This inspection was carried out by Ofsted under Sections 49 and 50 of the Childcare Act 2006 on the quality and standards of the registered early years provision. ‘Early years provision’ refers to provision regulated by Ofsted for children from birth to 31 August following their fifth birthday (the early years age group). The registered person must ensure that this provision complies with the statutory framework for children’s learning, development and welfare, known as the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The provider must provide a copy of this report to all parents with children at the setting where reasonably practicable. The provider must provide a copy of the report to any other person who asks for one, but may charge a fee for this service (The Childcare (Inspection) Regulations 2008 regulations 9 and 10).
The setting also makes provision for children older than the early years age group which is registered on the voluntary and/or compulsory part(s) of the Childcare Register. This report does not include an evaluation of that provision, but a comment about compliance with the requirements of the Childcare Register is included in Annex B.
Description of the childminding
The childminder lives in a residential area of Blackpool close to the park, library and schools. Facilities within the home for children comprise of a playroom, kitchen and lounge with the bathroom on the first floor. There is a garden to the rear and the front of the house. The childminder keeps a number of small animals, rabbits and guinea pigs. Registration commenced in 2003. The childminder is registered on the Early Years Register and the compulsory and voluntary parts of the Childcare Register for a maximum of six children. Currently, there are two children on roll, who are both in the early years age range. One child attends full-time and the other part-time. Advice, support and training is gained from the local authority. The childminder has gained accreditation with the local childminding network.
Overall effectiveness of the early years provision
Overall, the quality of the provision is Outstanding. The childminder is highly effective in the way she promotes care and learning for the children she cares for. There are in place extremely effective systems for monitoring, assessing and planning for children's future learning and their individual needs. Consequently, she provides exemplary provision for children. Children's learning and development is planned in great depth and is tracked effectively to ensure that children access all areas of learning in a fun and developmentally appropriate manner. The childminder provides children with excellent opportunities for physical development and emotional well-being. The partnership with parents is outstanding, as is the liaison with other groups who care for the children. Her ability to self-assess is highly effective, leading to action plans for future development to further enhance her exceptionally effective practice.
What steps need to be taken to improve provision further?
To further improve the high quality early years provision the registered person should consider:
The leadership and management of the early years provision
The childminder has in place exceptionally detailed and informed policies and procedures which clearly reflect the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Policies and procedures promote a robust attitude to children's safety and welfare. The childminder demonstrates a highly efficient approach to the management of the children's individual care and needs. The childminder is extremely organised and knowledgeable in her approach to children's development. She ensures they have an excellent range of opportunities in all the six areas of learning. For example, plans demonstrate that children enjoy a wide range of activities across all areas of learning. Routines are flexible to ensure that they reflect the children's ongoing interests and ideas. The childminder is extremely committed to her own self-development demonstrated through her training achievements. Further professional development is identified as an area for improvement.
The sharing of information with parents and carers is encouraged as a two-way process. This keeps them informed on how their children are progressing in all areas of their development. For example, daily diaries reflect each child's day, whilst records of achievement reflect and track the child's progress in each area of learning. The childminder has taken positive steps to link with other providers that care for the children who attend her setting. This pro-active approach is effective in enhancing and supporting children's needs and promotes continuity. The childminder's self-evaluation is detailed in all areas and clearly identifies both her strengths and areas for improvement. Consequently, she demonstrates her commitment to reflective practice. She clearly links this to her capacity to maintain continuous improvement when evaluating the effectiveness of any action taken. The childminder involves parents in the evaluation of her provision as she asks them to complete questionnaires and write comments in the children’s records of achievement. She is highly effective in the way she strives continually to improve and enhance her provision for the benefit of the children in her care.
The quality and standards of the early years provision
Children experience a learning environment and educational programme that is exemplary because the childminder plans for each child with their individual needs clearly identified. As a result, children make exceptional progress in her care. Children benefit enormously from the excellent range, balance and variety of activities which fully promotes children's learning. The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children's development. It gives them the confidence to explore and learn in secure and safe, yet challenging, indoor and outdoor space and provision. For example, children enjoy caring for the animals housed in the animal shelter in the garden. They learn to care for living things and develop the skills to share tasks as they enjoy the activity.
Children enjoy the extensive range of activities and resources indoors; for example, they paint, they use the small world resources, they mark make and they enjoy some quiet time as they enjoy the excellent selection of books. The setting provides very good access, selection and choices for all the children which includes a lovely selection of natural resources. Very young children enjoy activities that require them to investigate by lifting and pressing a variety of objects as they discover with enjoyment. Consequently, there are very good opportunities for the children to be active learners in this home. Children also have excellent opportunities to develop their socialising skills as they enjoy visit to local groups, the library and the park. Children in this setting have extremely good opportunities through play to use their ideas and suggestions. They access very good resources which enables them to make connections and develop these effectively; for example, they enjoy building models following their own design ideas. They are excited as they make marks in the sand tray and on the outdoor walls as they use the big brushes.
