Great Ofsted inspections for Dorset nurseries

Group of happy children dressed in red
Blandford Children’s Centre Nursery

Happy and settled and thoroughly enjoying learning were some of the comments following recent inspections of two nurseries managed by Dorset Council.

Blandford Children’s Centre Nursery was given a good rating, and Shaftesbury Children’s Centre Nursery was rated as outstanding by Ofsted after their visits in June 2022.

Group of young children seated
Shaftesbury Children’s Centre Nursery

In their report for Blandford, inspectors noted: children are familiar with the routines that staff have implemented, are self-assured and inquisitive and show respect to others and behave well. Children are encouraged to follow healthy lifestyles and enjoy spending time in the garden where they grow their own vegetables.

The manager and staff provide a well-thought-out curriculum, and inspectors noted that children’s literacy development is well supported.

Staff commented on the approachable nature of the management team and said they felt well supported in their role, and parents spoke highly of the staff, describing them as ‘approachable and friendly’.

For Shaftesbury, the inspectors noted: each age group has its own outdoor area where the children, some of whom do not have gardens at home, relish having space to play freely and find out about nature.

Children have excellent relationships with staff, which helps them to feel safe and secure at the nursery.

Children are exceptionally well behaved. There is a strong focus on children’s health and well-being, and staff well-being is high on the agenda. Staff know parents well and provide support for them as well as their children to ensure the best outcomes for the whole family.

Both nurseries remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cllr Andrew Parry, Portfolio Holder for Children, Education, Skills and Early Help  said: “This is a fantastic achievement, and my thanks go to the teams who work hard to make sure children get the best start in life. I am proud of all the brilliant work they do for Dorset families and the inspectors’ feedback underlines the commitment made by all.”

Melissa Young, Childcare Manager, Blandford Children’s Centre Nursery, said: “I am extremely proud of our outstanding team, who are passionate in providing a stimulating and fun environment. We are dedicated to the care, learning and development of every child.

“The children have had an amazing year: coming in independently, learning new skills and becoming confident learners. Our July graduation saw 25 children off to school and we wish them well for the future.  I am delighted with our Ofsted result and appreciate the support of our families.”

Ashli Knight, Acting Childcare Manager, Shaftesbury Children’s Centre Nursery, said: “We are thrilled with our latest OFSTED report and are really pleased the comments of the inspector recognise the hard work and progress we have made over the last few years.

“I would like to thank the children, parents and staff for their continued support and dedication to the nursery. We will continue to strive to maintain high standards and performance for all children. We are excited to continue welcoming children to the setting.”

Blandford Children’s Centre Nursery provides childcare for children from 2 months to 5 years. It is linked to Blandford Children’s Centre.

Shaftesbury Children’s Centre Nursery provides childcare for children from 3 months to 5 years. It is linked to Shaftesbury Children’s Centre.

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. It inspects services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. It also inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people. It reports directly to Parliament, parents, carers and commissioners.

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