Childcare and Short Breaks

Children who have SEN and disabilities benefit from opportunities to take part in activities outside the home where they can mix with other children, develop their social skills and independence and pursue their interests.

This might include after school clubs, holiday clubs, weekend activities, youth clubs, outdoor activities etc. Children may wish to join mainstream activities or they may benefit from taking part in specialist activities with other children who have similar needs. Families who are caring for a child with a disability may also benefit from having some time off from their caring responsibilities.

When children with SEN and disabilities take part in such activities these are sometimes known as “short breaks”. All Local Authorities are required to make sure there is a suitable range of “short breaks” opportunities in their area and to have a Short Breaks Statement. Short breaks activities might be provided by voluntary organisations, schools or private providers.

The West Berkshire Respite Services are a continuum from the activities and short break services we offer across the Local Offer to longer term respite services and even palliative care.

You will find information on our short break care services, short break services run by Health in the area and respite services run by charitable organisations across West Berkshire and across the region.

These short breaks are beneficial for children and their families who have additional and complex health needs.  The child has the chance to experience a different environment and mix with other children away from their main carers and at the same time the carers get a break from their caring role.

If you are over 18 years of age or are looking for respite services for someone you care for that is over 18 years of age, please see West Berks Adult Social Care services

Ofsted videos around inspections

Ofsted have uploaded four short films about the early years, available to access with the links below. In the first video, Wendy Ratcliff HMI debunks common myths about what inspectors want to see in early years settings. Martin Williams (Principal Officer, Operations) and (Penny Fisher, Early Years Senior HMI) offer an insight into what happens when a parent expresses concern about the care provided by a setting.

Gill Jones (Deputy Director, Early Education) and Emma Exton, (Deputy Director, Operations) discuss each stage of the Ofsted registration process, from initial DBS checks to final inspection. In the last video, Dee Coleman, (Principal Officer, Early Years) and (Julie-Ann Morris, Senior Manager, Early Years) explain what registered early years providers need to tell Ofsted about.

  1. What happens on an early years inspection?
  2. What happens if someone complains about me?
  3. How do I register as an early years provider?
  4. What do I need to tell you?
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