Is my early years setting outstanding?
Having an outstanding setting and practice is something many early years settings aim to achieve in order to ensure children are getting the best possible start and to achieve the highest possible outcomes. When you have been in the same setting for a long time it can be difficult to highlight areas for improvement or discover new ways to improve practice.Like wise not only can it be difficult to change practice it may be difficult to know how to improve the provision of the setting, room or just an area. Evaluation of a setting and is practice is important for many reasons and not just to please Ofsted, but for the practitioners, parents and most importantly the children.
Where do I start with making improvements?
When considering what changes could be made to better your setting it may be useful to break this down into practice and provision. Follow these handy tips and click links for products to help you in each section –
To improve practice –
- Early Years Induction – Ensure all of your staff are given a full induction when joining the setting. This is key for keeping children safe by ensuring all staff are fully aware of key policies, procedures and key information
- 4 Weekly Review – Review all new staff after 4 weeks, find out if they are settling okay and if there is anything they are still unsure of. Ensure practice is high from the very start.
- Supervisions and appraisals – When the correct questions or topics are discussed this can lead to some real strengths and weaknesses being highlighted. Once these have been brought to light, next steps can be put in place to enhance or improve practice in these areas. Highlighting an issue is the first step to resolving it.
- Peer Observations – Everyone works in different ways and notices different things. Asking practitioners to observe one another can be useful in creating a joint shared knowledge of best practice and how this can be achieved.
- Job Descriptions – Ensure everyone has read and signed a copy of their job descriptions so they know exactly what is expected of them on a daily basis.
Using an audit across the whole setting or on certain areas can be useful. Audits provide thought provoking questions and then the answers can help adults create an improvement plan.
Other useful ideas include
- Conducting a mock ofsted inspection to ensure you are meeting all requirements
- Completing a learning walk around the setting to ensure you have all the key things
- Join up to the early years careers Facebook page to share ideas and best practice with other professionals
- Keeping training up to date
What other ideas can you suggest to help keep standards to a high?