OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education)
INSPECTION REPORT FOR EARLY YEARS PROVISION
|Name of setting:||Smarties Smartcare Limited|
|Unique reference number:||305305|
|Address:||Gowy Bank Farm, Cotton Lane, Cotton Edmunds, Chester. CH3 7PZ|
|Telephone number:||01829 741608|
|Registered person:||Mrs. Valerie Anne Silcock|
|Date of inspection:||20/11/2009|
|Type of setting:||Childcare on non-domestic premises|
Description of the setting
Smarties Day Nursery was registered in 1989 and is privately owned; it is one of two settings the providers own. It is situated in Cotton Edmunds, a rural area approximately five miles from Chester. It operates from three distinct buildings, one for babies, one for toddlers and one for pre-school aged children. There are extended secure outdoor play areas for all buildings. The nursery is open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, 51 weeks of the year.
The nursery is registered to care for a maximum of 93 children in the early years age range at any one time of whom 31 may be under two years of age. The nursery currently has 124 children on roll, of whom, all are in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). It is also registered on the compulsory and voluntary parts of the Childcare Register. The nursery currently supports children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
There are 26 staff who work directly with the children, of whom all hold National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) at level 3, or level 2. This includes two teachers, with one of these teachers recently gaining an Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) qualification. The setting has achieved the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) Quality Counts Accreditation at the highest level. They are members of the NDNA and receive support from local authority pedagogue.
Children’s welfare needs are rigorously safeguarded. The staff are very professional and they aspire to maintain the highest possible standards of care and education. The setting’s highly stimulating and challenging environment enables children to develop independent, active learning as they have fun. Children make excellent progress within their individual learning journey, which is imaginatively shared through excellent partnerships with parents. The continuous improvement through well developed self-evaluation highlights areas for improvement to include the upgrading of resources for information and communication technology (ICT). Children are valued as unique individuals, and a strong inclusive ethos threads through all aspects of the setting.
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the early year’s provision
The staff’s organisation and management are thorough. The safeguarding, complaints and emergency procedures are well known and robust. They have a great enthusiasm for continuous improvement, and a thorough working knowledge of the EYFS. The records, policies and procedures are superbly organised and are highly effective in supporting the service. The focus is always upon helping all children to make outstanding progress and promoting their welfare. For example, staff use daily risk assessments and safety checklists to ensure that the environment is always safe, clean and fit for use. Robust risk assessments for all outings are undertaken and completed to ensure children’s safety. Each child has their own key person who works closely with parents and carers. They keep daily records of children’s progress and make detailed topic and activity plans to ensure that the six areas of learning are provided in stimulating and varied ways which also consider all the outcomes for children. As a result, children’s interests are captivated and they are quickly learning how to be healthy, safe, positive, considerate people with a desire to participate and achieve.
The strong management team are actively involved within the nursery and are eager to achieve the highest service standards for the local community. The whole staff team is highly motivated towards providing good quality care and education for children. Staff are committed towards their involvement in the self-evaluation documents in order to bring about improvement. They have identified areas for improvement and strive to implement them. For example, through consultation with parents in July they identified dance and drama as an area that needed further development. This was implemented in October through inviting an external weekly dance group into the setting. They are currently looking to upgrade the information and communication technology equipment to further develop children’s existing skills. Staff are well qualified and experienced and annual appraisal systems are in place to support staff and identify future training needs. Staff meetings are held on a regular basis to further enhance staff development and their roles and responsibilities have been clearly established. Consequently, staff work effectively as a team because they feel valued, supported and involved within the setting.
Staff ensure their knowledge and understanding of individual children’s needs are met. Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities are progressing well through the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO), working closely with other professionals and parents. Staff update resources, activity ideas, inputs, policies and procedures accordingly. Staff regularly evaluate the outcomes for the children they are caring for to ensure that the service continues to effectively improve. The staff organise the space, resources and outdoor experiences with great skill and keep all areas immaculately clean and accessible. This ensures that children receive an extremely rich and stimulating play experience with a well balanced mix of adult-led and child-initiated play.
Partnership with parents is superb as staff discuss every aspect of their child’s learning and development with them. Displayed information, children’s artwork and information portfolios clearly display to parents the high quality care and education that is offered. Parents are able to access their child’s learning profile book. In addition, parents are given their own copies of the policies and procedures of the setting. The staff welcome into the setting parents and carers, as they exchange information in order to facilitate good liaison arrangements. The setting supports families and children with special educational needs and/or disabilities exceptionally well.
