Inspection report for early years provision

Unique Reference Number EY290242
Inspection date 12 November 2007
Inspector Elizabeth Juon
Setting Address 4 Ironbridge Road, Stockley Park, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB11 1BF
Telephone number 0208 573 5723
E-mail
Registered person Leapfrog Day Nurseries (Trading) Ltd
Type of inspection Integrated
Type of care Full day care

About this inspection

The purpose of this inspection is to assure government, parents and the public of the quality of childcare and, if applicable, of nursery education. The inspection was carried out under Part XA Children Act 1989 as introduced by the Care Standards Act 2000 and, where nursery education is provided, under Schedule 26 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.

This report details the main strengths and any areas for improvement identified during the inspection. The judgements included in the report are made in relation to the outcomes for children set out in the Children Act 2004; the National Standards for under 8s day care and childminding; and, where nursery education is provided, the Curriculum guidance for the foundation stage.

The report includes information on any complaints about the childcare provision which Ofsted has received since the last inspection or registration or 1 April 2004 whichever is the later.

The key inspection judgements and what they mean

Outstanding:
this aspect of the provision is of exceptionally high quality
Good:
this aspect of the provision is strong
Satisfactory:
this aspect of the provision is sound
Inadequate:
this aspect of the provision is not good enough

For more information about early years inspections, please see the booklet Are you ready for your inspection? which is available from Ofsted's website: www.ofsted.gov.uk.

THE QUALITY AND STANDARDS OF THE CARE AND NURSERY EDUCATION

On the basis of the evidence collected on this inspection:

The quality and standards of the care are good. The registered person meets the National Standards for under 8s day care and childminding.

The quality and standards of the nursery education are good.

WHAT SORT OF SETTING IS IT?

Leapfrog Day Nursery (Heathrow) opened in 2004 and became part of the Busy Bees Group in 2007. It operates from a purpose built nursery building situated in the business park at Stockley Park in the London Borough of Hillingdon.

A maximum of 100 children may attend the nursery at any one time. The nursery is open each weekday from 08:00 to 18:00, closing only for public holidays. Half-day sessions from 08:00 until 13:00 and 13:00 until 18:00 are also available. All children share access to a secure enclosed outdoor play area.

There are currently 75 children aged from birth to under five years on roll. Of these 13 receive funding for nursery education. Children attend from the local community, as well as through corporate contacts with large local employers. The nursery currently supports children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities and those who speak English as an additional language.

The nursery employs 18 staff. Of these 13 of the staff, including the manager hold appropriate early years qualifications and one member of staff is working towards a qualification.

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PROVISION

Helping children to be healthy

The provision is good. Children develop a good understanding of healthy practices through consistent routines. Children wash their hands independently after messy play and after using the toilet. Hygienic use of paper towels to dry hands helps to prevent the spread of infection. Staff maintain suitable hygiene routines such as wearing gloves and aprons when changing nappies to ensure children are safe from cross contamination. The staff maintain a clean environment for the children by actively cleaning toys and resources with hot, soapy water. All the required documentation is in place such as accident and medication reports and there is an efficient system in place for administering medication to children to safeguard children’s welfare.

Children develop a positive attitude to physical exercise and outdoor activities in the fresh air. Children play outside each day and participate in a weekly fun ‘gym’ session. Children are developing competency using a good range of small equipment which includes scissors, pencils and paintbrushes.

The younger children under two years old have ample space to practise their new skills of crawling, standing and walking in a safe and secure environment. The babies have suitable age appropriate toys which encourage their development.

Children are able to rest and sleep according to their needs. The bedding is clean for each child and staff monitor sleeping children closely to ensure their comfort and safety. The babies' cots have personal possessions and often a photograph of family to encourage familiarity and ability to settle.

The nursery provides food freshly cooked on the premises. The meal provided on the day of inspection was not as listed on the menu. The snack was of dried fruit. The change was because of a late grocery delivery. Children in the pre-school room can help themselves to the snack and drinks when they want, however, staff do not monitor their intake to ensure they have some nourishment mid-morning. The babies under one are seated in appropriate chairs for mealtime. They are given friendly encouragement to eat and held when bottle fed to provide a sense of comfort.

