A NURSERY in Tidworth where “children feel safe and thrive” has been praised after it was inspected by the education watchdog.

Poppies Daycare Nursery, in Ordnance Road, has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted following a visit on February 3, having previously been graded as ‘good’ in 2017.

The nursery was registered with Ofsted in 2007 and employs 20 members of childcare staff. It receives funding to provide free early education for children aged two, three and four years.

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In a report published in March, inspector Catherine Parker-Johns said: “Highly skilled staff encourage children's excellent behaviour across all age ranges. Older children are exceptionally polite and respectful towards others. They are very considerate and independently share resources.

“All children benefit from the especially ambitious curriculum and staff's high expectations. Staff rapidly identify and thoroughly support children who may need additional support to achieve.”

Praise was also given to management who were said to be “highly effective”. The report added: “They successfully use their extensive child development knowledge to bring about changes for children. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, they have seen a dip in children's communication and language development. To address this, they have worked with staff to provide highly focused small-group activities, aimed at boosting areas such as understanding and attention across all ages of children.”

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The relationship between staff and parents was highlighted by Ms Parker-Jones, who said: “They communicate daily to ensure children's care is consistent with their home routines. Military families that have limited extended family in the community were particularly enthusiastic about the setting, stating management and staff 'go above and beyond' to support them.”

It was found that staff support children to manage safe risks and carry out thorough risk assessments to ensure children can play and learn safely.

The report added: “Management ensures staff's knowledge and understanding of safeguarding is up to date.”

A nursery spokesperson said: “The inspection was a real opportunity for us to show the inspector how we deliver high-quality childcare with the focus of the children at the heart of everything we do. The whole team have worked really hard and so to be recognised in this way was just fabulous.”