A north Shropshire nursery where staff “place children at the heard of everything they do” has been awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted.

The prestigious grade for Little Bears Daycare in Whitchurch comes as a result of sweeping improvements made by managers and staff after the previous inspection resulted in a rating of ‘requires improvement’.

Just seven months later, Ofsted re-inspected and said widespread progress had been made in all areas.

Each of the four areas considered by inspectors – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management – was rated ‘outstanding’.

The report says: “Staff provide children with a wealth of quality interactions and care at this inviting and fun-filled setting.

“All children are happy, settle quickly and develop strong trusting attachments with staff and their key person.

“Staff know the children exceptionally well. They are attentive and nurturing to their individual needs and genuinely enjoy spending time with the children.

“Staff have high expectations for children’s behaviour. Children are kind to each other and their behaviour is impeccable.”


Inspectors said staff had a “superb knowledge of children’s interests”, enabling them to “plan exciting activities that enrich their learning experiences to the highest level”.

Children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities, are said to make “rapid progress in their learning and development”.

The report says: “The managers have successfully addressed the action from the previous inspection and have made significant improvement.

“The managers and staff are excellent advocates for all children. They are extremely passionate and have a shared, ambitious vision for the setting.

“Managers create an ethos that empowers staff to evaluate their practice and implement new initiatives.”

The report also praises the nursery’s strong links with the local community, relationships with parents and carers, and effective safeguarding arrangements.

The ‘outstanding’ grade – awarded to only around 15 per cent of childcare providers – is the best inspection rating the nursery has received since it opened in 2011.

Managers Aimee Bailey and Beth Williams and deputy manager Sally Hale said they were “over the moon” with the report.

They said: “The management team are so happy Little Bears is finally being recognised for all the hard work, passion and dedication all of our team put in day in day out.

“As a charity run nursery, we are lucky enough to be able to really put our stamp on the nursery and the ethos we have created.

“We are very much a community led daycare, continuing to branch out our connections such as visiting the Bradbury Day Centre or taking a trip on the town bus.

“We are so proud to lead a team that cares so completely for the children here and who go the extra mile in every way.”

Little Bears Daycare, based at Brownlow Community Centre in Claypit Street, is registered to care for up to 51 children per day aged from four months to four years, with 138 currently on roll. The setting also provides after school childcare for older children.