1. Our Quality
We believe that we offer the very best and highest quality of childcare and education.
We have always gained excellent reports from Ofsted (social services before them) including gaining Outstanding 3 Times!
The parents of the children attending the nursery are all very complimentary about what we offer.
The children show their enjoyment of being with us with their laughter and eagerness to attend.
Parents comment how well their children have developed, perhaps even more than they expected.
We were the first nursery group in the whole of the Midlands to gain the prestigious quality accreditation award - Quality Counts - from the National Day Nurseries Association (a registered children's charity).
2. But what is quality?
I'm sure if you ring a few nurseries, pre-schools, schools or child minders they will all say they provide a top quality service. So what is quality? Do all settings provide the same top quality service?
You are the one who can answer the quality service question. E.g. Does the service provided meet your needs and expectations? Does the service meet your child's needs and expectations? It may well meet your friend's needs and their child's needs - but you and your child have different needs. After all if we were all the same we'd all have the same type of home, provide the same toys for our children and drive exactly the same make, model and colour of car - but of course we don't.
However, we feel you'll agree with some really these basic ideas on quality:
The first one is that you want your child to be safe. Safe in everyway. You want to be confident that you can leave them with the childcare provider and they will not come back "damaged" in anyway what so ever. It sounds obvious but it's very important! One of the first things we help new staff to understand is that accidents can be avoided. eg. It's pretty obvious that a little toddler who is just learning to walk is going to fall over - however it doesn't mean they have to hurt themselves when they do does it? The Chuckle Bunnies Staff know that the aim is for the children to sustain zero injuries whilst at nursery. This aim is mostly achieved and the staff try very hard to make sure they try really hard to have zero accidents in their area. The children still take risks and experiment - but they do it safely.
The second is that we feel you want peace of mind. Peace of mind to know that your child is safe, having fun and progressing well. After all what parent doesn't want the best for their child. Peace of mind to feel that you can discuss anything with the staff and that they care about your child. Peace of mind that if something does happen that you will be told and supported.
The third is that you want your child to be happy. Happy children, that's what it's all about - isn't it? Obviously they won't be happy all of the time - if they've just stubbed their toe or aren't keen to wait their turn for instance. But generally you and we want them to be happy.
For some, the above is all that quality means - and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, a large number of parents want more. Much more for their children. They realise with more and more children attending childcare settings before starting "big school" that their child needs to know and be able to do a lot more than perhaps they knew and did when they started school. So given this there is another aspect of quality and that is helping children learn. Learn to get on with others, learn to talk, learning to start to read, learning to have early maths skills, learning an understanding of the world around them, learning to be confident and resilient. Even just learning how to be still, listen and follow instructions. Being ready and very able to start school and succeed.
3. Ofsted's Role in Ensuring Quality
Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) took over the role of ensuring the Quality of Childcare and Education in non maintained settings from Social Services in September 2001.
Ofsted is responsible for Registration, Inspection, Investigation and Enforcement of National Standards within all Non Maintained settings. Ofsted is also responsible for ensuring the standard of education provided.
Ofsted has the following responsibilities:
To Protect children;
To ensure that day care providers meet the National Standards;
To ensure that children are safe, well cared for and take part in activities that contribute to their development and learning;
To promote high quality provision of care and learning; and
To provide reassurance for parents.
The inspections are extremely rigorous. Evidence has to be provided for everything. All elements of the educational curriculum, planning and practice are scrutinised in detail. The sessions are observed extremely closely. Any issues are identified and the setting is required to produce an action plan and resolve them. Settings are placed on a 1-2 or 2-4 year re-inspection cycle. The better provision will be re-inspected after 2-4 years.
The inspections are to determine how likely it is that children attending will achieve the Early Learning Goals (ELG's) stated in the "Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage" document published by the QCA and DFee. The ELG's are the successor of the DLO's (Desirable Learning Outcomes).
Having said the above it is worth noting the following:
"Ofsted" inspections are not normally carried out by Ofsted employees. In this area they are currently sub contracted to a company called Prospects. Prospects doesn't even employ the inspector - the inspectors are self employed subcontractors on a tight budget. Even Ofsted agrees that consistency can be a problem. It's amazing how many repeated phrases appear in different "inspector's" reports. Unfortunately, what one inspector can feel is great another may feel is terrible.
External inspections are very important - but they do not tell you the full story. Just look locally at the number of settings that have apparently not met the standards that they were supposed to. Ofsted change the focus of inspections and also change where the finishing posts are - "in order to raise standards".
The issue is that an inspection is only as good as the inspector and the day on which it is done. Once done there's no going back. The result stays published for at least 4 more years. Now any setting that has recommendations will work on them with urgency and it takes quite a number of weeks before the report is published! By this time the situation will have changed, the improvements will have been put in place.
So does an Ofsted inspection ensure quality? Yes, in a way. It reports an inspector's view on the day. It is valid for what happened on the day it was done. Is it still valid and representative by the time it gets published? Not really as things will have probably have changed / improved.
So should parents go by the last inspection the setting got? Well if it was done yesterday then yes. But if it was done longer ago then it may not be relevant or reflect the present situation. A setting that has in the past gained outstanding a lot of times is unlikely to sit on its hands and not rectify things an inspector finds. So yes read the latest report - but also read all the reports available. Ask about what happened and what improvements have been made ... and if you're really keen, download the Inspectors Handbook to carry out early years inspections (this explains how inspectors are to judge the setting). Use it to judge for yourself on the day you visit.
New settings aren't necessarily inspected within a year and so a setting may be operational without ever having an inspection and so doesn't have a report. Equally if a setting changes their legal status from individual proprietor to Limited Company then this is classed as a new provision and the reports don't show up. So do look at why a setting has no reports but has been trading for quite some time.
Ofsted inspect against the EYFS, the National Standards and a whole host of relevant legislation. The Inspectors Handbook clearly states what the current situation is and is well worth a read.
Early years inspection handbook from September 2015
4. Subjects Providers Hope You Won't Ask About
As a provider of childcare and education one hears things from various sources which as a quality provider one really worries about. Some things are more worrying than others, but the most worrying thing is that parents aren't aware of the issues so that they can check on them.
Click on the link below to see the subjects that providers hope you won't ask about. We hope you will find them useful.
The above should not be taken to be statements made about any particular setting and it must not be assumed that the statements refer to any setting within the same locality as our nursery. Any similarity to any person, setting or place is purely coincidental.
5. Final Thoughts on Quality
Ofsted Inspections only ensure that on the day of inspection that the setting meets the national minimum standards. Settings which have gained a national quality assurance accreditation have voluntarily gone the extra mile and demonstrated their commitment to quality.
We have gone one step further and follow an international concept:
Total Quality Management
By following the TQM approach we are constantly reviewing what we do, looking for even the smallest of ways in which we can improve. This is not just within one aspect of the nursery, but throughout - from how children are encouraged to be creative, through to the level of service we offer parents, to the support given to our staff. When it all comes together we approach total quality.
What drives us?
"Striving for excellence in childcare and education."
"Providing the Chuckle Bunnies Difference."