CHILDREN ‘eagerly’ arrive at this nursery in Widnes where staff encourage them to be independent.

Willowdene Day Nursery was labelled a good setting by education watchdogs who said staff have created an ‘interesting learning environment’ that excites each child who attends.

An official report began: “Babies explore flour with their hands and feet and giggle as staff sprinkle it over their toes.

“Older children paint their hands and arms. They shout, 'My hand', as they print it on paper.

“Staff support children to be independent. Children fill up their own cups with water and serve their own meals. Children are confident in their own abilities.”

The inspector from the visit observed ‘respectful relationships’ between the staff and children, with staff reportedly ‘asking permission from children before they change their nappies’.

They report continued: “As children wake up, staff offer them lots of cuddles and reassurance. Children respond positively to the expectations from staff.

“For example, they eagerly help to tidy away the toys before lunchtime. Children have formed loving bonds with the staff and each other.”

Babies are encouraged to crawl and take their first steps, and children take part in planned physical sessions – learning skills needed to play sports.

“Children are confident in their physical abilities,” the inspector added.

The nursery was praised for its approach in teaching reading and mathematics to children who attend as well as for the support the staff provide in helping with baby’s communication and language skills.

“Staff engage children in back-and-forth conversations about things that interest them, such as their family.”

Parents of the children are ‘complimentary’ of the nursery and are happy with the regular updates they are provided with and the support they are given by staff to further support their child’s learning at home.

To read the full inspection report visit