The Elizabeth Foundation's local offer
1. What does your service do?
The Elizabeth Foundation provides comprehensive educational and support services for deaf babies and preschool children and their families. We support the development of listening and spoken language skills for deaf children and provide parents/families with information, support and guidance. We have specialist baby, toddler and pre-school nurseries that provide comprehensive parent support as well. In addition, families can enrol on our National Home Learning Programme or attend our Specialist Speech and Language Therapy Service. We also provide a monthly ‘Listen’ support group for children with one-sided deafness or chronic glue ear and a Residential Summer Programme for families to attend for one-week in August.
2. Where is it located and what areas does it cover?
Our family centre is located in Cosham, Portsmouth, Hampshire. We have no ‘catchment’ area and families attend our centre from many different counties.
3. Who does your service provide for?
The Elizabeth Foundation provides services to children from birth to 5 years and their families. The only criterion for enrolling is that the child has a significant degree of deafness that impacts on communication development.
4. How can I start using the service?
Parents/carers need to ring our family centre to discuss enrolment in the programme and there no need for a professional referral. Please note that due to their popularity there is often a waiting list for some of our services.
5. How are decisions made about who can use your service?
Families meet with the Chief Executive and together a decision is made as to whether the child will benefit from the services provided at The Elizabeth Foundation.
6. How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making/planning?
We have an open-door policy at The Elizabeth Foundation. Parents are welcome to observe sessions and discussion with Teachers of the Deaf and Speech and Language Therapists is available at each session. Any decisions made about a child/family are made with the parents and family. Children have termly Individual Education Plans to update progress and needs and these are discussed with parents/carers and shared with other professionals involved with the family.
7. Is your service fully accessible?
All of the nursery rooms are acoustically treated and have soundfield systems in place and fm technology. The rooms are carpeted and there are cushions and curtains to minimise reverberation and enhance the acoustic environment. The building is wheelchair accessible and there is a lift available. We have disabled parking and disability access toilet facilities and changing areas.
8. What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?
The staff at The Elizabeth Foundation comprises of Teachers of the Deaf, Specialist Speech and Language Therapists, Audiologist, Specialist Nursery Assistants, and Parents of Deaf Children. All staff have disability awareness training. As an organisation, we work very closely with Portsmouth Hospital Trust Audiology services, Speech and Language Therapy teams, as well as many local authority Sensory Impairment Teams and Social Care Teams. As an organisation we keep up-to-date with the latest information and technology around deafness, early years education, early years development, literacy, numeracy, behaviour, and SEN needs.
9. Who can I contact for further information?
Our education services are rated as 'Outstanding' by Ofsted: "This provision is outstanding. Staff promote children’s communication and language skills exceptionally well using highly effective strategies, giving children the confidence to join in ... Children play in exceptionally well-resourced play areas where they enjoy rich and varied learning experiences. The staff provide exciting and enjoyable activities that motivate and inspire children’s thinking."