Annex A: What outstanding providers say
At a conference celebrating outstanding practice, providers told us what helped them provide an outstanding service for children.
Outstanding providers …
| Keeping children at the heart of all that happens
- keep the needs of the children at the heart of everything they do
- put children first all the time
- acknowledge each child is unique and build children’s self-esteem
- get to know the children very well to meet their individual needs
- love and nurture children so they feel valued and respected
- take the lead from children and allow them to develop as individuals
- have high expectations of children and support them very well in meeting their potential
- allow children to make choices and let them learn from their own mistakes
- provide challenging activities
- ensure children learn about healthy eating – for example they plant, grow and eat healthy foods from the vegetable garden
- work closely with other agencies, for example speech therapists, to meet the needs of all children
- ask children for their ideas and put them into practice
- have a passion for what they do.
| Working with parents
- develop strong links with parents from the outset
- make parents extremely welcome and valued within the settings
- share worthwhile information and ideas with parents in the best interest of the child
- develop imaginative ways of sharing information with parents to keep parents aware and involved in their children’s time at the setting
- develop firm links between home and the setting to make the child feel important, to support children’s next steps and to ensure consistency
- use detailed websites to keep parents well informed.
| Keeping children safe
- put the child’s safety at the centre of all that they do
- have robust recruitment procedures
- are fully committed to protecting the children in their care
- are not afraid to address poor performance by staff
- keep all staff up to date with child protection training.
| Improving practice
- reflect on their practice and lead through good example
- use observations and assessments to plan next steps for children
- empower the staff and let them take ideas forward
- are fully committed to furthering their knowledge through training and qualifications
- update their operational plan and have wish lists and plans for the future
- keep up to date with good ongoing childcare practices
- are not afraid to use network support groups
- as an entire staff team believe in the ‘vision’ for the setting and work together in supporting children and families.
| Providing stimulating environments
- provide a child-centred environment with stimulating and appropriate resources enabling children to explore and enjoy play in safety
- change activities so children can pursue their own interests and develop their own imagination
- make the children’s safety paramount and keep risk assessments up to date
- retain good quality staff
- meet more than the minimum requirement of staff/child ratios to ensure every child has their individual needs met
- recognise good outdoor play is key to a child’s development.
| Using records
- keep clear records and children’s portfolios showing how children are developing
- use records to show parents details of their baby or child’s day
- ask parents to contribute to their child’s records
- meet all the regulation requirements for documentation extremely well.