16 June 2023

Aberdeenshire pre-school recognised as 'excellent'

An Aberdeenshire pre-school has been rated “excellent” across the board after an inspection.

Poppies pre-school in Laurencekirk was visited by assessors from the Care Inspectorate with the team finding the facility to be “excellent” in quality of care, play, learning, setting, leadership and staff team. 

Chair and vice chair of the Education and Children’s Services Committee Cllr Gillian Owen and Cllr Anne Simpson visited the venue this week to congratulate staff.

Inspectors found staff at the Blackiemuir Avenue pre-school were “consistently nurturing, caring and respectful” and provided the children in their care with “excellent support”.

The report said: “Families were at the heart of the service and were welcomed to join groups and for stay and play sessions. Staff were highly skilled and experienced in meeting the needs of all children and supporting them to progress and achieve.

“Children experienced a warm, nurturing, exciting and stimulating environment. Spaces were richly resourced and sensitively structured to meet children's needs. The passionate and enthusiastic team were committed to delivering high quality experiences for children and families.”

Poppies pre-school cares for up to 42 children yet attending primary school and has a secure garden area and two playrooms which are used flexibly to meet children's individual needs and capabilities.

Cllr Owen said: “This is a magnificent report for Poppies pre-school but it should be no surprise as they have received the same excellent score for the past 13 years. This only goes to show that the pre-school is constantly striving to improve and providing outstandingly high outcomes for children.

The report reads: "Interactions between staff and children were warm, caring and nurturing. Staff recognised the importance of supporting and regulating children's emotions and a result children enjoyed lots of cuddles from loving and caring staff.

“After our visit, it is clear that those working here are passionate and enthusiastic about what they do and we couldn’t be more proud of their achievement.”

Inspectors spoke with parents using the service, with one telling the Care Inspectorate: “The staff engage in a warm, positive way and my child has built strong relationships with several staff members. They love waving to them through the window on our walk into Poppies and talk about them at home in a lovely joyful way.”

Cllr Simpson added: “It is clear to see why inspectors have rated Poppies ‘excellent’ – it is a wonderfully warm, welcoming and inviting place for children and families and the interactions between staff and children really showed they were valued and respected.”