We are really proud to have achieved an overall "Good" rating from Ofsted only seven months after we opened - something which very rarely happens. This puts Ready Steady Grow firmly in among Hartlepool's top day care providers.

Helen and Caroline should rightly be extremely proud, but so too should every member of our fantastic staff who helped achieve this outstanding result so early on. 

Here is the full report:




 Ready Steady Grow

Inspection report for early years provision



Unique reference number                EY430611

Inspection date                                  26/04/2012

Inspector                                            Lindsey Pollock


 Setting address                                Former PRU, Elwick Road, HARTLEPOOL, TS26 9NP


Telephone number                            01429 423295

Email                                                  hello@rsgdaycare.co.uk

Type of setting                                   Childcare - Non-Domestic



The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and inspects childcare and children's social care, and inspects the

Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher training, work-based learning and skills training, adult and community learning, and education and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council children’s services, and inspects services for looked after children, safeguarding and child protection.


If you would like a copy of this document in a different format, such as large print or Braille, please telephone 0300 123 1231, or email enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk.


You may copy all or parts of this document for non-commercial educational purposes, as long as you give details of the source and date of publication and do not alter the information in any way.




T: 0300 123 1231

Textphone: 0161 618 8524

E: enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk

W: www.ofsted.gov.uk



© Crown copyright 2012




 This inspection was carried out by Ofsted under Sections 49 and 50 of the

Childcare Act 2006 on the quality and standards of the registered early years provision. ‘Early years provision’ refers to provision regulated by Ofsted for children from birth to 31 August following their fifth birthday (the early years age group).

The registered person must ensure that this provision complies with the statutory framework for children’s learning, development and welfare, known as the Early Years Foundation Stage.


 The provider must provide a copy of this report to all parents with children at the setting where reasonably practicable. The provider must provide a copy of the report to any other person who asks for one, but may charge a fee for this service (The Childcare (Inspection) Regulations 2008 regulations 9 and 10).


 The setting also makes provision for children older than the early years age group which is registered on the voluntary and/or compulsory part(s) of the Childcare

Register. This report does not include an evaluation of that provision, but a comment about compliance with the requirements of the Childcare Register is included in Annex B.


 Please see our website for more information about each childcare provider. We publish inspection reports, conditions of registration and details of complaints we receive where we or the provider take action to meet the requirements of registration.




Description of the setting


Ready, Steady, Grow is a privately owned nursery and has been registered since

August 2011. The nursery operates from a converted single story building in the Eldon Grove area of Hartlepool, and serves the local and surrounding areas. It is accessible to all children and there is a fully enclosed area available for outdoor play.


The nursery is open Monday to Friday from 8am until 6pm all year round. It is registered by Ofsted on the Early Years register and the compulsory and voluntary parts of the Childcare register to care for a maximum of 58 children at any one time. There are currently 41 children on roll who are within the Early Years Foundation Stage. The nursery also provides care to children aged over five years to 11 years. The nursery is able to support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and children who have English as an additional language.


The nursery employs 10 childcare staff. Of these, nine hold an early years qualification.



The overall effectiveness of the early years provision  


Overall the quality of the provision is good.


 The leadership team and nursery staff have made a strong and successful start to their registration and children are happy and well supported whilst in the nursery.

As a result, they demonstrate good progress in their learning and development.

Observations inform and guide planning, however assessment processes are still evolving and parental involvement in contributing to children's learning journals is not yet fully developed. The whole staff team are dedicated and focussed on meeting children's individual needs, and overall, partnerships with parents are good. All legal requirements with the exception of one area are fully met. Systems for self-evaluation are developing effectively and the setting is fully committed to the continual improvement of their practice.



What steps need to be taken to improve provision further?


 To meet the specific requirements of the EYFS, the registered person must:


·        request written parental permission at the time of the child's admission to the provision, to the seeking of any emergency medical advice or treatment in the future (Safeguarding and Promoting Children's Welfare).







To further improve the early years provision the registered person should:


·        extend the opportunities for parents to review their children's progress and contribute to their learning and development record

·        provide additional resources to develop children's understanding of Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy.