Protecting children from harm or neglect and helping them stay safe

The provision is good. Children are cared for in a safe and secure environment where risks are minimised. Staff effectively ensure the premises are safe and secure by carrying out a daily check for example, of the outdoor area before children go to play. They monitor all visitors to the setting to keep children safe from anyone not vetted. Children benefit from a good range of safety measures which include gates, fire safety precautions such as a fire blanket in the kitchen and a frequently practised emergency evacuation drill. However, at present the fire alarm is not tested to ensure the system is functioning.

There is a varied selection of accessible toys and resources for children to use in all the base rooms. The pre-school room is well equipped and resources are set out to be appealing to children, for example, the home corner is a dark cave, to provide an element of excitement and adventure. Children are able to self select resources independently and they help to clear away toys into the correct storage box. Outside the play area is appealing with a wide selection of play equipment and an all weather Astroturf surface.

Children are well protected by staff who have a sound knowledge and understanding of child protection. Their awareness is maintained and updated through in-house training. The nursery has a written policy and procedure, which staff read to be fully aware of the steps to take if they have any concerns about children in their care. This promotes the importance of children’s welfare. However, not all the information is current.

Helping children achieve well and enjoy what they do

The provision is good. Children are settled and enjoy coming to the nursery. The staff are keen and interested in the children. They have a good awareness of the Birth to three framework and use it to plan interesting and stimulating activities for the children. The children are developing a good sense of self and belonging. Children are eager to join in and enjoy tactile experiences with water and playdough, learning new skills through play. The good humour of the staff and ability to promote children’s enjoyment is a strength of the nursery. Children dress-up and sing nursery rhymes, encouraged by the staff team. Good relationships are evident between adults and children. Children chatter and talk to staff who respond appropriately, creating a friendly atmosphere. Children confidently go to any of the familiar adults to receive comfort and cuddles.

Nursery Education

The quality of teaching and learning is good. Staff demonstrate a sound understanding of the Foundation Stage curriculum and refer to the stepping stones in their planning. The children are keen to learn and participate in the suitable range of activities offered which are well organised and accessible to children. Staff use an appropriate range of teaching methods with the children to support their learning across the curriculum. A theme runs through the planning, for example, light and dark, and the link is made throughout the activities, for example, using torches in the dark cave and hearing a story about night and day. Useful observations of children’s learning are regularly made by staff. These demonstrate children’s progress and are used by staff to plan the next steps in children’s learning.

The children work well together, cooperate and instigate play, for example, using their imagination and different voices to imitate characters at the puppet show. Children behave well and are polite, saying excuse me before talking. Children persevere with their tasks and demonstrate a sense of achievement, proudly showing their written name and computer skills.

The children are beginning to link sounds and letters as they sound out letters phonetically and make good attempts at writing words. There is opportunity for children to write spontaneously in a role play situation when they help themselves to available writing pads and pens. Children can recognise their name in print on their coat pegs and name labels. There is labelling around the room to promote children’s recognition of words in print. The children show an interest in books and listen well at story time. Two groups of children listen to different stories at the same time, which causes some disruption to concentration in each group. The staff extend children’s learning by asking questions and enabling children to predict what might happen next in the story.

The children are gaining a significant understanding of the wider world through planned activities, for example the festival of light, Diwali. Children play with various toys which encourage them to experiment with technology in everyday situations. The computer offers other learning opportunities in the games available for the children as well as improving children’s dexterity and mouse control.

Children have daily opportunities for outdoor play and honing their skills using larger equipment, for example, on the climbing frame and slide. They play games with the staff, match movement and music and practise the repertoire of nursery rhymes they enjoy singing.

Children count well, some are sure they can count to 100. They recognise numerals, for example, saying, 'I am four, I was three', pointing to the correct numbers. However, there few opportunities for children to practise simple sums and calculations in every day situations, such as mealtime. Children are able to competently recognise different colours and shapes and are beginning to understand weight and capacity in water play. The children can use their imagination and creativity in art and craft activities. Their art work is displayed and valued by staff which raises children’s self esteem.

