A FIRST and nursery school was excited to win the Early Years Education Award at the Worcester News Education Awards.

Abbey Park First and Nursery School has been praised for helping youngsters with learning difficulties.

Staff at the pre-school, based in Abbey Road, Pershore, have been hailed as 'fantastic, supportive and amazing'.

Parents have praised the work they do with disabled youngsters with delayed speech and their ability to help them reach their targets.

The environment is described as 'happy, fun and safe.'

Headteacher Lynn Evans said: "We were thrilled to be nominated for the Early Years Award and delighted to be recognised as the winner.

"The Pre-school team are just amazing and provide all pupils and their families with nurture, guidance and support. "To say they go the ‘extra mile’ is an understatement.

"Our Early Years team set the standards for the rest of our amazing Federation. They are truly the foundation of learning success."

Worcester Early Years Language Centre was happy to nominated as finalists for the award.

The centre is located at Cranham Primary School and has been praised for its highly tailored and specialist provision.

Parents commended staff members' expertise, involvement with families and ability to prepare youngsters for school.

Children with disabilities make exceptional progress especially in speech, language and social skills.

Sharon Childs said: "It is amazing. We are really happy about being nominated and appreciated for what we do. It's been a lovely evening."

Unitots Nursery also got to the final three nominees for this award.

Debbie Bradley said: "We are really honoured to be nominated, it has made us feel really proud to be recognised.

"Being nominated by a parent as well, makes us feel really proud as we work hard to make a safe and nurturing environment for the children, and having a parent recognise that just makes it all worth it."

Unitots Nursery has thrived due to offering a happy environment for youngsters, with parents praising the talent and hard work of the staff there.

Parents say the nursery prepares children for school and allows them to develop confidence. Staff were also praised for going the extra mile and always tweaking what they do to improve the service. The nursery, based at the University of Worcester's St John's Campus, is rated outstanding by Ofsted.