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Local Offer

Lymington Little Dolphins Pre-School

Offering services to:
  • Children 0-5
Carescheme type:
  • Pre-School Playgroup

At Little Dolphins, we believe that every day is a learning day and that learning is all around us. As well as being a place of learning, we pride ourselves on ensuring that all children are coming in to a loving, caring environment where they are valued and listened to. We pride ourselves on being a friendly and experienced, well qualified staff team who enhance your child's learning and development through use of exciting and creative activities. Little Dolphins is based within with the community room of a local Infant school. 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Anne-Marie Winter
Contact Position
07943 039493 07943 039493
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Where to go

Lymington Little Dolphins Pre-school
Community Room, c/o Lymington Infants School
Avenue Road

SO41 9GP

View SO41 9GP on a map


£6.60  per hour
We accept government universal funding for 2, 3 & 4yr old's with 15 hours per week, as well as government extended hours of 30 hours per week. We do not charge any top up fees on funded hours. Additional hours over their entitlement will be charged at £6.60 per hour. We charge a sessional consumable fee which includes a contribution to resources, essential equipment and a health balanced snack . We accept Tax free childcare and child-care vouchers.

Inclusion Information

Wheelchair access
We are a single level settling with wheelchair accessibly doorways and entrances.
Special Needs provision
Special Needs Experience
Physical impairment
Medical Needs
Visual impairment
Challenging Behaviour
Learning difficulties
Social development impairment
Autistic Spectrum Disorder ASD
Hearing Difficulties
Language impairment
We aim to be a fully inclusive setting that caters for children with special needs, challenging behaviour, developmental delay, hearing difficulties, medical difficulties, physical difficulties, social interaction difficulties and visual difficulties.
Provision for special dietary needs
Can make special cultural provisions
We have knowledge and experience with different cultures, this includes diet needs, having cultural awareness within the setting and celebrations.

Childcare Information

Funded Places

Offers 3 & 4 year old funded places
Offers 2 year old funded places

Opening Times & Facilities

Opening Times
Opening Times
DayOpening TimeClosing Time
Monday 08:00 15:00
Tuesday 08:00 15:00
Wednesday 08:00 15:00
Thursday 08:00 15:00
Friday 08:00 15:00
Visit & Outings
Disabled Access
Nappy changing facility
Sensory Play
Arts & Crafts
Both indoor and outdoor activities
Secure Access
Car Parking
Messy Play Area
Outdoor Play

School Pickups

Does not offer school pickups

Local Offer


At Lymington little dolphins pre-school, we believe that equal opportunities for all children is paramount to ensure that all children will thrive and reach their full potential. We provide a safe and supportive environment for children of all abilities and backgrounds and aim to educate all staff, children and parents about our inclusive practice. We have an excellent parent partnership and ensure each individual child and parent feels valued by being open and supportive, this ensures the children have a place to flourish and succeed at their own pace throughout their time a Little dolphins. 

Contact Name
Anne-Marie Winter
Contact Telephone
Contact Email
How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

Each staff member has a small group of key children, this allows us to build a strong relationship with both child and parent. They are responsible for observing, evaluating, and planning for the individual needs of their children. It is important to us that each family feels comfortable and confident to express their thoughts and that they will always be taken seriously. We have an open door policy and invite parents in to speak to their child's key person at any convenient time. Our setting uses the Birth to 5 matters, Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) development matters, Language audits and NHS checklist to assess the child learning and development.

How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?

At little dolphins we create a family feel and treat every child with care and equality. As a parent you can always speak to your child’s key person or SenCo at any time for advice or guidance. The SenCo follows the SEN code of practice and ensures all records regarding your child’s learning and progress are kept up to date. All personal support plans are shared with all our staff confidentially so that all staff work together to help support you child. Regular staff meetings our held to complete relevant inhouse training, and to confidentially discuss each child’s progress and share ideas for development.  Our SenCo supports all other key persons with SEN children and liaises with outside agencies such as, Speech and Language, Portage and Inclusion officers. We maintain a high staff to child ratio of 1:5; this we are able to support SEN children with 1:1 support (If needed) and offer small group activities such as language box sessions and social sessions.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?

We have a 2-year rolling curriculum that works within the Early Year’s curriculum framework Development Matters and The Birth to 5. This is adaptable for each child’s needs and interests. During our first half term and the children’s settling in period, we gather information using observations and linking with the parents on your child’s interests. This is used as our baseline. The whole staff team come together regularly through staff meetings to discuss every child confidentially, we will make assessments and plan personalised next steps. This information is then threaded into our half termly topic, where activities are planned with a consideration into how every child can access it. If your child needs extra support or has a support plan in place, we will use supportive strategies to include your child and adapt activities accordingly.  The Staff can adapt resources/activities to individual needs using visual prompts, 1:1 adult support, verbal methods and Makaton signs. We produce activity sheets that incorporate the information about the activity, how it supports development guidance so that students/volunteers can be involved too.

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?

