A NURSERY that opened its doors less than 18 months ago has been given a good rating in its first-ever Ofsted inspection.

The Play Den only moved into its premises in the Headlands Trading Estate in 2016 after owner Kate Adams decided to move the childminding business, previously run from her home, into a larger space.

And this month, staff and children have been smiling with glee after the education regulator showered the nursery with praise.

Kate, who has been a childminder for 14 years, was thrilled by the report.

“It was a challenge to go from a domestic environment to a commercial one and there were some changes that we faced and needed to overcome when we moved so to get this report is really pleasing,” she said.

“For us, the setting must conform to the child and not the other way around. We understand that children do not learn at the same pace or in the same way so when they start with us, we are very comprehensive in getting as much information from their parents as possible to help their learning.

“What is really important is that the children are moving forward in their learning and we are really hot on monitoring their progress so if we feel a child is dipping then we immediately speak to their parents and have that early intervention in place.

“The business has grown steadily over a number of years and we have never had to advertise ourselves because it has all been done through word of mouth and we are always full which I think is testament to my staff and our reputation in the area.”

In the report, Ofsted praised the safeguarding measures in place as well as the way in which staff cater their resources to the needs of each individual child.

Inspector Hilary Tierney said: “Children enjoy their time at the nursery and make good progress relative to their starting points.

“The owner/manager and her assistant encourage staff to gain higher qualifications and attend training to develop their skills and improve outcomes for children. For example, recent sign language training has had a significant impact on staff and they now use this in everyday conversations throughout the nursery. Parents comment on how happy their children are, how good the staff are and the care provided.

“Staff use their qualifications effectively to help children make good progress in their learning. Staff know their children well. They track children’s learning effectively, completing detailed observations and assessments to support learning even further.

“Children settle quickly into the nursery with their special key person. Staff in the baby room interact well with the young children. They offer plenty of reassurance and comfort when children become unsure or upset.”

In order to achieve the highest rating of outstanding, the nursery must improve the noise levels in the open-plan baby and toddler room as well as helping children understand how much time they have left to play before another activity is going to start.