Sure Start Children’s Centre

Name Sure Start Children’s Centre
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 10 September 2019
Address Howgill Family Centre, Catherine Street, Whitehaven, CA28 7PA
Phone Number 01946 694 295
Type Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Catchment Area Information Available No, we only have catchment area data for schools in England

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children demonstrate they feel safe and secure at nursery. They arrive happy and are eager to enter the setting. Children and parents are warmly welcomed by staff, who take time to speak to parents wishing to share information. Support for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is excellent. Staff act swiftly and thread advice from involved professionals into individual plans. This creates continuity for children that has a significantly impact on their progress. Staff support children in their understanding of the expectations of their behaviour. They give clear and consistent instructions during changes to the routine of the session. As a result, children happily listen and cooperate. Staff engage with children as they play. Some staff are particularly skilled at promoting children’s communication, asking well-posed questions that draw on children’s prior learning and experiences. However, some staff are less confident and able to engage children in meaningful discussions that build on their vocabulary and miss opportunities to do so.

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

nThe manager and staff work hard to get to know the needs of the children and their families. They provide tailored support, including sharing information on external support services and ways parents can support learning at home. Parents speak very positively about the staff team and the progress their children have made.nChildren’s physical and emotional well-being are promoted well. Staff ensure children follow good hygiene routines and, through good self-evaluation processes, they have identified ways to improve on opportunities for physical activity outdoors. For example, new doors have created a more-streamlined, free-flow outdoor space and the addition of new flooring and equipment has broadened the educational programme for physical development.nThe well-established key-person system creates firm foundations for children’s confidence, resilience and independence. Children are unfazed at new visitors to the setting. Older children show good social skills as they interact and share what they enjoy and have learned at nursery.nChildren learn and develop skills across all areas. Staff use their accurate assessments of children’s learning to understand what they can do and to decide what they need to learn next. This informs individual and environment planning. Additional funding is used well to enhance the experiences and opportunities available for children, helping to close gaps in children’s learning.nStaff use children’s home experiences to extend on their learning. For example, staff encourage children to recall a recent visitor to the nursery who brought eggs and chicks for the children to explore. They talk about the children’s family members who own chickens and where in the world they live. While some staffare highly skilled at seizing opportunities to engage children’s communication skills, other staff miss opportunities to fully promote this area of children’s learning.nThe manager observes staff teaching and oversees the peer observations completed by staff on one another’s teaching, addressing the recommendation from the last inspection. However, evaluations do not focus sufficiently on how teaching can be improved, in order to help the manager identify precisely where she needs to provide support and raise teaching to outstanding.nStaff roles, responsibilities and deployment are managed well. For example, in good preparation for impending changes to the staff team, the manager has taken account of staff needs, experience and skills to ensure key groups are not disrupted and staff are well supported. Furthermore, the manager ensures staff are continually supported through supervisions and training opportunities, targeted to their individual needs.nChildren’s progress is subject to close monitoring. This helps the manager to identify where children, groups of children or areas of practice require additional support. The impact of this is shown in children’s enhanced engagement in mathematics, following the swift implementation of specific programmes of support and additional resources.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.All staff have a secure understanding of their role in keeping children safe. They are able to recognise potential safeguarding concerns and are familiar with the reporting procedures to follow. The manager ensures staff remain vigilant through training and regular updates, such as from the local safeguarding children board. The manager works alongside the company managers with regards to recruitment and induction, to assure herself that all staff are suitable and are clear on their roles and responsibilities.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should:nstrengthen teaching skills so that every opportunity is made to develop children’s thinking and language skillsnmake better use of peer observations to provide the manager with more in-depth evaluations of practice aimed at improving the quality of teaching to an outstanding level.