Children are exceptionally well provided with experiences and support which helps them to develop a positive sense of themselves and of others. They develop respect for others in addition to social skills, therefore children display a positive disposition to learning because the childminder ensures her planning for care and learning enables children to flourish. The childminder offers exceptionally good support for children’s emotional well-being ensuring they develop the ability to know themselves and what they can achieve. Extremely effective relationships are nurtured here and the children are settled and happy in the childminder's care. This is reflected in their behaviour which is managed in a caring and sensitive way, ensuring children's concerns and needs are fully supported.
The childminder has fully embraced the importance of children having visual images around them to support their recognition of written word and context. The walls are adorned with children’s delightful work and posters that promote their learning. Children have ongoing opportunities to develop their speaking and listening skills which are seen as important. For example, the childminder always waits for children to finish what they want to say and responds positively to them. She also ensures that very young children are listened to and acknowledges their responses to a variety of situations. For example, she provides children with a variety of sounds in games to help their listening skills develop. Older children in her care feel confident to discuss and share with her aspects of their day and suggest ideas for after school activities. This exceptionally positive relationship ensures children thrive in her care. Children use a wide variety of resources for expressing their understanding, including mark making, creative materials, model making, books, story telling and music. Children have exceptionally good opportunities to fix and make things which supports their problem-solving skills well. Children access resources to develop their skills in weight and measure as they weigh ingredients to bake cakes. For example, they have made fairy cakes. There are games that promote the recognition of numbers; games that help children to match and sequence, and games that promotes children's thinking skills, for example construction games and resources.
The childminder is most vigilant in her commitment to providing a most secure and safe environment for the children in her care. She has in place highly effective risk assessments for all aspects of her childcare. All equipment, resources and toys are checked and maintained to ensure their ongoing quality and purpose. Extremely healthy meals and snacks are provided as well as drinks through the day, and these promote healthy choices for the children which are shared with parents. Consequently, children learn about healthy foods and the care of their bodies. Daily access to the outdoors and fresh air fully promotes the children's health and well-being. Children enjoy the resources in the outdoor area which reflect the six areas of learning. Children have access to a very good range of equipment, both large and small, which supports and extends their physical skills very well. Children visit a range of places in the local area which are of interest to them, such as the zoo. They also enjoy activities that reflect our wider world and enjoy the excellent resources that promote their learning in this area. Consequently, children’s learning and development is fostered in an excellent manner in this setting through the dedication and commitment of this highly effective and enthusiastic childminder.
The key inspection judgements and what they mean
Grade 1 is Outstanding: this aspect of the provision is of exceptionally high quality
Grade 2 is Good: this aspect of the provision 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
How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the Early Years Foundation Stage?
How well does the provision promote inclusive practice?
The capacity of the provision to maintain continuous improvement.
Leadership and management
How effectively is provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage led and managed?
How effective is the setting’s self-evaluation, including the steps taken to promote improvement?
How well does the setting work in partnership with parents and others?
How well are children safeguarded?
Quality and standards
How effectively are children in the Early Years Foundation Stage helped to learn and develop?
How effectively is the welfare of children in the Early Years Foundation Stage promoted?
How well are children helped to stay safe?
How well are children helped to be healthy?
How well are children helped to enjoy and achieve?
How well are children helped to make a positive contribution?
How well are children helped develop skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being?
Any complaints about the inspection or report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance available from Ofsted’s website: www.ofsted.gov.uk
Annex B: the Childcare Register
The provider confirms that the requirements of the compulsory part of the Childcare Register are:
The provider confirms that the requirements of the voluntary part of the Childcare Register are:
about early years inspections, Ofsted's website: www.ofsted.gov.uk.
Previous inspection _____________________________________________________________________
Date of registration:23/01/2003
Register type: Early Years Register / Compulsory Childcare Register / Voluntary Childcare Register
THE QUALITY AND STANDARDS OF THE CARE
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 provision is good. Children enjoy a very good range of activities which contribute to their very good health. Activities are well planned, enjoyed by the children and contribute to improving their physical skills. For example, they go to the park, the beach and in the well maintained rear garden. They become increasingly aware of how activity effects their bodies and know when they need a drink or a rest. They enjoy regular outdoor activities, which promotes their good health and development.
Children are secure and cared for in a very clean, well maintained home where they learn the importance of good hygiene and personal care. They are developing an understanding of why they must wash their hands at certain times of the day to avoid ill health from the exposure to germs. Children have their health needs met as the childminder has all the required written permissions and a health and safety policy in place.
