PLAYSTEPS Day Nursery is on the way to making progress with a comprehensive action plan, after being rated inadequate.

The nursery, on Church Place, was deemed in the lower category by the schools inspectorate on June 3, but following a monitoring visit this month the watchdog feels the group is on the right track.

Nick Hudson, national director for Early Years education, said after the visit: “You have devised a comprehensive action plan detailing the steps you have taken to address the issues raised at your last inspection. Planning is now more individualised for children.

“The use of colour coding in the tracker documents is assisting staff in ensuring that any gaps in children’s learning and development are identified swiftly.

“It is also supporting the identification of those children who benefit from additional challenge and extension to maximise their learning opportunities.

“You have appointed seven staff to take a role as a special educational needs coordinator and training around these specialist roles has been attended. This results in children benefiting from appropriate support to make progress in all areas of their learning.

“Additionally, you have put measures in place to ensure staff are effectively deployed and key person arrangements ensure that children’s individual care and learning is tailored to their individual needs.

“The manager is continuing to improve how she monitors and supports staff when new systems are introduced. She has clear plans to address weaknesses in teaching and learning through continued monitoring and support.

“Parents comment favourably on the action you have taken to inform them about the last inspection outcome and how you are sharing the steps being taken to bring about and sustain improvement.”

Jo Morris, nursery manager, said: “One of the things we were criticised for was care practices interrupting learning. Now, although we have to take (children) away from whatever they are doing, we carry on that learning experience.

“We will plan for their key carer to be there, and we have had a real focus on the key carer and buddy system. If the key carer is not here the buddy can step in.

“The biggest thing we were taken up on was special education needs, and now we have a one-to-one support worker who will work hours around children with special needs.

“Our parents have been amazing, and have been overwhelmingly supportive. That was really needed because this is a very stressful process.

“All of us were heartbroken and devastated with the last inspection, and we still are, but we have not lost a single family.”