Upminster nursery 'deeply disappointed' by Ofsted outcome

First Steps To Learning Pre-School and Day Nursery

First Steps To Learning Pre-School and Day Nursery in Upminster - Credit: Google Maps

An Upminster childcare provider is "deeply disappointed" by its first Ofsted rating, which is ‘requires improvement’.  

First Steps To Learning Pre-School and Day Nursery was rated ‘good’ across quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, and personal development.  

But its leadership and management were branded ‘requires improvement’, bringing its overall effectiveness to that level.  

A spokesperson for the nursery called the outcome “deeply disappointing” and said since the report, the nursery has addressed areas to improve.  

The report, published at the end of April this year after an inspection in February, said: “The nursery is a welcoming and safe environment.  

“Children arrive happily. They settle quickly and are ready to learn.” 

It goes on to praise the provision for supporting children’s emotional wellbeing “from the start” and said staff have "high expectations of children and are committed to helping them to develop many skills to support their future learning”.  

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The report said the manager is “passionate about giving every child a good start in life”.  

It said permanent staff have a "secure induction”, but the process is “not yet good enough for non-contracted staff”.  

This results in non-contracted staff not having a “secure enough understanding of the setting’s policies and procedures”, according to the report.  

A nursery spokesperson said it challenged the outcome of the inspection.  

“We have good systems in place which we evidenced, but were unsuccessful.  

“We understand the importance of providing a place for children to learn and grow and we are committed to this.” 

The report also highlighted an issue with workloads for permanent staff. 

A spokesperson from the parent governors group said: “As parents who have children thriving in this setting, we know that great care is given to them." 

Parents feel “at ease” leaving their children at the school, they said, and have “every confidence in the nursery and its leadership”. 

It comes after the education regulator received a complaint about the provision in 2020.  

Following a regulatory phone call at the end of that year Ofsted set actions for the provider to meet, to which they “responded satisfactorily”. 

Ofsted can reach four judgements about schools: 'outstanding', 'good', 'requires improvement' or 'inadequate'.