Children are beginning to understand the benefits of healthy eating. They enjoy healthy snacks, for example, apples, bananas and tangerines. Children can help themselves to a drink when they are thirsty and very young children are provided with regular drinks to ensure they have their needs met very well. The childminder is mindful of parental requests and children's preferences in all aspects of the food she serves, to ensure a continuity of care between home and the setting.
The provision is good. The environment for children is bright, visually stimulating and offers different areas where they can choose to play. Space is used creatively so that there is quiet, active and imaginative play opportunities catered for. The areas for indoor play are very well equipped to promote choice for the children. The outdoor area houses a selection of toys, which offer children good choice and promote their enjoyment. Toys and equipment are organised in a way that allows children easy access, for example, toy boxes and low-level storage are available.
Children are kept safe and secure within this environment and when on outings as the childminder has due regard for safety procedures. However, the low-level drawer in the kitchen contains items that may be hazardous to the children. The childminder keeps the front door locked at all times, has safety equipment in place and ensures children travel in a vehicle which has appropriate restraints. Emergency fire procedures are in place, which have been practised to familiarise the children with the method of quick evacuation. Children learn the importance of safety for both themselves and for each other through careful explanation by the childminder. They are learning to keep themselves safe as they pick up toys and help the childminder tidy up at certain times of the day.
Children’s welfare is safeguarded because the childminder has a clear understanding of the responsibilities for recording and reporting alleged abuse of a child and maintains the contact details of relevant bodies.
The provision is outstanding. Children feel very relaxed and secure in this home because they settle very well with the childminder and others in the setting. They thoroughly enjoy the excellent range of play experiences, which include regular visits to the park and places of interest such as the zoo and the beach. Children spend their time very purposefully, developing their confidence and independence as they choose their play resources from an extremely well resourced playroom. They are developing their language skills as they participate in fantastic experiences, such as role play, crafts and growing plants in the garden. Children love to chat and they thoroughly enjoy the excellent selection of books made available to them. They also love to count, for example, the cars and the dolls, developing their mathematical thinking as they play. Children’s creativity is encouraged through the many exciting activities, which include dressing up and making cards and collages.
Children are very enthusiastic in their play, they play happily together sharing and taking turns as they access a wonderful range of toys. They are very proud of their achievements and are eager to share them with others, which promotes their self-esteem exceedingly well. Children benefit from the childminder’s secure understanding of the ages and stages of development of the children in her care and how to meet their needs, promote their development and ensure their well-being. She plans activities which offer an excellent range of experiences, for example, visits to the beach where they collect shells to create collages and design constructions. Children also love to bake cakes and help prepare snacks with the childminder, learning about foods that are good for you and foods we should not eat.
The childminder has in place the 'Birth to three matters' guidance, a framework to assist in the implementation of this aspect of practice. She uses this to provide ideas for activities with the under threes. Children have many fantastic opportunities offered to ensure they develop and enjoy their time as they flourish in this environment.
The provision is good. Children have equal access to all the play resources and activities. The children are very much valued and respected as individuals, which helps to give them a real sense of belonging. They are able to experience a positive view of the wider world and increase their awareness of diversity through the selection of images and experiences offered to them. For example, the childminder reads stories about children in other countries and has made a selection of resources available to them, although these are at present few in number.
Children's behaviour is very good due to the childminder's positive reinforcement and highly skilled approach to promoting positive behaviour. She takes the time to explain and uses appropriate strategies, taking into account individual levels of understanding. Children are therefore beginning to show care and concern for each other by learning to share toys and to take turns.
Partnership with parents is good and significantly contributes to children's well-being. Children's needs are met by daily verbal communication between the childminder and parents. Children are looked after according to parents' wishes and the childminder ensures she has a clear understanding of their opinions and attitudes. This ensures effective continuity for the children between home and the setting.
The organisation is outstanding. Children feel secure and settled within an extremely well-organised environment. There are effective and clear procedures in place to promote children's learning and development, as well as their welfare. Documentation is appropriately shared and confidentiality is acknowledged. The record of attendance is recorded clearly to show ratios are met, confirming that children have appropriate support and supervision at all times. Written permissions are in place, which ensures parents are clear about all aspects of the childminder's practice. Records are stored in a manner that ensures confidentiality of information. Parents are exceedingly well informed about their children's day as she keeps excellent records including photographic evidence to share with them.
Children are looked after by the childminder in a safe, secure environment where they have room to develop their independence and learning through an excellent range of well planned experiences. The childminder has completed training offered by the local authority. She is also a member of the local network offering care for teen parents. She is extremely committed to developing her practice through further training to ensure the care she provides for the children is of the highest standard.
Overall, the provision meets the needs of the range of the children for whom it provides.