Cheshire nursery honoured

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Scamps Day Nursery in Macclesfield is celebrating a hat trick of achievements.

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Deborah Baines, whose nursery Scamps is a lead setting in the I CAN Early Language Development Programme, and has just been graded Outstanding for the second time

The nursery has received its second consecutive Outstanding Ofsted rating in a year, has been selected as a lead setting for language development, and voted by parents as the leading nursery in the North West of England.

The nursery was subsequently selected by Cheshire East council to be a lead setting in the I CAN Early Language Development Programme (ELDP).

The two-and-a half year programme is funded by the Department for Education to support communication development in the early years.

Scamps was one of five lead settings identified by Cheshire East council as showing pre-existing good practice, an appetite for sharing good practice, and strong leadership and management.

ELDP training was provided in-house following the nursery’s selection, and the setting now offers language cards, nursery rhyme bags, language DVDs and puppets to parents and children to work with together at home.

Visits and exchanges between the five lead settings in the Cheshire East area have been arranged in order to share good practice and ideas for the ‘phased cascade’ training, in which other local settings will be trained in ELDP by lead practitioners.

The training will be rolled out in three phases, the first of which will prioritise training in areas of high deprivation, focusing on settings with higher proportions of funded two-year-old places.

Scamps co-owner and nursery manager Ms Baines, who has also been selected as an ELDP lead practitioner, said that her nursery’s success was down to a policy of constant self-evaluation.

The nursery, which was taken over by John Sutton and Deborah Baines in 2011, was inspected twice in nine months, obtaining an Outstanding rating on both occasions.

‘After we got Outstanding in our first inspection we made sure we made lots of action plans because we wanted to make even more progress before the next one,’ she told Nursery World. ‘We are constantly evaluating where we are and how we can improve, and I think we were selected to be a lead setting because our reputation was getting better so quickly. We really changed the culture of the nursery so it became about staff learning not just children learning.

‘It’s been great to achieve all these things. When these top communication consultants get to know you and realise you mean business that’s a very good feeling. We are very honoured that we’ve been chosen as a lead setting.’

Scamps provides places for 160 children and employs 29 members of staff.

Commenting on the parents’ award, Ms Baines added, ‘We’re thrilled to have received this recognition. It is a testament to our passion and commitment to ensuring children in our care have the best start in life.’