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Jo Cook

Early Years Educator


16 years at Sandcastle Playgroup,

Mother of 3 boys, two of which are in the Autistic Spectrum.


Cache Level 2 Certificate in Pre-School Practice – Haverhill 2005

Disability Discrimination Workshop – Haverhill 2003

Introduction to Autistic Spectrum Disorders – Haverhill 2004

Introduction to Autistic Behaviour and Management Intervention–Haverhill 2004

Allergy Awareness (Childcare Environment) – Haverhill 2005

Foundation Certificate in Food Hygiene – Haverhill 2005

Epi-Pen Training – Haverhill 2005

Training in Child Protection Awareness – Haverhill 2002 & 2006

Modules 5 and 9 SENCO – Haverhill 2006

Makaton Training – Haverhill 2006

1st Aid Training – Feb 2009 & Paediatric 1st Aid – January 2012

P.E.A.L. Training – Haverhill Oct 09

CRB Check – 2003

Safeguarding Children-2010, 2013

Makaton 1 & 2 – January 2011 & Makaton 3 & 4 – February 2012

Letters and Sounds – January 2011

ICan Training – March 2012

Cache Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young Peoples Workforce

Epi-pen training and Allergy Awareness 2012

Staff Profile

Hi ya, my name is Joanne, but my friends call me Jo. I live with my husband Trev and our three boys, Tim 22, Charlie, 21 and Toby 19. All three of our boys came to Sandcastle Playgroup so I know first-hand how dedicated, compassionate and supportive the staff are who work there. During the time Charlie and Toby attended Sandcastles they were both diagnosed with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder). I remember with much emotion some of those difficult times we had to face with our boys, and at times I felt that without the enormous amount of care and support we received from the Playgroup I would not have coped. I really mean that! It was a turbulent time for all of us. The boys eventually left Sandcastles to start at a special needs school in Sudbury called Hillside. I remember thinking how would we cope without that support from the playgroup. With our boys finally settled into their new school I could hardly believe I had time to spare. Yipeeeeeeee!

I received a phone call one day from Janette who told me about a little girl that was starting at the playgroup. The little girl had additional needs and needed one to one support. Janette asked if I would be interested in helping out and I gratefully accepted (the best thing I ever did). Sixteen years later and I’m still here and love my job. I feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to give something back to the Playgroup, it’s no hardship working with the children, it’s an absolute joy. I still get that ongoing support from the rest of the staff at Sandcastles, who I am now proud to call my friends.

We all have different experiences in life and within our families, but we all have one thing in common and that is that we love our children with a passion. Whatever their abilities or disabilities we want the best in life for them. My role is to support this in their early years.