First Steps Nursery

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About First Steps Nursery

Name First Steps Nursery
Ofsted Inspections
Address 25-29 Thanet Road, Margate, Kent, CT9 1UA
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Kent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children arrive at the setting happy and excited to begin their day. They are greeted by managers and quickly settle into their morning activities, supported by staff. Children develop their independence throughout the day, which has been planned for carefully.

For example, when arriving, children select their own named picture and move onto a board and hang their belongings in their own space. Staff ensure that children practise important daily skills, such as washing hands before lunch and putting on their coats. Staff teach children the importance of sharing and turn-taking, through gentle reminders, and demonstrate how to r...espect each other in children's play.

Children show high levels of engagement and staff superbly plan enjoyable and engaging experiences to spark children's curiosity. For instance, children visit places in their local area, such as the post office, library and museum, which links to their topics. Staff are aware of the importance of developing children's vocabulary through songs and rhymes and regularly sing with the children.

For example, the younger children sing along to 'Old Mac Donald' with staff during a puzzle activity with farmyard animals. Children have lovely, close bonds with staff, as there is an excellent key-person system in place, and enjoy receiving praise with what they have achieved.

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

Managers have high expectations of all staff and are very supportive.

There is a strong team feel and staff are very proud to work at the nursery. Staff can access regular professional development and new staff are mentored, allowing them to have the best knowledge for children. Staff well-being is well supported, such as through meetings and training opportunities.

Parents speak very highly of the nursery and praise staff members and the bonds they have formed with their children. Children are happy when entering the nursery once they are settled in. Parents receive regular information on children's development and progress through daily conversations, information shared online and parent consultations.

Indoors, children have a wonderful environment to explore, which has been carefully planned to facilitate all areas of learning and maximise all children's engagement. However, planning for the outdoor area could be strengthened to enhance learning opportunities and ensure the same levels of engagement are met outside, as this area is popular with the children.Mealtimes at the nursery are seen as a social time and a chance for staff to teach children important skills, such as listening to one another and taking turns.

For instance, children eat their lunch with their key person at the table. This helps staff to support children to learn about healthy eating and it enables them to feedback to parents about how children are eating.Managers understand the importance of a varied and exciting curriculum and how to plan and sequence experiences for children.

For example, staff create an activity with photographs of the children and their local area, allowing children to role play visiting places they are familiar with to encourage communication. Managers plan excellent links with visitors to the nursery to teach children about themselves and others around them, such as the local dentist to teach children about their teeth.Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well supported by the special educational needs and disabilities coordinator (SENDCo) and by all staff.

For instance, the SENDCo develops staff's understanding of how to support children and implement support, such as through personalised plans. Staff also use spaces within the nursery well, such as quiet areas, to provide individual support and sensory experiences to help children with specific needs.Staff understand the importance of developing children's physical skills, such as climbing, catching, and balancing.

Managers have added climbing equipment to the younger room in the nursery so children can use this in their play. In the pre-school room, staff provide opportunities for children to use materials, such as play dough, to strengthen their fingers and hands to help them with their early writing and mark making.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff understand the importance of safeguarding children and how to identify signs a child may be at risk. They are also aware of their role in reporting any concerns to support children who may be in need. Managers provide staff with regular training to ensure that staff have up to date knowledge on how to protect children from harm.

Children follow the rules within the nursery and have a good understanding of why the rules are in place to keep them safe, which is explained by staff. For example, children know how to line up when leaving their classroom and walk carefully when using the stairs.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: support staff to fully refine the organisation and planning of the outdoor learning environment.

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