At Little dolphins we use Tapestry as a two-way development tool. This allows parents/carers access to their child’s learning through observations linked to the Early years Framework development matters. We encourage parents to also upload observations with pictures or videos of special times at home or out and about. This helps to give us a full picture of their child’s learning and development. Using both observations and conversations with parents, regular next steps are planned, this will also include strategies and activities on how the pre-school and parents can help to support your child.

If needed we can supply a home/pre-school communication book, this works for parents that don’t come to pick up and/or drop off and would like to stay in close communication with your child key person. We have an open-door policy and invite parents in to have face to face meetings with their child's key person or SenCo at any convenient time. We can also be contacted by phone call, zoom calls or email. If your child needs a support plan (see question 12 on how this will be decided), regular face to face meetings every 4-6 weeks will be planned to update and discuss the next steps going forward. Upon request we are also able to give out printed/emailed information sheets on a variety of different needs such as; routines, sleep, eating, toileting, speech and language advice and learning Makaton. We will also support you and signpost you to recommended courses which will help you to support your child at home.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?

At Little dolphins we pride ourselves on being an inclusive setting, where all ages, stages, developmental and physical needs are adapted to ensure all children are treated equally and included in all things. This ensures that all children are safe and secure emotionally and physically during their time at Little dolphins. We maintain a high level of staff to child ratio 1:5 this means we can be very flexible with our practice and can support the children when necessary 1:1.

Our premises are secure with external gates; locked during school hours. We know who has permission to collect your child and operate a password system for emergencies. We carry out daily risk assessments indoor and outside. If needed an individual risk assessment is drawn up on a child’s needs and is signed by all staff, this is reviewed and updated regularly. We write/review our policies/procedures annually, reflecting current guidelines. These are uploaded onto our website, and we have paper copies available. We obtain parental consent to administer medicines and specialist medical training for individual children if necessary. We promote healthy eating and operate high standards of food hygiene, including allergy awareness. We are a nut free zone. We have an accident book which we complete for children who need first aid, which is then signed by the parent. We review these regularly. We use visual prompts to help with emotions, daily routines, toys and to pre-warn children of changes/visitors etc. We promote positive behaviour and encourage the children to understand the settings rules. We encourage and support turn taking using a visual sand timer. The children are rewarded though stickers and positive praise. All staff, students and volunteers know about confidentiality of information that we receive. We store and share documents according to the Information Sharing Protocol.

What specialist services and expertise are avaliable at or accessed by the setting/school/college?

Staff hold a variety of childcare qualifications from apprenticeships to degree-level qualifications and have a wealth of knowledge of child development. All staff are fully up to date with Paediatric First Aid and Safeguarding, as well as being DBS checked. We have 2 designated Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SenCo) within the setting, who have had relevant training to take on this role (SEN induction), the manager is also trained as a SenCo. The SenCo’s attend a termly SEN support group which is run by Services for Young Children (SfYC), this ensures that their knowledge and skills are current, including training on the SEND Code of Practice. One of our SenCo’s is also an Early Language Lead Practitioner (ELLP) who co-ordinates language-based concerns. The ELLP supports all staff to confidently assess children regarding their speech, language, and communication, using the recommended tool.

The setting has policies to support Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) such as our ‘Promoting inclusion, equality and valuing diversity, ‘Identification, assessment and support for children with SEND’ and ‘Promoting positive behaviour’ policy. We work in partnership with a variety of outside agencies including, Portage, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational therapist, Health visitor and Paediatricians.

What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?

All staff receive regular opportunities to attend training courses. If a child has a specific need, we will ensure the key person, or any relevant staff will attend a course if necessary. Both the manager and SenCo have participated in the Keep on Talking project, this was completed with support from other staff as a big project. The Manager and SenCo’s have also attended the following courses which have been cascaded down to other staff members:

  • Positive approaches to challenging behaviour
  • Advanced Interaction and Communication and Emotional Literacy training
  • Sen Story
  • EHCP information course
  • Makaton foundation
  • Intro to inclusion
  • Empowering the power of play
How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

We aim to be a fully inclusive setting, whilst ensuring the safety of children and staff. We always carry out risk assessments prior to the outing which can cater for general and specific individual needs. Parental support to may be required to enable us to ensure the safety of all children. We have a visual timetable on display in the setting, this will help support children with any changes to routine.

Once a risk assessment has been carried out, we will use this to take steps to enable participation for all, this will include us modifying staff: child ratios and using resources to support, such as pushchairs.

How accessible is the setting/school/college enviroment?

We have wheelchair and buggy access to most areas within the room and patio. We are a single storey building/ground. We also have access to a flat garden area and playground facilities which are accessible by wheelchair or buggy. Some of the fixed play equipment can be adapted for use, depending upon the individual need. We aim to have a variety of activities on offer, so that all children can be involved inside and outside. Access to nappy changing facilities is restricted to 2 small toilets within the pre-school room. If there is any need for more room or more ‘personal care’, we have an agreement with the Infants School to use their disabled access facilities which is on site, but not in the room. We use lots of visual signs/photos within the room to support children, such as visual timetable, choice boards and a choosing book. Staff are trained in Makaton, which is used daily when communication through spoken words/song and rhymes. We support children with English as an additional language by getting advice from Ethnic Minorities and Travellers Achievement Service, who can help with translations and suitable activities/resources to support home language and culture. Any specialist equipment that your child may need, would need to be considered on an individual basis, considering room layout and size etc. – we would always do our best to cater for each individual child.

