Pre-school groups win national award

National Portage Association award presentation to Princess Louise Pre-School Nursery at Blyth (left to right) Julia Turnbull-Nursery Manager Princess Louise, Carol MacDonald-Northumberland Portage Team and Lindsey Brown-Tippy-Toes Childcare at Blyth.'REF 1512146317
National Portage Association award presentation to Princess Louise Pre-School Nursery at Blyth (left to right) Julia Turnbull-Nursery Manager Princess Louise, Carol MacDonald-Northumberland Portage Team and Lindsey Brown-Tippy-Toes Childcare at Blyth.'REF 1512146317

Two organisations providing early years education to disabled children in south east Northumberland have been honoured with a top award.

The two pre-school settings – Princess Louise Pre-School Nursery in Ogle Drive, Blyth, and Tippy Toes Childcare in Plessey Road,Blyth – are the first in the country to receive the stamp of approval from the National Portage Association (NPA).

Portage is a home visiting educational service for pre-school children with special educational needs and disabilities and their families.

The Portage Stamp of Approval, which the two Blyth-based facilities have received this week, is a quality assurance award given to early year’s settings which have demonstrated they deliver inclusive early years education based upon Portage principles.

Princess Louise Pre-School Nursery manager, Julia Turnbull, said: “We are delighted to have been the first setting, and Lindsey from Tippy Toes the first childminder, to sign up to the National Portage Association.

“We are absolutely thrilled, we work really closely with the Portage team and it is lovely to be on board with them and working alongside them in this way.”

Tracy Stephenson, from the National Portage Association, added: “We aim to improve the learning of young children with disabilities, and the skills of their parents through providing quality training and support for portage home visitors and the early years workforce.

“Northumberland Portage service have supported this new NPA.

“The stamp of approval scheme is an award given to early year’s settings who have demonstrated they deliver inclusive early years education.

“Part of the criteria for the award is that staff attend Portage training delivered by NPA accredited trainers and then show that they use portage principles and the portage model in their work.

“The NPA are delighted that Princess Louise Pre-School Nursery and Tippy Toes Childcare in Blyth are the first two settings to receive this award.”