On Friday 21 October the Friary Pre-School, Maldon became the first pre-school setting in Essex to be awarded the Good Beginnings Silver Award for its autism friendly approach and understanding.
Part of ACL Maldon, the early years practitioners at the Friary have made it a priority to undertake training about autism and demonstrate they have the knowledge and experience to support children who are on the autism spectrum. This commitment was then acknowledged and rewarded through the county wide Good Beginnings programme which promotes the development of autism friendly practice in non-maintained preschool settings in Essex.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “I’m delighted that an ACL preschool setting is the first in Essex to gain the Good Beginnings Silver Award. It is a standard that all should be aspiring to, helping make our preschool settings as welcoming and as inclusive as possible. I’m hopeful that more settings will undertake the assessment and positively demonstrate their commitment to supporting all children during their Early Years.”
Denise Holden, Preschool Manager said: “Undertaking this award was a great opportunity to reflect on our current knowledge and practice in relation to Autism and to work together as a team to better support the children and families who attend our setting. We are all very proud of what we have achieved.”