Ofsted Report

Inspection report for early years provision


Valerie Fane

Type of setting


Description of the childminding 

The childminder was registered in 2004. The whole of the property is used for childminding, there is a fully enclosed garden available for outside play. The childminder is able to take and collect children from local schools and pre-schools. The family have two cats.
This provision is registered on the Early Years Register and on both the voluntary and compulsory parts of the Childcare Register. The childminder is a member of the National Childminding Association and the South Gloucestershire Childminding Network.

Overall effectiveness of the early years provision

Overall the quality of the provision is good. Children thoroughly enjoy their time with the childminder and make good progress in their learning because she provides an interesting range of planned activities that is tailored to meet children's individual learning needs. They have regular access to the garden and also go on an interesting range of outings with her. The childminder is inclusive and she ensures that children's individual welfare needs are met well, with a minor omission in her paperwork. Children are safeguarded extremely well and develop a very good awareness of their personal safety. She has made good progress since the last inspection including completion of a relevant level 3 qualification and she is developing her procedures to evaluate her provision and identify further improvements.

What steps need to be taken to improve provision further?

   To further improve the early years provision the registered person should:

  • improve the wording of the written parental consent for emergency medical treatment   
  • improve the systems for the organisation of the setting by developing the use of self-evaluation to support ongoing improvements

The leadership and management of the early years provision

Children are safeguarded extremely well because the childminder sees this as a high priority and has recently updated her training in this area. She has a secure knowledge of the possible signs of abuse and the procedures to follow if she has concerns about a child in her care. She also effectively supports children's awareness of their personal safety. Children are supervised well at all times and the childminder assesses their individual needs and encourages them to develop their independence by allowing them to take appropriate risks. She carries out detailed risk assessments for her home and for all outings and these underpin daily safety checks. She updates risk assessments whenever circumstances change, such as taking on the care of a young baby.

Children thrive because the childminder is committed to improving her practice. She has met the recommendation made at the last inspection and has a secure knowledge of how to provide planned activities for children of all ages that meet their learning needs. She has continued to develop her practice and is committed to attending regular training to update her knowledge. In particular she has recently completed a level 3 childcare qualification and she has attended a number of courses relating to the EYFS. She has recently begun to carry out a formal self-evaluation of her provision but she has only just begun to use this to identify further ways to develop her practice in different areas of the EYFS.

Children are safeguarded because the childminder's practice is underpinned by a comprehensive set of policies and procedures and she obtains all required information and consents from parents before their children attend. Parents receive copies of the policies.

Children enjoy excellent continuity of care because the childminder works in very close partnership with parents and fully understands the importance of working with other EYFS providers who share the care of minded children when this is applicable. Parents provide detailed information about their children before their children attend and the childminder uses this in conjunction with her own observations to identify children's starting points in all areas of their learning and development. Parents are very pleased with the provision and they are fully aware of what their children are learning because the childminder provides daily verbal updates, completes a detailed written diary and takes plenty of photographs of children at play. This gives children excellent opportunities to continue their learning at home and parents are encouraged to contribute photographs of significant events at home, such as a first ride on a horse. Twice a year parents receive a written report of their children's progress. They discuss this with the childminder and she shares children's planned next steps in learning for the following six months.

The quality and standards of the early years provision

Children are very settled with the childminder. They relate well to her and are confident, enthusiastic learners. They behave extremely well and develop very good negotiation skills because the childminder encourages children who can communicate verbally to resolve differences for themselves under her supervision. Children of all ages respond very well to clear age-appropriate boundaries and expectations for their behaviour. For example, one year olds learn that they can only shout loudly when they are playing outside and older children learn to be caring and considerate towards their younger peers.

Children of all ages make good progress towards the early learning goals because the childminder has a secure understanding of the EYFS and she identifies appropriate learning targets in all areas of learning for each child. She involves children in the planning of activities that will support their learning in different areas and she follows their interests in her planning. The childminder involves children of different ages in activities at their own level. For example, older children decide to play a game. They develop thinking skills and show awareness of their personal safety because they are able to tell the childminder that they need to tidy up other toys before they play the game so that they do not trip over when they are trying to catch the butterflies. The childminder explains the game to younger children and all children choose what colour net they will use. Older children develop their use of technology as they learn to operate the machine to set the butterflies flying. Children develop coordination as they try to catch the butterflies in their nets and the childminder helps younger children so that they have some success. The childminder encourages children to count their butterflies according to their ability. Younger children try to say the numbers with the childminder as she counts their butterflies. Older children sort the butterflies according to colour and try to count accurately for themselves. They compare their piles to see who has the most butterflies. These activities support children's development of skills for the future.

Children of all ages develop a love of books because they visit the library with the childminder and choose books to bring home. They cuddle up to the childminder and listen to stories they have chosen, such as 'Bright Stanley' and the childminder uses opportunities arising from the story to develop their mathematical learning by encouraging them to identify shapes in the story. They learn about other languages and cultures because they see dual language books and they also take part in activities at the local children's centre, such as a meal cooked by people from other countries. They taste new foods, learn about the culture and listen to them speaking in a different language.

Children improve their understanding of healthy lifestyles. They make regular use of the back garden for fresh air and exercise and also enjoy outings to favourite venues, such as 'Horseworld' where they like to use the large play equipment. They have a good range of healthy meals and snacks provided by the childminder and their knowledge of healthy foods is extended because they take part in activities, such as making fruit kebabs. They develop an excellent awareness of their personal safety when they are on outings because the childminder teaches them about road safety and older children try to tell the childminder when it is safe to cross the road. They learn how to play safely near the water on outings and are encouraged to take measured risks appropriate to their stage of development because the childminder knows each child extremely well and is able to extend their learning individually.

Annex A: record of inspection judgements

The key inspection judgements and what they mean


Grade 1 is Outstanding: this aspect of the provision is of exceptionally high quality

Grade 2 is Good: this aspect of the provision is strong

Grade 3 is Satisfactory: this aspect of the provision is sound

Grade 4 is Inadequate: this aspect of the provision is not good enough

Overall effectiveness

How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the Early Years Foundation Stage?


How well does the provision promote inclusive practice?


The capacity of the provision to maintain continuous improvement.


Leadership and management

How effectively is provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage led and managed?


How effective is the setting’s self-evaluation, including the steps taken to promote improvement?


How well does the setting work in partnership with parents and others?


How well are children safeguarded?


Quality and standards

How effectively are children in the Early Years Foundation Stage helped to learn and develop?


How effectively is the welfare of children in the Early Years Foundation Stage promoted?


How well are children helped to stay safe?


How well are children helped to be healthy?


How well are children helped to enjoy and achieve?


How well are children helped to make a positive contribution?


How well are children helped develop skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being?


Annex B: the Childcare Register

The provider confirms that the requirements of the compulsory part of the Childcare Register are:


The provider confirms that the requirements of the voluntary part of the Childcare Register are:


  No complaints are listed for this provider.