Alphabet Nursery has been given the National Education Award for its support of a child with epilepsy. The nursery in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, has been awarded for their work with five-year-old Maya Ratcliffe.

Maya, who has now moved on to school, has uncontrolled epilepsy, as well as hydrocephalus (a build-up of fluid on the brain). She also has spina bifida.

The nursery does not specialise in special educational needs and Maya was their first student to attend who had epilepsy. Maya’s mum Fay nominated the nursery for the award, saying how they took supporting Maya and her needs “in their stride”.

She said: “We believe the care, love and support Maya received at Alphabet Day Nursery is what has made her who she is today.

“She is a happy, confident, bright girl who has settled into school easily and is constantly learning and growing.

“The children at the nursery were encouraged to love Maya just the way she is. A lot of these friends have transferred to school with Maya and we could not have asked for a better start for her.”

Maya also had meningitis and bilateral hip reconstruction. She had a one-to-one member of staff working with her constantly, and they adapted all the nursery activities so that Maya could join in.

The staff were able to adjust Maya’s timetable to work around her seizures, adding extra naps or moving mealtimes. They also supported her three-year-old brother Max and helped him cope with having a sibling who was ill.  

Kerry Hustler, manager at Alphabet Nursery, said: “We are delighted to accept this award.

“Maya is a delightful little girl and we worked to support her in any way we could.

“It is lovely to receive recognition for our work.”


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