Acorn Family Centre

Name Acorn Family Centre
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Askham Grange Prison, Main Street, Askham Richard, YORK, YO23 3FT
Type Childcare on Non-Domestic Premises, Full day care
Gender Mixed
Local Authority York
Catchment Area Indicator Available No
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (12 February 2020)
There may have been more recent inspections such as monitoring visits or short inspections. For details of all inspections, please view this provider on our map here.

What is it like to attend this early years setting?

The provision is good

Children thoroughly enjoy their time at this stimulating setting. Young children and their parents develop incredibly close and trusting relationships with the caring and attentive staff. Time is taken to settle young children into the setting. Parents attend weekly stay-and-play sessions with their children. Staff work very closely with parents to help them to recognise and manage children’s age-appropriate behaviours. This helps to develop a shared and consistent approach and supports children’s emotional well-being. Staff have high expectations of children and plan a well-balanced curriculum. For example, staff encourage children to climb steps and rock in the rowing boat as this is a current interest. Children are highly motivated and eager to join in. They explore a wide variety of interesting resources that can be used imaginatively and creatively. For instance, children are fascinated as they run water and glitter through their fingers. Furthermore, they enjoy make-believe cooking with mud and water and making marks in cornflour and paint. Children are encouraged to be independent. For instance, very young children make choices about where they would like to play and what food they would like to eat. Staff are good role models and children’s behaviour is outstanding for their age. For example, even very young children are beginning to share, and they are very kind to each other.

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

Staff effectively support children’s communication and language development. Children relish sharing stories with staff and join in as staff sing action songs and rhymes. Staff repeat words, describe what children are doing and use effective questioning skills to extend children’s vocabulary even further.The manager has an excellent knowledge of her role and individual responsibilities and is well supported by her extended team. Staff keep their professional development up to date by completing a number of courses. Together they have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the setting and strive for continuous improvement. For example, newly devised assessment procedures help staff to quickly identify any gaps in children’s learning. They make individual plans to address these. However, the assessment and planning procedures are not yet fully embedded to have the maximum impact on children’s achievements.Staff provide children with a rich set of experiences that promote an excellent understanding of the community. Children visit the library and local farms, and go swimming. This helps children to understand people and communities beyond their own.Staff well-being is paramount. The manager works closely with staff to help them to manage their workload. Regular supervisions, staff meetings and reflection sessions ensure staff feel valued and supported in their roles.Children feel happy, safe and secure as they play and learn. They continually smile as they join in with ’peek-a-boo’ from the inside of the sensory tent. Children demonstrate a positive attitude towards learning and are extremely eager to explore the wide range of well-planned and interesting activities set up for them. They climb onto a small climbing frame and push themselves around the garden in wheeled vehicles. Furthermore, children develop their small muscle skills as they post items into boxes and manipulate whisks and spoons in the role-play area. This helps to develop their physical skills.Partnerships with parents are a strength of the setting. Parents’ views and opinions are valued and respected. They are an integral part of the setting. Staff actively seek written information from parents about their children’s starting points and share daily information about children’s achievements. Parents are extremely complimentary about the setting. They say that the quality of the care their children receive is excellent and they explain that the staff are extremely supportive.Children’s behaviour is exemplary. Even the youngest children demonstrate positive behaviour at all times. Children thrive on the positive praise and encouragement from staff. They embrace challenge and are thrilled by their efforts. Children show perseverance and keep on trying hard. For instance, babies take steps, fall down and get back up to try again.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.The manager has an excellent understanding of her role in protecting children. She is confident of procedures to follow in the event an allegation is made against herself, or a member of her team. All staff are very knowledgeable about safeguarding legislation. They have an in-depth knowledge of how to report concerns about children’s welfare. Staff also demonstrate a good knowledge of wider safeguarding issues including the ’Prevent’ duty legislation and county lines. They build exceptionally close relationships with children and their mothers. This enables staff to identify and support children and families at an early stage and encourage them to seek help if needed.

What does the setting need to do to improve?

To further improve the quality of the early years provision, the provider should: nembed the recently developed assessment procedures fully, to help raise children’s achievements further.