Marshmallows Day Nursery

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About Marshmallows Day Nursery

Name Marshmallows Day Nursery
Ofsted Inspections
Address Lower Marsh House, Marsh House Lane, Darwen, Lancashire, BB3 3JB
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority BlackburnwithDarwen
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children flourish in this friendly and supportive nursery. They have strong attachments with staff, who know each child very well. Parents appreciate the homely environment.

They say they feel confident to leave their children, knowing that they get lots of attention from their key person. Children are happy and confidently talk to staff and visitors about what they are learning to do. Babies are busy explorers, using the ample space to develop physical skills, such as crawling and walking.

They enjoy looking at books and joining in with action songs. Toddlers develop their imagination as they play with staff. Pre-scho...ol children are highly engaged in activities.

They build with purpose using bricks to create a house with a party inside. Children excitedly explore the outdoor setting, looking for minibeasts and birds. After children returned from long periods of isolation, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff recognised that children were less confident to make choices.

They offer them choice about what they want to do to encourage decision-making. Children's confidence to express themselves has increased and they show that they know how to find the resources they want.Staff have high expectations for behaviour.

All children listen to staff and respond quickly to instructions. This helps to keep children safe. For example, staff remind children how to climb the A-frame or to hold the banister as they move downstairs.

Staff give extra guidance and support to children with special educational needs and/or disabilities to ensure they are fully included and that they meet their individual needs.

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

The vibrant setting is well organised and structured. This helps children of all ages and stages of development to progress in their learning.

Staff carefully plan activities, focusing on what children need to know and learn to do next. They use children's interests to help them engage with all areas of the curriculum. For example, staff set up resources that children enjoy in different parts of the room.

They skilfully use the children's favourite resources to capture their interest and practise skills, such as matching numbers to quantities. Children's learning is regularly shared with parents, along with suggestions of ways to continue this at home.Staff interactions with children are warm and purposeful.

They use recent training about speech and language development to support children. Staff teach babies new words as they play and look at pictures. Toddlers begin to describe what they find as staff model the words for them.

For example, they copy the phrases white fish and stripy bumblebee when drawing minibeasts with staff. Most pre-school children speak in full sentences. Staff help them to ask and answer questions, encouraging them to think about their learning.

As a result, children are confident communicators.The manager has a clear vision for the nursery, which she shares with staff. She takes time to reflect on the quality of the provision with staff in each room and acts as a mentor to them.

A comprehensive induction process helps new staff to learn from more experienced colleagues. The manager encourages staff to access online training as part of their professional development. However, training is not yet focused on individual training needs.

Therefore, the subject knowledge of some staff is not well balanced. This means they do not consistently help children to develop their knowledge into deeper concepts.The manager understands the needs of the children very well.

Many children do not have access to outdoor space at home. Therefore, she has provided a wide range of equipment to help children develop physically. Children grow in confidence as they learn to balance along an obstacle course.

They strengthen their muscles as they pull themselves up a climbing frame and pedal tricycles. Pre-school children go on outings to the local swimming pool. They proudly announce that they can jump in all by themselves.

A dedicated teaching and learning coordinator helps staff to track the progress of children. They quickly identify gaps in children's development and plan activities to help children catch up. For example, introducing a programme that exercises fingers with dough has helped children develop their small muscles.

When children have additional needs, the manager liaises with outside agencies to access targeted interventions. This ensures that all children make as much progress as they can. Consequently, all children are well prepared for their next stage of learning and eventual move to school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Safeguarding knowledge is embedded at this setting. The manager regularly checks that staff know the signs and symptoms of abuse.

She ensures that mandatory training, including paediatric first aid, is kept up to date. New staff access safeguarding training as a priority. All staff know the procedure for recording and reporting concerns.

A senior member of staff is always available to discuss any concerns that staff may have. Children learn about keeping safe online through reading books and talking with staff about how they use screens at home.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: nidentify individual training needs to enable all staff to develop a well-balanced subject knowledge over time.

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