How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?

Here at Little dolphins we want all children to settle and be happy. We ensure that any appropriate equipment/resources or ‘special care’ needed is in place to ensure a smooth transition. Settling-in visits are arranged, allowing you to meet your child’s keyperson. It is an opportunity to share relevant information, needs and interests, existing allergies, medical conditions etc. Some children benefit from several of visits and your keyperson will advise. If needed, we can obtain specialist training from the relevant agencies so that all staff and your keyperson know how to support and care for your child. This may include medicine administration, use of equipment etc. We can always visit your child at your home, should this be beneficial, this will be arranged with you before they start.

We provide a welcome pack, which includes photographs of the whole staff team and individual photo/information of your child’s key person so you can get to know them.

When your child is ready to transition to school, with parental support we will share information with the new settings to promote a smooth transition. If your child is SEN then we will arrange a TPA (Transition partnership agreement), all outside agencies involved with your child will also be invited, this is a chance for parents and us to work with the school to create next steps and how their child will be supported. Before going to school, we can make ‘transition books’ for children who are unsure of this change and advise parents on supporting their child. Teachers from the school come into visit and talk to them and keyperson.

During their time at Little dolphins, we prepare the children to be independent and support them to develop skills to succeed at school and in life.

How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

At Little dolphins we accept EYE (Early years education) funding, our eligible 2-year-olds can claim 15 hours per week. All our 3- and 4-year-old children are entitled to 15 hours per week and if eligible 30 hours per week, across 38 weeks of the year. Additional funding called Early years pupil premium can be claimed for eligible children.

For children with SEN we can apply for SENIF (SEN inclusion funding) and DAF (Disability access funding). The funding can be used for 1:1 support, specialist equipment/resources, appropriate toys to support development or to access specialist training for staff (medical or skills/knowledge based). This is decided upon through consultation with all who are involved with the child.

Once an EHCP (Educational Health and Care plan) has been accepted and finalised, extra funding will be allocated to the setting. This will be used inline with the child’s EHCP.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

Our setting ensures all parents receive up to date information, advice and support as our management staff go on regular services for young children’s briefings and training courses, which is fed out to all staff. This supports all staff to participate in the SEN decision. Your child’s keyperson carries out observation’s using our online learning system, Tapestry. We use the observations and information from the parents to come up with 3 ‘next steps supported by guidance of the Birth to 5 matters and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) development matters. We also complete termly ‘Every child a talker’ audits, if a child flags up with speech and commination difficulties, they will be supported within the setting by being involved in language box sessions taken by the ELLP (Early years language lead practitioner) and with parental permission we can refer to Speech and language therapy (SALT). We involve parents in the discussion of any early concerns, in identifying any SEN, and agreeing, the outcomes for your child, the interventions and support to be put in place. Once a concern or key person has flagged a child, an initial meeting will take place to complete an NHS Early years development checklist, if this flags up extreme delay, with parental permission we will refer to Portage.  We use the Graduated approach of ‘assess, plan, do, review’ to meet the outcomes identified for your child. An Individual Educational Plan (IEP) will be written with parental involvement, this will be reviewed every 6 weeks. If deemed necessary the SenCo, keyperson and parent would work together though the process of getting an EHCP.  

How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?

Parents are a vital part of their child’s learning and development; we work closely with the parents to support their children throughout their time at Little Dolphins. Parents are encouraged to have regular progress review meetings with their child’s key person throughout the year. We use an online learning system called Tapestry, which encourages the parents to provide updates from home and comment on detailed observations taken within the setting. When an individual Educational Plan (IEP) is in place, a six-week progress meeting will be held to work together to form the correct Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timescale (SMART) targets.

We are a parent-committee run setting. There are different roles within the committee which have different involvement levels, giving the opportunity for all parents to be involved. The committee has a half-termly meeting, where they are involved in the decision making and management of the pre-school. If you are not able to be on the committee, you are still able to help out at fundraising events for example, baking a cake, volunteering their time etc. Parents are encouraged to help/accompany the group on trips or visits; for example, visiting the fire station, library and other local areas. We have an open-door policy and parents can speak to a member of staff about any concerns whenever they need to. An anonymous questionnaire is sent out to parents, to help gather opinions of the setting to help us to continue the setting’s professional development. Parents are encouraged to write ‘achievement leaves’ or ‘Wow moments’, which helps us to plan for the child’s interest which leads into the planning process. We send out half-termly newsletters with ideas they can do at home, and 10 key language specific words we encourage parents to discuss with their child.

Offering services to:
  • Children 0-5
Carescheme type:
  • Pre-School Playgroup


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Last Updated: 23 November 2023

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