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About Ducklings

Name Ducklings
Ofsted Inspections
Address Emerson Valley Hall, Roeburn Crescent, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK4 2DF
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Sessional day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority MiltonKeynes
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children follow a curriculum that promotes their good attitudes and dispositions towards learning. Staff have high ambitions for what children can do and they successfully build on what children already know.

As a result, children make good progress relevant to their age and stage of development. Children explore a wide range of activities and decide where and how they want to learn. For example, children play in the garden when they choose and ask staff for resources they enjoy playing with.

Older children are articulate and fluent in their speech. They speak with such confidence that their words come out in a hurry a...s they are so eager to share their ideas. Staff manage this well, listening and drawing other children into the lively conversations.

Children display high levels of confidence and self-esteem. Staff greet children as they arrive, and children run into the pre-school happily. Staff offer continual reassurance and genuine affection as children learn to separate from their parents for the first time.

Children's behaviour is consistently good. They follow direction and even the youngest children know the familiar daily routine. This helps children to feel safe and secure as they know what to expect during the day.

When children are tired, staff provide a cosy and safe place for them to sleep.

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

The provider empowers the manager to develop a curriculum that supports children and reflects the manager's depth of understanding of child development. The manager is highly knowledgeable and uses her good understanding to review and adapt the curriculum.

As a result, the curriculum is finely tuned and identifies what children need to learn to help to prepare them for their successful future learning.Staff skilfully build on children's communication and language skills. They know how to sequence their teaching, initially responding to children's eye contact and body language when they are non-verbal.

As children grow, staff respond to their babbling because they understand that this is a vital part of early speech development. Eventually, children become expert communicators.Staff quickly identify when children need extra support with their learning.

Their swift intervention means that children with special educational needs and/or disabilities receive teaching that meets their individual needs. Staff recognise the small steps in progress that children make and celebrate their achievements with parents.On occasion, some of the role-play areas where children play using their imagination are not highly enticing.

Staff do not always provide children with opportunities to expand on their imaginative ideas and take their learning forward. As a result, children talk about their ideas, such as feeding and dressing their babies, but cannot fully put these ideas into action.Young children show tenacity and a good ability to do things for themselves.

At mealtimes, children organise themselves and eat their food independently with staff encouragement. Staff sit with children and talk about healthy eating.The key-person relationships are highly effective and promote children's high self-esteem and confidence.

Staff expertly step into the role of buddy key person and demonstrate a depth of knowledge of children. This enables them to seamlessly provide continuity for children. Consequently, children are confident and happy at the pre-school.

Staff gather basic information about children and their backgrounds. However, they do not initially ask parents about more specific information about children's home lives and experiences. Therefore, staff do not support children's learning about what makes them unique from the very start.

There is a strong sense of leadership at the pre-school. The area manager has an excellent oversight of the pre-school through carrying out extensive evaluations of all aspects of the provision. The manager is ambitious in extending her knowledge and skills.

She uses this good knowledge to motivate the staff team. Relationships with parents are strong. Parents know that their children settle well and they receive regular updates about their children's progress.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Safeguarding children is given the highest priority. Staff are acutely aware of how incidents within the local community affect families' sense of safety, security and well-being.

Staff are clear about their roles in protecting children. They recognise the signs and symptoms that might indicate children are at risk of harm. The management team works closely with the local safeguarding children partnership to share any concerns about children's welfare.

The provider operates safe recruitment procedures to help to ensure that those who work with children at the pre-school are suitable to do so. The manager organises staff deployment to ensure that children are always supervised safely.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: nexpand on imaginative and role-play areas to further excite and entice children to build on their play and extend their ideas gather more information from parents about children's home lives and experiences to build on children's learning about differences and similarities from the very start.

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