Helping children make a positive contribution

The provision is good. Children are warmly welcomed by staff who value their individuality. There is a key worker system to ensure each child is well known by the staff to meet their individual needs. The overall friendly atmosphere fosters inclusion of staff and children from a range of different backgrounds and cultures. Children develop a positive attitude to others and gain an understanding of the wider world and the local community when they venture out for a walk to the duck pond. They have access to a range of resources and activities which provide positive images and promote diversity through play.

The nursery offers support for children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Staff work with other professionals, parents and the Special Needs Coordinator to ensure children are making progress. Children benefit from the staff's ability to adapt activities and equipment to ensure children take a full and active part in the setting.

Children behave well, they are given lots of praise and encouragement and learn to share and take turns to play cooperatively with their friends. The children are kept busy and involved at all times so they do not become bored or frustrated. Children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is fostered.

The partnership with parents and carers is good. Parents are provided with written information about the setting. Children benefit from effective information sharing with parents through newsletters, daily chats, and detailed notice-boards including planning for activities. This helps parents to be aware and involved in, children's learning. The parents spoken to at the inspection are very pleased with the standard of care their children receive and cite the amiable staff as a strength of the nursery.

Organisation

The organisation is good. Children are cared for by an attentive and mostly qualified staff team. At present the deputy is acting manager supported by the head office area manager. Staff work well together and understand their roles and responsibility. Staff have the opportunity for professional development and the management actively encourages staff to attend training. Staff hold regular meetings to discuss planning for activities. Children are grouped appropriately and the key worker system ensures children receive support and care throughout the day. The base rooms are cheerful with bright visual stimuli and well organised to provide ample space for children to move around freely. The overall adult to child ratios are maintained but regard is not always taken to ensure staff are deployed effectively at all times. An accurate record of children’s attendance is kept. However, there is no indication on the register of the staff in each room during the day.

All the required documentation is in place to support children's welfare. Policies and procedures underpin the working practice in the nursery and are available to parents. However, some details require review to provide consistent, current information.

The leadership and management of nursery education are good. Staff have knowledge of the Early Years Curriculum and are involved in planning appropriate activities to help children develop in all areas. Assessment records are completed on a regular basis by the children's key worker to ensure children are making progress toward the early learning goals. The setting meets the needs of the children for whom it provides.

Improvements since the last inspection

At the last Care inspection the provider was asked to better facilitate children's individual sleep patterns and have consistency when administering medicine.

The provider has since made improvements and is able to provide appropriate sleeping arrangements for all children in comfortable, quiet areas. The nursery now has a rigorous system in place to ensure medicine is only administered to children by a senior member of staff. These measures safeguard children's wellbeing.

Complaints since the last inspection

There has been one complaint made to Ofsted since the last inspection relating to National Standard 12: Partnership with Parents and Carers. Ofsted carried out an unannounced visit. As a result an action was raised in regard to ensuring the complaints procedure is followed at all times. A response was received from the provider confirming action taken to meet the National Standard. The provider remains qualified for registration.

The provider is required to keep a record of complaints made by parents, which they can see on request. The complaints record may contain complaints other than those made to Ofsted.

THE QUALITY AND STANDARDS OF THE CARE AND NURSERY EDUCATION

On the basis of the evidence collected on this inspection:

The quality and standards of the care are good. The registered person meets the National Standards for under 8s day care and childminding.

The quality and standards of the nursery education are good.

WHAT MUST BE DONE TO SECURE FUTURE IMPROVEMENT?

The quality and standards of the care

To improve the quality and standards of care further the registered person should take account of the following recommendation(s):

  • devise a system to monitor children's food and drink intake during the free-choice snack to ensure they receive sufficient nourishment; ensure ample fresh food is available to fulfil the planned menu
  • ensure the fire alarm is still in working order
  • review procedures for child protection and complaints to ensure all information is current for staff and parents; devise a system to record staff attendance in the rooms

The quality and standards of the nursery education

To improve the quality and standards of nursery education further the registered person should take account of the following recommendation(s):

  • provide opportunity for children to complete simple sums and calculations in everyday situations, such as, meal time
  • minimise unnecessary distraction to children during story time

Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the leaflet Complaints about Ofsted Early Years: concerns or complaints about Ofsted's role in regulating and inspecting childcare and early education (HMI ref no 2599) which is available from Ofsted's website: www.ofsted.gov.uk

Annual Report 2012/13

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