STAFF at a nursery are the first in the city to be recognised with a prestigious award for supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities.
St Jude's Church Nursery in Southsea has received the National Portage Association stamp of approval in recognition for helping youngsters with physical and learning difficulties.
Lucy Wren, special educational needs coordinator, said: ‘This is an outstanding achievement.
‘We are delighted to be the first nursery in Portsmouth to receive this recognition.’
To achieve the award, the nursery needed to show it was meeting the NPA’s 12 fundamental principals which included celebrating diversity and success, ensuring the full inclusion of all children in learning, and working with families and parents.
Two members of staff also underwent specialist training.
Portage team leader with Portsmouth City Council, Sharon Ensor, said: ‘Portage is particularly focused on ensuring an inclusive education for all.
‘Children with developmental delays in communication and motor skills or who have conditions such as down syndrome or cerebral palsy can find themselves marginalised.
‘By receiving this award, St Jude’s have shown they have done a lot to make the children feel welcome and included.
‘The nursery has demonstrated they deliver inclusive early years education which meets the Portage principals.’
Twinkle Cottage Day Nursery in Fratton is also soon to granted NPA status.
The National Portage Association is a charity which originated in the USA before being established in the UK in 1976. The charity aims to ‘improve the learning of young children with disabilities, through providing quality training and support’.