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Parents defend nursery's 'requires improvement' rating

Aylmerton Village Hall in north Norfolk, where Little Sprouts nursery is based. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Aylmerton Village Hall in north Norfolk, where Little Sprouts nursery is based. Picture: Stuart Anderson

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Parents of youngsters at a north Norfolk nursery have defended its record after the venue was given a 'requires improvement' rating by Ofsted.

It was the first time the education watchdog had evaluated Little Sprouts, based at Aylmerton Village Hall near Sheringham, since it opened there two years ago.

Ofsted gave the 'requires improvement' grade in all four areas it measured: quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management.

But its report on Little Sprouts was mostly positive. Its criticisms included: "staff who work with the younger children do not challenge them consistently well when they play indoors", and "at times, staff do not follow rigorous good hygiene practice".

Becky Garratt, the nursery's owner and manager, said: "There were no safeguarding concerns.

"We've already made an action plan and it's being implemented now. We're ready for them to come out again and next time hopefully we will improve on our mark. There was also a lot of positivity in the report."

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Little Sprouts is a full-day care centre which has seven people on its child care staff, and cares for 34 children aged 0-4.

Emily Lown, whose daughter Ruby attends Little Sprouts, said in a letter to the nursery: "There may be areas which you know need tweaking but from our point of view, we see very settled, happy children.

"You are forever trying new activities in both rooms for the children and we really feel that some of the great things you all do, especially in the buttons [room], have not been recognised and reported.

"Ruby comes home beaming every day, you have supported her to make good choices and very quickly recognised her ability and got her thinking how to stretch and engage her.

"Thank you all for the difficult job you do."

Another parent, Helen Keyworth, said of the report: "Looks like lots of positives in there. I've no doubt you'll move up to good at the next one. Well done on your hard work."

Ofsted's report said children enjoyed their time when playing outdoors, children behaved well and were kind to their friends.

The report followed a visit by inspector Julie Meredith-Jenkins on January 3.

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