YMCA Childcare Water Lane

Name YMCA Childcare Water Lane
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 16 January 2020
Address Sure Start, The Ark Childrens Centre, Water Lane, LOWESTOFT, Suffolk, NR32 2NH
Phone Number 01733 373176
Type Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Sessional day care
Gender Mixed
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Babies and children have fun and enjoy their time in the relaxed and welcoming nursery. They confidently engage with adults and show that they feel safe and emotionally secure. For example, children are keen to show visitors their special belongings from home and precisely explain where they put these for safekeeping. Children learn right from wrong and respond well to consistent praise and the high expectations of the staff. For example, they are keen to take care of the toys and equipment and show exceptional levels of care and concern for each other. There is an exceptional focus on helping families to access additional services and resources to meet their needs. This support has a significant impact on children’s health and well-being. Older children are keen to have a go, persevere and enjoy success in their chosen tasks. They show curiosity and enjoy being imaginative. Children work well together following the same theme, for example building large structures with bricks and testing out how they can make them balance safely. There are rich opportunities for children to strengthen their social skills and develop an extremely strong sense of community. For example, they delight in interacting with other adults during regular visits to a local residential care home. All children, including those in receipt of additional funding, develop the skills needed for the next stage in their education.

What does the early years setting do well and what does it need to do better?

nManagers foster the professional development of the well-qualified staff team effectively. Regular staff meetings and supervision of staff help to ensure ongoing improvement. Staff often feed back to the team about training they have attended and are encouraged to implement new ideas to enhance children’s education. Staff explain that they are very proud to work at the nursery and have a manageable workload.nChildren with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) make significant progress from their starting points. Key persons get to know them and meet their care needs exceptionally well. Staff show a strong commitment to working with parents and outside professionals, and draw on their expertise effectively to develop carefully tailored support for children with SEND.nThe curriculum is broad and well planned well by the staff, with good regard given to children’s experiences outside of the nursery. Staff observe children and track their progress, which helps them to have a good understanding of what children need to learn next. However, on occasions, staff do not fully consider the differing levels of concentration and engagement of the youngest children, particularly during group activities. This means that two-year-old children sometimes struggle to listen and remain highly engaged in their learning.nStaff focus well on extending and challenging older children’s thinking skills. For example, pre-school children delight in exploring the popular ’dough station’, where they are encouraged to discover what happens when they mix flour, water and fragrant herbs in different quantities.nStaff work hard to ensure parents have many opportunities to get involved in their children’s learning. They ensure important information is translated into the different languages spoken by families and often ask parents to bring in items that reflect their traditions and cultural backgrounds. This helps children to develop an even deeper understanding and respect for people, families and communities beyond their own.nChildren’s language and communication skills are supported effectively. Staff ask questions skilfully and model more complex vocabulary to help extend children’s speaking skills. For example, while playing in the sand, staff prompt children to explain how to build a sandcastle in more detail and to describe what they think their sandcastle will look like.nStaff skilfully weave mathematics into children’s everyday play experiences. They encourage younger children to count items as they play and use mathematical language to describe size. For example, they ask them to find three vegetables in the soil, before prompting them to find two more.nChildren are extremely secure in managing everyday tasks for themselves, such as cleaning up spilt water, serving their own food and pouring drinks. Staff nurture children’s independence and place an unquestionable emphasis on promoting opportunities for children to develop skills in caring for themselves.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Leaders, managers and staff take their responsibility to safeguard children seriously. There is an expectation that staff attend regular training in child protection issues and they regularly discuss national safeguarding cases. This helps to ensure that they all know the action to take to protect children from harm and neglect. There is a particularly strong focus on supporting families to learn more about keeping children safe when they use devices online at home. Staff are safely recruited. Managers carry out rigorous checks to help ensure staff are suitable to care for children.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should:nenhance the engagement of two-year-old children in some adult-led activities as they develop and extend their ability to concentrate and participate even more actively in the experiences.