Double Ofsted delight for nursery owner

New childcare business both score highly with education inspector.

A NORTH Devon children’s nursery owner is celebrating a second glowing Ofsted report in as many months.

Claire Symons said she was ‘thrilled’ that new nurseries in Northam and Barnstaple had both earned the praise of a Government education inspector – just six months after taking on both businesses.

Claire’s Little Robins and Claire’s Little Bears scored ‘good’ overall ratings, with both reports drawing attention to the ‘warm and welcoming’ setting provided at each nursery.

“Staff plan an interesting range of activities and offer good support to the children as they play and learn,” inspector Sara Frost said of Little Robins, at Northam.

“Management show a strong desire to provide high quality childcare and effective systems are in place to monitor and further develop practice.”

Of Little Bears, based in Boutport Street, Barnstaple, she said: “Children’s individual needs are well-known and met as staff continue to build on the good working partnership with parents.

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“The management and staff show a good commitment and effective capacity to maintain continuous improvement.”

Claire also runs Claire’s Country Childcare, in Horwood; Claire’s Newport Nursery and Claire’s Flying Start Nursery, both in Barnstaple. The five sites employ 90 people and look after more than 500 under five-year-olds.

She said: “We were thrilled with the inspector’s comments; to get such good reports when we’ve only been in these two settings for six months is really encouraging.

“Myself, area manager Lesley James and staff have worked so hard to get the two new nurseries up and running and achieve what we have in such a short space of time.”

Claire said despite the findings, there was no room for complacency: “We strive to offer flexible childcare to fit in with parents’ day-today working lives and we need to make sure we continue to offer the best environment for children under five to grow, learn and play in a safe environment.”

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