Forest Footsteps Childcare

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About Forest Footsteps Childcare

Name Forest Footsteps Childcare
Ofsted Inspections
Address 2nd Ramalley Scout Headquarters, Ramalley Lane, Chandler’s Ford, EASTLEIGH, Hampshire, SO53 1JG
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Hampshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Staff welcome children into the setting and instantly make them feel included.

They treat children as unique individuals and promote high expectations for every child.Children demonstrate a strong sense of belonging. They listen to each other and are learning to share.

Staff are attentive to children's needs. They respond promptly when small disputes occur and use clear and consistent strategies to help children manage their emotions. For example, they channel children's energy into purposeful play and encourage them to work as a team.

Children learn to problem solve and successfully build an obstacle course. ...They learn to take safe risks as they carefully balance planks of wood and move from one obstacle to another. Children have many opportunities to engage in a variety of activities indoors and outdoors.

On the day of the inspection, they chose from a range of natural resources, such as ice and cornflour. They investigated changing properties and showed fascination as they added water into their play. Children collected leaves in the woods, made marks with sticks and looked for bugs under logs.

Staff enhanced children's understanding of the natural world and added extra resources, such as magnifying glasses, which ignited their curiosity. However, on occasion, staff do not consistently recognise opportunities to challenge children and extend their learning fully.

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

Staff encourage children to have a go, particularly when putting on their coats or when washing their hands.

Children learn routines effectively and are keen to take on small tasks such as tidying and washing up. They wait patiently for their turn to collect their plate, select their snack and enjoy talking to adults and peers while eating. This helps to ensure that children have the self-help skills needed in preparation for school.

Staff offer home visits to help them get a full picture of children's development before they start at the pre-school. They provide parents with high-quality observations and updates with detailed information on their child's ongoing progress. In addition, staff welcome parents into the setting to celebrate their child's individual achievements and encourage parents to continue with their children's learning at home.

For example, they offer story sacks and give parents reminders of the importance of reading with their children. This has significantly increased parental engagement.Staff support children's communication skills well.

They quickly identify children who arrive at the setting with lower than typical speaking skills. Staff work in close partnership with a range of services to ensure that all children and families receive the support they need. These swift interventions help to close gaps in children's learning.

All children, including those for whom the setting receives additional funding, make good progress.Children develop the skills that will help them learn to read and write. They develop their handwriting muscles well.

For example, children chip ice using a variety of resources and manipulate play dough into shapes. This helps to strengthen their pincer grip. Children take on different roles and imagine they are shopkeepers or customers at the shop.

They write shopping lists and use pretend money to buy their items. Children enjoy listening to stories. They share books together and begin to understand that print carries meaning.

The management of the pre-school is strong. The manager organises a curriculum that is exciting and follows children's interests. There is a clear sense of direction and staff are highly motivated to maintain continuous improvement.

All staff are encouraged to complete a wide variety of training courses to help develop their skills. For example, the forest school teaching has widened children's outdoor learning experiences. This has had a positive impact on children's confidence and they are keen to learn new skills, such as how to swing on a rope.

However, at times, staff do not use their good teaching skills to challenge children to the highest level, to help them make the best possible progress.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.The manager and staff are aware of indicators that might suggest that a child's welfare is being compromised or that a child is at risk of harm, including radicalisation.

They act quickly to ensure that families receive the support that they need. Staff complete regular safeguarding training to help ensure they are aware of new legislation. There is a rigorous induction procedure to check new staff and their suitability to fulfil their role.

The manager deploys staff effectively to ensure children are well supervised. She completes comprehensive risk assessments for all areas of the pre-school, including daily activity sessions in the woods and outings in the community.

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 develop their good teaching skills so that they maximise all opportunities to challenge children's learning through play, so that all children make good progress.

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