WATCHDOGS have praised staff and provision at a Basingstoke pre-school and after-school club – but areas for improvement have also been highlighted.

Fun House, in Whitney Road, on Daneshill Industrial Estate, was visited by inspectors from education watchdog Ofsted on January 15.

The centre, opens Monday to Friday, between 7.30am and 6.30pm, has 100 children who attend a holiday scheme, 66 children at an after-school club, and a further 33 children who attend the nursery.

Ofsted found that “children of all ages are happy”, “all staff are skilled and sensitive in helping children form secure emotional attachments in each area of the setting, and give children the confidence to try new activities” and “each indoor, outdoor and soft play zone is well-maintained”.

However, the report also noted that “staff do not always demonstrate the language that children need to use effectively so children’s progress in speech development is restricted”.

The inspectors added: “Parents do not have many opportunities to promote their children’s learning at home as information about the education programmes that underpin their children’s learning and development is not always provided in a clear way.”

To improve the early years provision, the centre has been told to “extend young children’s communication and language by modelling the language they need to use to express their interests” and to “develop a wider range of strategies to engage all parents in their children’s learning in the setting and at home”.

Fun House owner Cath Mowbray-Williams told The Gazette: “Prior to our inspection in January, we had changed our planning system to try to simplify and minimise the paperwork involved.

“However, this didn’t work to our advantage so since the inspection we have reverted back to our old system and introduced an application called Orbit, to make it more accessible to parents and carers.”

Mrs Mowbray-Williams added: “We are confident that this new system is a very good way of keeping parents and carers informed of their child’s experiences, and is an excellent way of working together with them to bring the most out of their children.”