STAFF at a private day nursery are celebrating after receiving an “outstanding” report from Government officials.
Playmates, in Murray Street, Hartlepool, received the glowing status after a visit from the Office for Standards in Education (Oftsed).
Inspectors said youngsters at the nursery “make excellent progress in all aspects of their learning and development” and said “a strong emphasis is placed on meeting individual needs”.
Julie Hall, owner and manager at the nursery, said staff are absolutely delighted.
She said: “A lot of hard work has gone into this, we have strived to make sure we are the very top level.
“Only one other nursery in the town has received an ‘outstanding’ report and it was linked to a primary school, it’s fantastic for us.”
The nursery opened in 1993 and caters for a maximum of 104 children aged up to eight years old each day.
It employs 27 members of staff and as well as having a unit for youngsters aged under three, the nursery is home to a dedicated pre-school unit for older children.
The report, drawn up after a visit in October, said: “Relationships between children and staff are excellent.
“They genuinely enjoy each others company,” adding: “Children are animated and enthusiastic as they make choices about their activities.”
“The setting is very inclusive with a strong emphasis on treating children as individuals.”
Inspectors were also extremely impressed by nursery staff adding in the report: “Staff know the children very well and they recognise, value and celebrate difference.
“As a consequence, all needs are met and children develop a very clear knowledge and understanding of the wider world.”
The report praised the nursery for its commitment to working closely with parents and gave credit for safeguarding children.
It says: “All staff are confident in their understanding of child protection policies and procedures and are adept at identifying the signs and symptoms of abuse.”
Julie added: “Our nursery is all about passion, dedication and commitment to children.
“We feel privileged that parents trust us to look about their children.
“All of our staff are fully qualified and strive for more training and professional development.”
The “outstanding” report comes at the end of a fantastic year for the nursery. They also received a Golden Apple healthy eating award from Hartlepool Borough Council and the ICAN award, given for providing a suitable environment for children with speech, language and communication difficulties.
For the nursery to improve even further, the Ofsted report recommended “enhancing risk assessments further by recording the actions taken to safeguard children when outings are undertaken.”
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