Parents are included in what their child is doing and are encouraged to continue this at home so that they too can enjoy seeing their child develop. The provider has introduced a system to liaise with schools to ensure the progression and continuity of learning supports the transition for children.
The quality and standards of the early years provision and outcomes for children
The learning environment provided by the staff and their personal skills is inspirational. Resources are varied, stimulating and easy to access. The routines for indoor and outdoor play are consistently used and applied. As a result, all children feel secure, confident and at home and make significant gains in their learning and development. The childrens levels of achievement are excellent in relation to their starting points and capabilities.
The staff start with a clear focus upon personal, social and emotional development. There is an emphasis on self-esteem; they teach children to participate, to adopt safe and hygienic routines, to behave with pride in themselves and have consideration for all others. Staff consistently use all their own personal skills and insights into each child to promote this development, making great use of praise and confidence building to successfully teach children to behave well, respond enthusiastically and play cooperatively. They also encourage children’s development of communication, language and literacy skills. They provide time for reading as children can freely access books from the wide selection provided. They sit well as some of their friends act out the fairy story ‘Cinderella’ as they have dressed-up as their favourite character to support ‘Children in Need’. They use their imagination as they change the names in the story; for example, the slipper becomes a Wellington and great fun and laughter ensues when a staff member tries to put on the Wellington. All children and babies throughout the nursery have stories read to them and they enjoy looking at the print and pictures. They enjoy going for walks into the community and the adjoining field, where they view the environment and collect leaves, acorns and branches for their autumn display.
The staff throughout the nursery extend children’s creative and physical skills, their problem solving skills and their understanding of the world as they engage in a variety of activities which are suitable for their age and stage of development. Staff take every opportunity to develop mathematical skills as children count objects and use imagination as they collect items from around the room to add interest to the story. Most of the older children are competent in recognising numbers and letters. All children enjoy the outdoors where they can choose activities which are also available indoors, giving them the choice of indoor or outdoor play; such as water play, sand, painting, planting bulbs, vegetables and herbs. They use what they have grown to make soup and talk about being healthy. They select musical instruments which represent other cultures and countries which are freely available. Children throughout the nursery are involved fully in all aspects of an activity from start to finish and the staff never waste an opportunity to explain why something happens or how it works.
Children’s welfare is promoted by the staff to a consistently high level. They blend daily routines and activities expertly together so that children acquire competency, confidence and independence in all areas. For example, children are taught how to be safe through themes, discussions and taking part in evacuations of the building. The setting promotes healthy eating as they provide children with an understanding of what is good for us, through offering healthy snacks and meals prepared by the cook. Children celebrate different festivals and enjoy the planned visits to other places of interest. This gives them an insight into the environment and the world around us and how items can be recycled. The setting focuses upon emotional and physical health, and cultural diversity, as they embrace and welcome everyone into a wholly inclusive environment. As a result, children exhibit excellent skills. They know how to act safely outdoors, and to make healthy eating choices and adopt good personal hygiene. They are considerate to others and are self-confident in choosing activities and resources of their choice.
What steps need to be taken to improve provision further?
To further improve the high quality early years provision the registered person should consider:
- Continuing with the plans to upgrade resources for information and communication technology.
Annex A; Record of Inspection Judgements
|The key inspection judgements and what they meanGrade 1 is Outstanding: this aspect of the provision is of exceptionally high quality
Grade 2 is Good: this aspect of the setting is strong
Grade 3 is Satisfactory: this aspect of the provision is sound
Grade 4 is Inadequate: this aspect of the provision is not good enough
The overall effectiveness of the early years provision
|How well does the setting meet the needs of the children in the Early Years Foundations Stage?||1|
|The capacity of the provision to maintain continuous improvement||1|
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the early years provision
|How effectively is the Early Years Foundation Stage led and managed?||1|
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement||1|
|The effectiveness with which the setting deploys resources||1|
|The effectiveness with which the setting promotes equality and diversity||1|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding||1|
|The effectiveness of the setting’s self-evaluation, including the steps taken to promote improvement||1|
|The effectiveness of partnerships||1|
|The effectiveness of the setting’s engagement with parents and carers||1|
The quality of the provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
|The quality of the provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage||1|
Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
|Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage||1|
|The extent to which children achieve and enjoy their learning||1|
|The extent to which children feel safe||1|
|The extent to which children adopt healthy lifestyles||1|
|The extent to which children make a positive contribution||1|
|The extent to which children develop skills for the future||1|
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