A NURSERY in Basingstoke has been rated as requires improvement in a latest Ofsted report due to “weakness in staffing” following the Covid19 pandemic.

The Busy Bees Day Nursery in Basingstoke Hatch Warren has been criticised for having a weakness in resources which has impacted the progress "children make overall". However this was put down to the long lasting effects of the Covid19 pandemic.

The latest Ofsted inspection, which was carried out in May is the first one since the  pandemic.

Despite this the report recognised that staff are always “committed to providing an effective service”.

Jon Maloney, area director for Busy Bees said: “Whilst clearly disappointed with the outcome of Ofsted’s visit we also know that there is much that is positive about the nursery. Children are safe and happy, and our staff team are doing all they can to meet their needs.

"We are grateful for the support of parents and are keeping them up to date with our progress in tackling the points raised in the report. Recruiting additional staff to the nursery is a priority for us and key to providing children at our nursery with the best start in life.”

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The report identified several other key weak areas within the nursery including the quality of education varying, organisation of resources and staff's delivery of the curriculum.

The report clearly states that these issues have arisen as a result of the the Covid19 pandemic and notes there are “times, there are insufficient qualified staff available to work with children”.

It states: "The provider has experienced challenges linked to recruitment of new staff. This is reflective of the national picture in the early years sector, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This has minimal impact on children's safety and well-being overall. However, weaknesses in the deployment of available staff impact the delivery of curriculum priorities, including support for younger children's communication skills and the provision of a motivating curriculum for older children."

Despite this the nursery has been praised in many other areas of care it provides including youngsters showing they are settled at the nursery and they “behave well” and are “familiar with routines and nursery rules”.

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It also gave the nursery credit because older children develop “strong friendships” and “lead their own play well”.

The report said: "All children enjoy being physically active in the fresh air. Young children expertly make attempts at rolling balls and colourful patterns with chalk. Older children test their skills of coordination as they ride bicycles and kick footballs with precision."

Praise was also given to the strong and positive partnership between the nursery and parents established during the pandemic which remain in place.

The news comes despite the nursery previously being rated as outstanding by Ofsted June in 2017.

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