The Play Den Nursery

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About The Play Den Nursery

Name The Play Den Nursery
Ofsted Inspections
Address Unit 17b, Headlands Trading Estate, Swindon, SN2 7JQ
Phase Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises
Gender Mixed
Local Authority Swindon
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children settle quickly on arrival and happily get involved in a varied range of learning opportunities. They engage fully in what they are doing and enthusiastically join in with activities, such as taking part in counting games and choosing songs to sing. Children enjoy close relationships with the staff, who provide reassurance and support.

For example, babies have the confidence to move around freely but then return to cuddle up to staff. Children are well behaved and polite.Staff know the children well and have high expectations for all of them.

They make effective use of their assessments of children's progress t...o identify what each child needs to do next. These individual next steps are clearly displayed in each room so that all staff can help the children to achieve them. Staff also take account of children's interests when planning activities to ensure that they find them appealing.

They offer praise and encouragement to motivate children to be active learners who make choices about their play and enjoy exploring.Staff maintained contact with parents throughout the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. When the nursery was closed, staff increased the use of their online system to give parents ideas of how to support their children's learning at home.

They also used social media to share ideas. This helped children and families to maintain a link to the nursery. Staff have worked hard to help children catch up following lockdown.

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

Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities are supported well. The special needs coordinator is skilled at recognising potential delays in children's development. She works with parents, staff and other professionals to provide the help each child requires to make good progress from their starting points.

Staff use resources, such as visual cues, to help children understand what is going to happen next and to choose what to have for snack.Staff provide an inclusive welcome for parents and carers and work successfully with them to ensure a shared approach to each child's individual care and education. Parents report that their children enjoy attending and are impressed with the rate of their development.

Children do not have the opportunity to learn extensively about the natural world. Although there are resources available, such as troughs, seed trays and watering cans, they do not regularly use these for planting and observing growth.Most children are confident and eager to engage with others.

For example, older children talk to each other at lunchtime. Staff have worked hard on children's personal, social and emotional development since they returned to nursery, to give them the firm foundations they need for their learning.Children are well behaved.

Staff throughout the nursery consistently take every opportunity to remind them to use good manners and to share and take turns. Children respond positively and follow instructions, such as getting up after lunch one table at a time instead of all together. They show respect for one another as they play happily together.

Staff do not support children who are learning English as an additional language as effectively as possible. Although they ask parents for key words in the family's home language, they do not regularly make use of these to support the children as they learn English. Although children have booklets showing photographs of their family and friends, there are few other resources that show positive images of diversity to help children feel valued and learn about differences.

Staff support children's communication well. The nursery provides a language-rich environment for children of all ages. For example, staff talk to babies about what they are doing and help them learn simple words.

They have conversations with older children about a wide range of subjects and the children chat animatedly with one another.The owner/manager has a clear vision for the nursery and has high expectations of staff. She is aware that returning to work after a long period of lockdown has been stressful and she has provided opportunities for staff to discuss this with her.

She values the staff and is taking them on a camping trip in the near future to build on their existing team spirit.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Leaders and staff place a high priority on safeguarding children.

All staff complete relevant training early in the induction process and their knowledge is kept up to date through discussion at meetings and staff newsletters. Staff have a secure understanding of the possible signs that a child is at risk of harm and what to do if they are concerned. They understand that they have responsibility to refer these concerns if the designated safeguarding lead does not take appropriate action, and details of how to do this are displayed in each room.

They also understand the need to refer any concerns about the conduct of colleagues. Staff supervise children carefully and ensure that the nursery environment is safe and secure.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: provide more opportunities for children who are learning English as an additional language to use their home language in play and learning, and extend the range of images and resources that show positive images of diversity to help all children learn about differences provide children with more opportunities to learn about the natural world, with particular regard to growing and observing plants.

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