A PLAY group where children are ‘disinterested’ in activities and staff do not always teach good hygiene has been told it ‘requires improvement’.

Sunshine Under 5s play group in Runcorn last received a rating of good by education watchdogs in 2016.

Since then, the Windmill Hill setting has been faced with targets of improvements and ways to enhance the quality of the service it provides.

In a recent inspection made by Ofsted on October 11, the education regulators graded the setting as needing improvements in all five main areas that were being assessed.

The official report began: “The manager and staff do not always adapt the curriculum to meet the diverse needs of children. Consequently, they do not consistently support children's learning.”

Inspector Chris Sully also highlighted earlier in the report how staff do not use a consistent approach when dealing with behaviour management.

“This does not help children to develop an awareness of rules in the setting,” he adds.

Mangers of the play group were praised for having addressed shortfalls that were flagged up in the previous inspection.

One of these issues being the children’s knowledge of good oral hygiene – which they acknowledged had improved this time.

However inconsistencies were also noted of the staff when teaching the children good overall hygiene, including the importance of hand washing.

“They do not always remind children to wash their hands before eating or teach children how to wipe their nose.”

Staff were praised for the amount of time spent learning and getting to know each child who attends.

Mr Sully said: “Staff spend considerable amounts of time getting to know the children.

“Children demonstrate that they feel safe as they go to staff for comfort when they are upset or feel unsure about a situation.”

The curriculum was another subject of scrutiny within the report.

With issues highlighted of how the education is not tailored to individual needs.

“As a result, children do not make consistently good progress.”

Care for children with SEND was assessed as ‘suitable’, with the inspector adding that staff work in partnership with parents to ‘ensure the child gets the support they need’.

Development in activity and strength were however praised to some degree within the report.

“Children develop their large muscles as they learn to use wheeled resources and climb the steps to access the slide.

“They also learn to throw and catch balls as staff model how to throw the ball onto the awning. Children use smaller resources with increasing control.”

Lastly, safeguarding was deemed as ‘effective’ with staff having a ‘secure understanding’ of the relevant practices to ensure each child is kept safe.

To read the full report visit reports.ofsted.gov.uk/