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Stepping Stones Childcare and Education CIC in Haverhill is rated 'good' by Ofsted following an inspection

A Haverhill childcare setting has passed its first Ofsted inspection with flying colours and been rated ‘good’ in every key area of assessment.

Stepping Stones Childcare and Education CIC, which adjoins Coupals Primary Academy in Chalkstone Way, was visited by Ofsted on January 21, and has subsequently received a rating of ‘good’ for ‘the quality and standards of the early years provision.’

All four key areas covered by the report; effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for children, were also found to be good.

Stepping Stones CIC got a rating of 'good' across every area after its inspection in January.....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (7104024)
Stepping Stones CIC got a rating of 'good' across every area after its inspection in January.....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (7104024)

This was the first inspection at Stepping Stones by the education watchdog since it changed its name in 2017 from Stepping Stones Under-5s and re-registered under its new name.

A 2015 inspection had given it a rating of ‘outstanding’.

One of the providers at Stepping Stones, Elaine McManus, said of the latest report: “We are very pleased with it. Obviously a few years ago we got ‘outstanding’ but this is a new building, new office and new staff. It’s completely new to all of us.

“We are happy with it. We are not grumbling about the good rating. There’s been changes since we went through an inspection in 2015. Getting new staff and bringing them up to speed takes time. We did get picked up on that in a couple of points.

“We can aim for outstanding next time.”

Mrs McManus said the childcare setting, which offers 35 places and has 62 children registered, was already aware of the areas that needed addressing, such as some staff being more proactive with the children’s next steps for learning, and was working on those areas.

In her report, Ofsted inspector, Lynn Clements said: “Children are well prepared with the skills they need for their eventual move on to school.”

She added: “Parents are delighted with the progress their children are making.

“Effective arrangements keep parents updated and they are warmly encouraged to share information about their children’s achievements at home.”

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