Squirrels Nursery

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About Squirrels Nursery

Name Squirrels Nursery
Ofsted Inspections
Address The Acorn Centre, 3 The Kestrels, Eagle Avenue, Waterlooville, PO8 9GX
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 greet the children warmly, and they separate from their parents with ease.

They play with their friends and explore the range of available activities. Children feel safe and at home. They are confident and independent in their play.

Staff have high expectations for children, and behaviour is good. All children have access to the outdoor area at all times. They come and go freely, developing their independence and choices.

For instance, children play happily with the mud outside and chase the bubbles from the bubble machine. Children share resources with their friends. For example, during a scoop and ball... game, children play together cooperatively.

They take turns playing with the different balls. Children show perseverance as they try to catch the ball in their scoop as it flies through the air. This helps to develop their physical skills.

Children laugh in excitement as staff build anticipation in a language activity. Staff and children call out 'splat' as the small flour mounds fall down. The flour splatters everywhere, and the children enjoy this fun activity.

This activity also helps to build children's mathematical language, as they talk about 'big' and 'little'. All children, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are making good progress from their starting points.

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

Overall, the curriculum is well planned and sequenced.

Children make good progress in their development. For example, staff plan activities to support babies' personal, social and emotional development. As a result, babies receive plenty of cuddles.

They explore a range of resources appropriate to their age. However, there are times during the day when babies take part in activities with a larger group of older children. At these times, babies do not consistently enjoy the same good level of focused attention to support their learning.

The management team is highly motivated. The team has recognised that since the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a waiting list for speech and language referrals. Parents have been offered an alternative voluntary programme.

However, many are unable to attend due to work commitments. As a solution, the management team is proposing to send two staff members on the programme. Staff will bring the training back to the setting and share this with the parents and children.

In addition, the nursery is involved with the 'warm hub' scheme. This allows local families to come into the community centre during the cold weather. Children take part in stay-and-play activities.

The management team has recognised the importance of this scheme, and it is continued during warmer periods.Staff have developed a curriculum that follows children's interests and builds on what they already know and can do. Children with SEND are particularly well supported.

Staff seek advice from external agencies when children need additional help with their learning.Staff promote children's communication and language very well. Regular singing and storytelling sessions take place.

In addition, key persons organise small, focused groups. This supports individual children's language development. It helps to ensure that children have the opportunity to improve their communication skills.

Parents comment that the staff are 'brilliant' and support their children well. They report that they receive information about how their children are progressing at the nursery. Parents say that they get ideas for activities to do at home, to help develop their children's skills further.

Partnership working is strong. The management team works with local schools, childminders and external agencies. As a result, children receive the support they need at the right time.

Staff work with children to help them develop healthy lifestyles. Staff remind children why they need to wash their hands. They encourage children to eat their savoury food first from their lunch boxes.

Staff remind children to blow their noses. For instance, tissue stations around the nursery help to support children's independence. Toileting routines are relaxed, and staff spend time interacting with the children.

Staff respond to the children's questions and show an interest in what they say.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Robust recruitment procedures help to ensure that staff are suitable to work with children.

The management team and staff have a good knowledge of safeguarding requirements. All staff attend training to ensure their practice remains current. As a result, they know the procedures to follow to help keep children safe.

Safeguarding is on the agenda at team meetings. All staff know the procedures to follow if they have concerns about the practice of a colleague. Staff receive paediatric first-aid training.

This helps to ensure they take appropriate action in the event of an accident. The building and garden are secure, to prevent anyone accessing the nursery.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: support staff working with the youngest children to plan more precisely for babies at times when they are involved with a larger group.

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