Our exclusive analysis of the Ofsted reports of the 20 largest nursery groups, shows that the North-West based group has had 15 nurseries graded Outstanding and four graded Good.
It is worth noting that Childbase – last year in third – has only marginally missed out on first place. It is in second place because it has successfully converted nurseries previously graded Good to Outstanding status. The group now has 32 nurseries graded Outstanding, with the remaining nine graded Good.
The group has swapped places with Children 1st – last year’s runner-up – which is now in third place, with 14 of its nurseries graded Outstanding and six graded Good.
Happy Days Nurseries is a new entry in fourth place, with 11 Outstanding grades and five Goods.
The proportion of nurseries in the table graded Outstanding is just under a third (30 per cent), up from just over a quarter (25.4 per cent) last year. There are slightly fewer Good grades – 65.9 per cent, against 71 per cent last year. This is offset by a small rise in the nurseries graded ‘requires improvement’, which stands at 3.4 per cent. Just 0.6 per cent of nurseries have ‘inadequate’ grades.
Overall, our table highlights the strength of quality in the private and voluntary large group sector, with 96 per cent of nurseries graded either Outstanding or Good.
This is a slightly higher percentage than the figure for Ofsted’s most recent national statistics, which show that as of 31 March 2017, the proportion of childcare providers on the Early Years Register (EYR) judged to be Good or Outstanding was 93 per cent.
Alongside our quality table, we publish our annual league table of the 25 Largest Nursery Chains in the UK.
Busy Bees remains the largest group, after acquiring Treetops Nurseries earlier this year.
Bright Horizons is still the second biggest group, cementing its position with the purchase of Asquith Nurseries just days after we went to press last November, on the 2016 edition of Nursery Chains.
Meanwhile, the Pre-school Learning Alliance, previously the fourth largest group, is now in third place.
New entries to this year’s table ranking groups by size include Tiny Toez (number 21), Alpha Nurseries (24), and the Childcare and Learning Group (25).
Our annual edition of Nursery Chains also includes our directory, which includes the contact details and locations of all nurseries owned and managed by 180 nursery groups.
- To see the table results in full don’t miss Nursery Chains, out on Monday, and free with Nursery World (13 – 26 November).