Additional Needs in Flying Start

The Flying Start Inclusion Team

Our team is made up of an Early Years Specialist Teacher and Transition Support Worker. Our role is to:

  • Support families and children with an additional need in Flying Start areas to access their local Flying Start setting.
  • Ensure families with children with additional needs have a smooth transition from home into early years setting and then from early years setting into nursery.
  • Provide training, support and advice to Flying Start settings so they can be fully inclusive and be able to meet the needs of all children in their care.
  • Facilitate the development of individual development plans (IDPs) for those children identified as having an Additional Learning Need (ALN) that requires Additional Learning Provision (ALP).

Starting at a Flying Start setting for a child with an additional need

The Inclusion Team can support families whose child is planning on starting in a Flying Start setting. Relevant information about the child such as the best ways to support them, how they communicate and what is important to them can be gathered from the family and other professionals involved to create a ‘One Page Profile’ for the child. This information can then be shared with the setting staff prior to the child’s start to help them understand how best to support the child to ensure the child has the best possible start.

Creating an accessible inclusive environment

All children should be able to be included in their local Flying Start setting. Where children require additional or particular support to meet their needs, care is taken by the setting to identify and implement this both inclusively and sensitively within their current provision. This means that every child, no matter what their barrier to learning or play, will have equal access and the same opportunities to succeed.

The Inclusion Team provides the following services to Flying Start settings:

  • Gathering information through a child centred approach to ensure that the child’s needs are planned for to ensure a smooth transition into setting.
  • Focusing on the child’s stage of development and their next steps rather than the expectation for a child of that age and offer advice to settings on how to meet a child’s developmental needs.
  • Offer guidance and resources to settings to enable them to make reasonable adjustments to the environment and play opportunities to include all children.
  • Offer training and advice in inclusive practices to enable settings to meet the needs of children with additional needs so they are valued as individuals and can thrive

Managing the healthcare needs of a child

Some children may have physical or medical needs that may require staff in settings to be asked to carry out healthcare procedures in order to meet the child’s healthcare needs. Any child who requires a healthcare procedure will require a detailed Individual Healthcare Plan. This will be written in partnership with the most appropriate medical professional and signed and agreed by the setting, health teams and parents. The Flying Start Inclusion Team will liaise with the relevant health services to ensure that any training, support and advice be provided by relevant health professionals to early years setting practitioners who will be involved in carrying out these healthcare procedures.

Additional Provision

Most children with an additional need attending a Flying Start setting will be able to have their needs fully met within the inclusive provision of the setting. However a very small minority of children with severe and/or significant needs may require additional provision to enable them to access the setting successfully.

This decision will be made by the Local Authority and may require additional resources or bespoke packages of support. Any additional resources will be provided by the Local Authority as part of the child’s Additional Learning Provision (ALP) which will form part of the child’s Individual Development Plan (IDP)

A referral to the Early Years Forum will be required from a professional involved with the child before the Local Authority will make a decision regarding a child’s Additional Learning Needs and possible Additional Learning Provision.

Child playing in a sand pit as part of our additional needs support


Information regarding the Additional Learning Needs process in Cardiff for children and young learners can be found here. The site includes information on Inclusion in the Early Years, The Early Years Forum and the Early Years Inclusion Service as well as useful links to other services.

Cardiff offers weekly Parent Groups across the city for families with a child aged from birth to five, with an additional need. They are free and do not require a referral or diagnosis.

The groups provide an opportunity to meet other parents and children who may have similar experiences. It is also an opportunity to seek advice or ask questions to professionals from Health, Education, Social Care and many more.

Follow us on Twitter or find us on Facebook  for up to date information and links to activities you can try at home.

The Index is a register of children and young people with disabilities and additional needs in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. To sign up you must have a diagnosed disability, be in the process of diagnosis or have confirmed ongoing additional needs and be aged 0-18 years.

Once signed up to the Index you will:

  • Receive information to keep you up to date with new services and activities
  • Receive the quarterly newsletter the ‘Index’ and specific mail-outs;
  • Have the opportunity to contribute articles, news and events to share with others on the Index
  • Help and influence the type of services being offered and developed.

Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable children and young people to communicate. Makaton has been shown to be useful for all sorts of people. By using Makaton, children and adults can take a more active part in life, because communication and language are the key to everything we do and learn.

The site provides useful information on:

  • How Makaton works
  • How to start using Makaton
  • Who uses Makaton
  • A library of Makaton signs, symbols, video demonstrations

 The Association can offer information, support and advice on any question or concern you have related to Down’s syndrome.  They have specialist advisers who can provide you with information and support on issues such as health, social care, benefits and education for people with Down’s syndrome.  We can help you to access support locally and may be able to direct you to other sources of information.

SNAP Cymru provides information, advice and support for parents, children and young people who have, or may have, special educational needs or disabilities

They provide the following impartial, confidential and free services including:

  • Helpline Advice and Support
  • Specialist Casework
  • Discrimination Advice and Casework
  • Independent Specialist Advocacy
  • Disagreement Resolution