Ofsted Report 2011

Croft House Nursery inspection report for early years provision 



Unique reference number


Inspection date



Janet Singleton



Setting address

Bridge Street, Horwich, Bolton, Lancashire, BL6 7BT

Telephone number

01204 697 613



Type of setting

Childcare on non-domestic premises


Click Here for the direct link to the report




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).


Please see our website for more information about each childcare provider. We publish inspection reports, conditions of registration and details of complaints we receive where we or the provider take action to meet the requirements of registration.



Description of the setting


Croft House nursery is privately owned and opened in 1989. It operates from a semi-detached building in Horwich, Bolton. The nursery serves the local area and has strong links with the school. The nursery is accessible to all children and there are a number of fully enclosed areas available for outdoor play.

The nursery opens Monday to Friday all year round. Sessions are from 8am until 6pm. Children are able to attend for a variety of sessions. A maximum of 60 children may attend the nursery at any one time. There are currently 114 children attending who are within the Early Years Foundation Stage. The nursery is registered on the Early Years Register. The nursery provides funded early education for three and four-year-olds. The group supports children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and children who speak English as an additional language.

The nursery employs 23 members of childcare staff. Of these, one holds appropriate early years qualifications at Level 2 and 17 at Level 3 or above and four staff members are working towards Level 2. The deputy manager holds a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies. The manager/principal of the nursery is a qualified teacher with a B.Ed (Hons) degree and also holds the Early Years Professional status. The nursery receives support from the local authority. The nursery employs additional staff for the cooking, cleaning, administration and maintenance duties.


The overall effectiveness of the early years provision


Overall the quality of the provision is outstanding.


Practitioners promote children's learning with outstanding success as children move freely in a rich and stimulating child-orientated environment. The superb learning environment is fully inclusive, safe and secure, positively promoting children's independence, outstanding behaviour and understanding of diversity. All required policies and procedures are exceptionally well maintained. Partnerships with parents and others are outstanding in promoting children's welfare and learning. Those in charge have high aspirations for quality through effective self-evaluation and identification of realistic and achievable action plans for improvement of the outstanding provision. This means children make significant gain in their learning and development considering their age and capabilities.


What steps need to be taken to improve provision further?


To further improve the high quality early years provision the registered person should consider:


  • implementating and consolidating the future plans to enrich the outdoor area to further improve the outstanding outcomes for children.


The effectiveness of leadership and management of the early years provision


The arrangements for safeguarding are outstanding because practitioners have an excellent understanding of the indicators of abuse and the need for protecting children. They are clear in their responsibilities with highly effective supporting documents and training in place to update their knowledge base and ensuring they know what to do should they have a concern. Robust recruitment and vetting procedures contribute significantly to keeping children safe, in addition, procedures for maintaining their continued suitability include the appraisal system, team meetings and a whistle blowing policy, all of which staff are fully aware. 

Practitioners are highly experienced and qualified in the learning and development needs of young children. A stimulating and effective curriculum means that children are supported and their learning, development and uniqueness are planned for. The superb observation system means that learning priorities are clearly identified and planned for. Involvement of parents and carers in this process enables children to make significant gains in their learning and provides an inclusive approach. The use of the early learning tracker enables practitioners to identify gaps in the provision and to plan to meet these to further promote the outstanding outcomes for children. 

Those in charge have a very clear and achievable plan for improvement through the completion of a detailed and highly reflective self-evaluation form. Practitioners are realistic and constantly challenge themselves to improve the service they provide as they are exceptionally reflective in their approach. Continued development of the outdoor area is in place to improve outcomes for children. Partnership with parents is outstanding as they are included in evaluating the provision which supports the continuous improvement of the setting. They are provided with superb information about their child and what the provision is doing to promote their child's progress, for example, a monthly newsletter, questionnaire, comprehensive daily discussion and written information on the babies. Highly informative notices are displayed for their information. Comments from parents confirm that the fantastic two-way channels for communication are successfully and established. They feel involved and their comments are acted upon, for example, comments from home regarding their child's achievements are included in the planning, making significant contributions to the assessment of their child's learning and development. The practitioner's commitment and enthusiasm to improve the service shines through as they explain how they have changed some areas of planning and the outdoors to assist in children making better use of these areas.


