Staff at a ‘good’ preschool and care service in Ellesmere Port respond quickly if youngsters need cuddles or reassurance, Ofsted found.

Inspector Jan Linsdell reached the conclusion at Little Angels Childcare at St Mary of the Angels Catholic Primary School on Rossall Grove in Little Sutton.

The group was also said to be ‘Good’ at a previous inspection in 2015.

Opened in 2007, the preschool has 44 two to eight-year-olds on roll.

There are 12 childcare staff and the group opens Monday to Friday during term time and school holidays from 8am and 6pm.

During her visit the inspector undertook aspects including observing the quality of teaching during activities and assessing the effect this has on children’s learning, speaking with staff and children and meeting both managers.

She also spoke to a number of parents during the inspection and took account of their views.

Describing all main aspects as ‘Good’, the inspector has told parents: “Managers and staff have maintained good standards since the last inspection.

“They show a strong commitment to delivering a quality service for children and their families.

“Staff create a calm, relaxed and friendly atmosphere and form close and supportive relationships with the children which helps them to feel happy, safe and well cared for.”

The staff ‘make good use of their qualifications to support children’s care and learning’ and youngsters make good progress.

Links with St Mary of the Angels are ‘particularly strong’ helping to promote a smooth move for the children when they are ready to go to school.

Engagement with parents is ‘effective’ and they feel well informed and involved in their children’s learning.

Parents say staff make children ‘feel instantly at home’ in creative, secure and caring surroundings.

In her detailed report the inspector says managers strive to do better and seek new ways of working to help improve outcomes for the children.

The youngsters are well supervised and the premises are safe and secure with staff trained to safeguard children from harm. They regularly meet with the school’s reception class teacher to review the children’s progress.

The youngsters are constantly engaged in purposeful and challenging activities and their surroundings are frequently adapted to meet their changing needs and interests.

Parents receive daily updates and termly reports and can access valuable information about their children’s progress online. The children behave ‘very well’ and sit and listen attentively to stories read by staff.

All the youngsters are motivated to play, explore and learn and eagerly engage in activities that help them to gain the skills they need to become ready for school.

Children develop their confidence and independence and learn to follow instructions. They enjoy new discoveries and concentrate well on board games which promote their understanding of numbers and counting.

To further improve the quality of the early years provision at Little Angels the inspector said the organisation of some adult-led activities should be reviewed and improved to help children gain the most from their learning.

The developing outdoor space should be improved to add to the all-round achievements of those children who enjoy learning outdoors.