Double ‘outstanding’ celebrations for Ely’s Harlequin Childcare

Harlequin Childcare, Ely, Outstanding Ofsted twice in a row. Picture: Steve Williams.

Harlequin Childcare, Ely, Outstanding Ofsted twice in a row. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

An Ely nursery is celebrating this week having been awarded its second ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating in a row.

Harlequin Childcare, Ely, Outstanding Ofsted twice in a row. Picture: Steve Williams.

Harlequin Childcare, Ely, Outstanding Ofsted twice in a row. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Harlequin Childcare, in Downham Road, which looks after 100 children ranging from months-old to five-years-old and has 28 childcare staff members, received outstanding on all counts.

“Inspirational leadership and a consistently very high standard of teaching” is mentioned in the report, with inspector Jacqueline Baker adding that “the team have a commitment and enthusiasm for their roles which is second to none.

“Their drive for improvement influences staff and together they strive to provide the very best care and learning opportunities for all children.”

Harlequin Childcare, Ely, Outstanding Ofsted twice in a row. Picture: Steve Williams.

Harlequin Childcare, Ely, Outstanding Ofsted twice in a row. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

She added that “babies benefit from a wonderful, rich and nurturing environment which has been carefully planned by highly skilled staff.


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“Parents express the highest of praise for the staff at the nursery. They recognise how they go to extraordinary lengths to meet children’s and their family’s needs, sometimes at very short notice.”

Alyson Parker, nursery manager, said: “This outstanding report is a reflection of the dedication and hard work of all our staff.

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“We pride ourselves on our very low staff turnover. It is very important to our families, as it provides continuity for children and parents.

“The Ofsted report said there was an excellent culture of reflective practice ensuring the views of staff, parents and children are quickly developed into challenging action plans for continual improvement to benefit all children attending.”

To further improve, the report states that Harlequin should “continue to strengthen professional development opportunities for all staff to sustain and further develop their already exceptional abilities”.

Harlequin is one of only a handful of full-time day nurseries in Cambridgeshire to get two ‘outstanding’ reports from Ofsted.

The nursery opened in January 2004 with a team of just six, including Alyson Parker who has been the setting manager since 2006. Following an extension to their building in November 2009, they now have a team of 28 and are registered for 78 children.

Harlequin Childcare opens from Monday to Friday all year round, with sessions from 7.30am until 6.30pm, providing early education for two, three and four-year-old children.

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