Acorn Day Nursery (Sharnbrook)

About Acorn Day Nursery (Sharnbrook) Browse Features

Acorn Day Nursery (Sharnbrook)

Name Acorn Day Nursery (Sharnbrook)
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 06 February 2020
Address Unilever Research Site, Sharnbrook, BEDFORD, MK44 1LQ
Phone Number 01234 608899
Type Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children embrace the ethos of expanding their knowledge through nature. They climb, swing, hide and explore in the area designated for forest school activities. Children sit on logs and watch in anticipation while staff prepare delicious food on a fire for them all to enjoy. They explain why they cannot go near the fire, demonstrating their understanding of why rules are set. Children confidently use appropriate tools under the very close supervision of vigilant staff, helping them learn how to begin to keep themselves safe while they take suitable risks. Babies and very young children enjoy being immersed in sensory stimulation. They move shapes on a light-box and pat different textures during their explorations. Aromas from segments of citrus fruits in trays of rice help to add to their experiences while they watch the dried rice fall from their hands. Children crowd around staff to listen to stories, sharing a passion for books that staff initiate. They learn to listen and begin to hear new and exciting words, helping to support their growing vocabularies.Children feel valued in the nursery. They display photographs of their families from the branches of a tree and share news from home with their key person and friends. Children respond to the questions staff ask them, giving their opinion about their enjoyment of activities. They help to decide which new playthings and equipment should be introduced into the group rooms.

What does the early years setting do well and what does it need to do better?

nThe manager and provider evaluate the quality of care and education effectively. They gather feedback from parents, children and staff to help make continual improvements.nThe well-established key-person system is effective. Parents work in close partnership with staff. Staff encourage parents to add photographs, comments and observations from home on a secure app. This supports staff to plan stimulating activities, helping to build on what children already know.nThe manager and the provider strive to encourage staff to continue their own professional development. Dedicated training days help staff to focus on aspects of their knowledge and understanding to drive the quality of care and education further forward. New staff and those employed to cover staff absences are given clear inductions. From their very first day, staff know how to safely evacuate children in the event of an emergency.nStaff support children to identify their own emotions and to consider how others might be feeling. Staff gently remind children to be kind and to share. This helps to strengthen the very good behaviour children display.nChildren are immersed in the local community. Staff take them on regular tripsto a local care home to read and play with the residents. Partnerships with parents are particularly strong. Parents are highly valued and welcomed into the nursery. They are very supportive, and feel it is a special place. On occasions, they have arranged trips for small groups of children to visit suitable departments within the science park. These new experiences help to trigger children’s desire to discover new interests.nChildren return to favourite activities throughout the day. They scoop out oranges and fill the skins with lard and seeds for birds to eat. Children talk about the birds they can see in the trees and decide where they can put their feeders.nStaff work closely with other professionals. Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities are very well supported. Staff follow care plans and act on the advice of others who work with and know the children. This helps staff support children to reach new milestones at a pace most suited to them.nStaff use the information they gather from observations to help them set challenges that build on what children already know. When children first start in the nursery, the key person finds out from parents about children’s routines at home, interests and preferences.nDuring mealtimes, staff sometimes miss opportunities to encourage children to join in meaningful conversations, to help enhance their speaking and listening skills. Some children and babies are not always positioned in a way for them to easily see and hear others, further limiting the interactions they have.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Staff are able to identify, record and report any concerns they might have about children’s welfare. They remain vigilant to what they see and hear. Staff are confident in their roles to help protect children. The manager and provider follow robust selection and recruitment procedures to help ensure that all staff are suitable.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should:nreview and adapt mealtimes to further promote additional opportunities for rich communication, language and social interactions