The effectiveness of leadership and management of the early years provision


 Children's welfare is well monitored, supported and safeguarded. Thorough risk assessments are effective in minimising accidents and ensuring children are kept safe both on the premises and when on outings. Regular evacuation drills are carried out and details of these are recorded. Consequently, staff are confident in their ability to evacuate the premises, and children have an increasing understanding of what to do in an emergency. The leadership team are clear about their child protection responsibilities and all staff have recently attended training to update their knowledge in this area. Most records and documentation required for the safe and efficient management of the nursery, and to support children's individual needs, are in place. However, written parental permission has not been requested to the seeking of any necessary emergency medical advice and treatment for a small number of children. This is a legal requirement. This is currently being addressed as a matter of urgency and permission is in place for the large majority of children, therefore the overall impact on children's welfare is minimal. Children are cared for by staff who have been checked through the Criminal Records Bureau and who have undergone a thorough and robust recruitment and induction programme. This ensures that all staff working in the setting are suitable and have relevant training and experience.


The nursery has a strong commitment towards continuous improvement. The whole staff team are proud of their nursery and keen to further develop the provision. They continually reflect on their practice, for example adapting the way they document learning and development, to improve the quality of provision for all children. Staff are encouraged to attend training for their own professional development. Parents are consulted through verbal exchanges, parental questionnaires and a comments box. Their responses are considered and help to shape the provision. Resources and equipment are of good quality and plentiful in quantity to support most areas of learning well. However, sufficient, accessible, resources to promote children's understanding of problem solving, reasoning and numeracy are not always available. The current lunchtime arrangements enable all children to come together and have their meal in a happy, relaxed atmosphere.

The nursery rooms are warm and welcoming and staff are deployed well to ensure children receive good support. The outdoor area is particularly inviting and offers children freedom to explore, use their senses, and be physically active and exuberant. Children are treated equally and no child or family is discriminated against.


The nursery is working hard to build strong and effective partnerships with parents. Staff provide a welcoming atmosphere, which helps to create effective communication. There is a good two-way flow of information, knowledge and expertise between themselves and parents about children's care. However, as yet, arrangements for parents to review their children's progress and contribute to their learning and development record are not fully in place. Parents speak very highly of the staff and the care their children receive, including comments, such as 'excellent service, couldn't be happier', 'I feel staff take the time to learn the nature and personality of every child' and 'my child has come on leaps and bounds since starting at the nursery'. Effective partnerships with inter-agency teams and other Early Years Foundation Stage settings are developing. This is to ensure each child gets the additional support they need to promote their achievements and well-being, and to ensure continuity and coherence in their learning.



The quality and standards of the early years provision and outcomes for children


 Children are happy and settled in this friendly setting. Staff are warm and welcoming and appear to be genuinely pleased to be caring for the children. They have a secure and increasing knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Children's learning and development is generally well monitored. Staff carry out observations, which clearly link to the six areas of learning, show what children can do, and what they need to help them develop next. The information is used well to inform and guide the following week's planning which is based on children's individual needs and interests. Assessment processes are beginning to be used to track children's development. These and the written observations show that children are making good progress.


Children all show a strong sense of security and belonging within the setting. They are confident and have secure and trusting relationships with staff. As they develop they begin to choose friends and show preference for the children they wish to play with and sit next to at lunchtime. Their independence is developing well. They independently select their own resources which enables them to follow their own interests and desires. As they develop, they are able to attend to their own personal needs such as, washing their hands and brushing their teeth. All children, including the youngest members of the nursery, love books. They sit in the cosy area and 'read' their favourites and join in excitedly at story time.


Children are becoming skilful communicators. Babies use their voices to make contact and let staff know how they feel and what they need. As children develop they are able to clearly express themselves and also understand the importance of listening. Engagement with a wide range of media and materials, such as paint, sand, dough, gloop and jelly enables them to think about and work with colour, texture, shape and space. They respond to what they see hear and smell, declaring the pineapple at snack time to 'smell delicious'. They are already starting

to learn about the importance of caring for the environment and the importance of sustainability. They have their own vegetable patch, make their own compost, and are encouraged to look after toys and equipment. Outings in the local area, including visits to parks and nature areas, broaden children's experiences and raise their awareness of the local community.


