Stepping Stones Day Nursery

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About Stepping Stones Day Nursery

Name Stepping Stones Day Nursery
Ofsted Inspections
Address Stepping Stones, Halfpenny Lane, Pontefract, WF8 4DA
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Wakefield
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is outstanding

Children feel settled and secure at this setting. The well-planned environment considers children's current interests and supports their learning. For example, children show an interest in the change in seasons.

Staff create a 'winter area' inside where children can practise skills such as putting on their own hats and gloves. Outside, children continue learning about cold weather. Staff model rubbing ice between their hands for children to watch it melt.

Children are consistently engaged in the activities that staff provide. They are given opportunities to become independent learners. Children access resources ...that challenge their thinking and enable them to practise new skills.

For example, children use scissors to cut around images of body parts that they have coloured in. They then independently use a tape dispenser to stick the body parts together to create a person. Younger, less-confident children are given time to become familiar with new activities, such as playing with ice.

They are then encouraged and supported to join in by the nurturing staff team. This helps all children to have the confidence to enjoy new experiences.All children are consistently exposed to language-rich activities.

Songs and rhymes are used to calm children. Staff recognise when children are interested in books and cuddle them as they read together. Toddlers repeat familiar phrases in songs that they know.

Staff encourage the use of new language. For example, they introduce the word 'decay' during a discussion around the importance of oral hygiene and 'dumper truck' when exploring vehicles with toddlers. Children's communication skills are consistently high across the setting because of this.

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

Children behave superbly at this setting. They like to sit in a creative space and talk to their friends. Children listen intently to what others are saying.

They show an interest and respect for others' thoughts and ideas. Staff encourage children to be proud of their achievements. For example, they take photos of children's work to show their parents.

Younger children say, 'I did it!' when successfully pouring ice from a truck. Staff celebrate with them by clapping. This help children to feel valued.

Children access the outdoor provision regularly throughout the day. They practise balancing on logs in the garden. Staff help toddlers to climb steps up to a slide.

Pre-school children bounce on space hoppers and manage the space safely. Staff plan the outdoor area to support children of all ages to develop their physical abilities.Managers evaluate the teaching in the setting.

They have a clear vision for what they hope children will achieve by the time they go to school. This is communicated to staff, who express that they feel well supported in their roles.There are opportunities for staff to attend additional training to maintain good progress for children, such as training on developing their outdoor area.

Managers use staff meetings to collate ideas and evaluate the space. For example, a separate area was made for children to practise riding bicycles. This supported other children to play without being interrupted and give children the space to improve their balancing skills.

Staff place a focus on supporting children to lead healthy lifestyles. Children brush their teeth and explain to visitors they do this for 'two minutes'. Staff discuss the importance of eating fruit and vegetables.

Children name 'broccoli' and 'carrots' as their favourites. Before mealtimes, staff ask children why it is important to wash their hands. Children respond to remove the 'germs'.

Children show a strong understanding of why hygiene routines are essential in staying healthy.Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) make excellent progress. The enthusiastic special educational needs coordinator works alongside various outside agencies, such as speech and language therapists.

She ensures that strategies have a positive impact on children's development. These are assessed with parents and key persons, and modified if needed.Partnerships with parents are excellent.

Staff invite parents into the setting regularly to discuss their child's development and next steps in learning. They send ideas for activities to parents to continue their children's learning at home. Parents describe the staff team as 'amazing' and say that their children 'surprise' them with the knowledge which they have gained.

Staff create strong links with the community. They take children to visit a charity that provides support for former coal miners. This gives children the opportunity to learn about the history of their local area.

Children visit the local library to explore new reading resources. Staff take children pumpkin picking. This helps to develop their understanding of how to grow their own foods.

Children use this knowledge to grow herbs in the outdoor area. They are encouraged to pick the herbs to use in their meals at the setting.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Children are kept safe at this setting. Staff make sure that doors have multiple locks and high handles. They use safety gates to block the stairs.

Staff understand how to report a concern about a child or a colleague. They know where to find contact numbers to make referrals anonymously. Staff can recognise signs and symptoms of different types of abuse.

They have a strong knowledge of safeguarding issues, such as female genital mutilation and radicalisation. Managers plan a robust recruitment procedure to ensure the suitability of staff. This is then regularly checked during supervision sessions to ensure their ongoing suitability.

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