A nursery in Orpington has been told that it 'requires improvement' by Ofsted after inspectors were unimpressed by its deployment of staff.

Giant Steps Nursery on Cotmandene Crescent was inspected on November 29, 2022, and the report was published on January 5, 2023. 

The nursery was evaluated as 'requires improvement' in all areas: Quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management. 


The report outlined staffing issues at the nursery, specifically that the manager cannot grow their team as they are struggling to recruit suitably qualified staff.

This means that staff at the nursery are having to complete other tasks as well, such as preparing meals and greeting parents.

Therefore, inspectors found that sometimes children need to wait when they need help with an activity at the nursery.

Inspectors suggested that staff deployment and ratios should be met consistently so that children are fully supported.

Giant Steps Nursery was also criticised by Ofsted for failing to have a deputy to take charge in the manager's absence, which is a breach of requirements.

However, in the report inspectors added: "The manager is actively recruiting a suitable candidate to the position.

"The manager and her staff team ensure that the absence of a deputy has minimal impact on children attending the setting while the post is vacant."

Another concern outlined by Ofsted in the report was that children's development of a sense of responsibility is not always supported.

For example, children are not always encouraged to tidy up after playing or to help set the table at meal times.

Aside from these staffing issues, inspectors were impressed with the nursery.

They found that children here feel secure and comfortable and are well-behaved.

Inspectors called the environment "homely", "warm" and "clean".

Management acts quickly to ensure that parents receive support when concerns about a child's learning or development are identified.

Parents speak highly of the nursery and its management and can give examples of support staff have given them.

Barbara Mayne, owner of Giant Steps Nursery, said: "We are very happy with the report.

"We only had three recommendations and all three are in place at this point."