the staffing complement is reviewed to ensure the wellbeing and development of the child is promoted.

Monitoring and review

We use a system of observations and development checks for every child that joins Bumbles Day Care and apply the following:

  • Children’s progress is monitored on an individual basis and regularly reviewed, with the purpose of:
    • Recording the child’s development
    • Identifying any unusual behaviour patterns or concerns
    • Planning curriculum and routines
  • Should any staff feel concerned about a child or additional help and advice are needed, they will seek the help of the Bumbles management team.
  • Involve parents/carers as we recognise parental input is important
  • Discuss any ongoing concerns
  • Agree with any play or care plans
  • With consent, provide evidence if a child is to be assessed for the purpose of statement of their special needs.
  • When appropriate, link with other professionals, such as therapists and health visitors, in order to meet children’s specific needs.
  • If age appropriate – we will ask the child to contribute to their own planning around activities they would like to do / think they can manage

All information is kept confidential and only those involved with the child will be able to access such information.

Where there are children with additional needs in their group, we seek to provide the staff with appropriate training and support. Some of the team have attended training at the Oakwood ASD Advisory Service, and we have adapted some of their recommendations for structure and communication across the settings.

We also avail of resources provided by the Early Years Organisation. As well as staff sharing any knowledge and resources that they have gained from their studies.