The quality and standards of the early years provision and outcomes for children


Practitioners have an excellent knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage which they use to plan an exceptional educational programme for all children. The key worker observations and assessments promote children's learning as they use their highly effective skills to watch and interpret children's development and learning. This very comprehensive information is used to identify children's progress against the six areas of learning and is used to guide planning and provide highly appropriate challenges for all children. Documentation to support the delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage is robust and consistently implemented. The highly stimulating, fully inclusive environment for all children ensures they are happy and fully engaged in their play. This means children make significant gains in their learning.

Children are actively involved in their learning and are supported by the highly skilled staff whose exceptional use of open-ended questioning mean children are challenged and their thinking promoted. Through the superb environment they make excellent choices as they decide what and how they want to develop their own play. Fantastic free-flow opportunities between the indoors and outdoors means children have exceptional opportunities to decide where they want to go. They climb and balance, run and skip as they access the outdoors. The use of the recently improved outdoor area and the Pod, a circular capsule that allows children to use as an outdoor playroom, they observe the birds at the feeder, watch the squirrels climb the tree, and enjoy the magical time watching the snow fall in a snug and wonderful environment. 

The younger children make music and are keenly interested in the drum. They show their excitement and watch with awe and wonderment as they beat the drum and watch the ball-bearing within roll around making a noise like thunder. Through the woodland learning session children explore the natural world. They use their physical skills and develop their imagination as they climb over the tree roots, search for plants and take part in the campfire. This activity is given the highest priority to ensure the safety of the children. However, the children demonstrate their exceptional understanding of safety as they instruct the practitioner to be careful and gave instruction to another adult regarding the safe practices. Excellent use of numbers, numerals and letters throughout the whole environment means children develop their mathematical concepts and their understanding that letters and words have meaning is encouraged. Practitioners are skilled at bringing these concepts into play at all times through sensitive support, for example, 'how many can we see', 'do you think', 'shall we see how many', 'can you find you name'. 

Through a wide selection of wonderful books and inviting reading corners children develop their enthusiasm for reading and exploring stories. They relish in the gloop with fascination, holding it, squeezing it, and watching it pour over their hands. They discuss the texture of the rolling pin describing it as bumpy or smooth as they compare and learn about different textures. They find out that time has meaning as they put the cakes in the oven and decide how long to they need to cook. They play alongside each other and cooperation between them is exceptional as they play in the role play area and learn about the importance of sharing, taking turns and respecting each other. They show expertise in the use of the computer, smart board and programmable toys. This enhances their understanding of technology. They are very confident and behaviour is exemplary. 

Children's understanding of the world is enhanced through learning about different cultures, learning to sign and taking part in celebrating festivals. Through highly positive daily routine children learn about their bodies and develop their understanding of healthy practices. They enjoy home made, quality nutritious foods and access their drinks at all times. Overall, children play and learn in beautiful stimulating rooms with drapes and quality resources. They have free flow access to outdoors and fantastic support from highly skilled staff as they develop the necessary skills for the future.


Annex A: record of inspection judgements


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


The overall effectiveness of the early years provision

How well does the setting meet the needs of the children in the Early Years Foundation Stage?


The capacity of the provision to maintain continuous improvement



The effectiveness of leadership and management of the early years provision

The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation Stage


The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement


The effectiveness with which the setting deploys resources


The effectiveness with which the setting promotes equality and diversity


The effectiveness of safeguarding


The effectiveness of the setting’s self-evaluation, including the steps taken to promote improvement


The effectiveness of partnerships


The effectiveness of the setting’s engagement with parents and carers



The quality of the provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage

The quality of the provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage



Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage

Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage


The extent to which children achieve and enjoy their learning


The extent to which children feel safe


The extent to which children adopt healthy lifestyles


The extent to which children make a positive contribution


The extent to which children develop skills for the future