Good provision is made to promote children's health. Children get lots of fresh air and the availability of suitable clothing means they can experience all types of weather. Provision for meals is extremely good. Children are provided with healthy snacks, such as fresh fruit platters, and cooked meals throughout the day. Fresh, nutritious produce is used and the food is presented well and looks delicious. Good standards of hygiene are maintained throughout the nursery. For example, babies do not share bedding and staff constantly check resources and equipment for cleanliness.




Annex A: record of inspection judgements



The key inspection judgements and what they mean


Grade 1 is Outstanding: this aspect of the provision is of exceptionally high quality

Grade 2 is Good: this aspect of the provision is strong

Grade 3 is Satisfactory: this aspect of the provision is sound

Grade 4 is Inadequate: this aspect of the provision is not good enough




The overall effectiveness of the early years provision


How well does the setting meet the needs of the children in the Early Years Foundation Stage?


The capacity of the provision to maintain continuous improvement





The effectiveness of leadership and management of the early years provision


The effectiveness of leadership and management of the

Early Years Foundation Stage


The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding

ambition and driving improvement


The effectiveness with which the setting deploys resources


The effectiveness with which the setting promotes equality and diversity


The effectiveness of safeguarding


The effectiveness of the setting’s self-evaluation, including the

steps taken to promote improvement


The effectiveness of partnerships


The effectiveness of the setting’s engagement with parents and carers





The quality of the provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage


The quality of the provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage




Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage


Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation



The extent to which children achieve and enjoy their learning


The extent to which children feel safe


The extent to which children adopt healthy lifestyles


The extent to which children make a positive contribution


The extent to which children develop skills for the future



Any complaints about the inspection or report should be made following the

procedures set out in the guidance available from Ofsted’s website:





Annex B: the Childcare Register


The provider confirms that the requirements of the

compulsory part of the Childcare Register are:


The provider confirms that the requirements of the

voluntary part of the Childcare Register are:



We've just collated the results of our first questionnaire to parents, and instead of picking highlights we'd like to share all of our data  - adding or subtracting nothing - with you.

Attached below is a copy of the letter that we'll be sending to our parents: out thanks for the fantastic response and for their trust in us is genuine - we couldn't have hoped for a better result. We're not complacent though and have already made some changes and are planning others in the near future, directly from what our parents have told us.


Parents' guide to choosing a Day Nursery

We want your child to come to Ready Steady Grow and we think, like our parents, that we're the best in town. But we want you to choose us for the right reasons.

Choosing a childcare solution is a big step, but our guide shows you what to look for and which questions to ask. Personal recommendations by family or friends are always good but you should always go and see for yourself. It is best to visit several nurseries if possible before making a choice.


  • How were you treated when you rang or called in for the first time? Were they helpful and enthusiastic, or off-hand until they found out you might bring them business? 


  • Always check if the nursery is registered with OFSTED. The registration certificate should be displayed, and a valid insurance certificate should be visible.
  • Ask about the last OFSTED inspection. You can ask to see a copy or it should be available online. The report will show the quality of care, nursery education and the appropriateness of equipment and facilities.
  • Does the nursery belong to any professional organisations? Ready Steady Grow for instance is a member of the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA).

 Clean premises

  • This is a really good indicator to how good a childcare facility is. Does the nursery look welcoming, is it bright, colourful, well decorated and a good temperature. You should look for a clean environment (we don't mean immaculate in terms of untidy - lets be honest that wouldn't be much fun for the kids) but you should make sure it is not dirty and a place where germs could fester. Check the washing facilities and toilets for signs that they are cleaned regularly.
  • It's really important that children have an easily accessible an outside area for physical play- the bigger, the more grass, the better. Have a good look at this and ask about safety and security.

Safe Environment

  • Does the nursery have sole use of the building? If not does anyone else have access to it while the nursery is open (and are they CRB checked)? You should look around the facility from a child's viewpoint to see if there are dangers where your child could get hurt. For example; sharp corners, slippery floors or unguarded heaters. Also ask how do they verify people collecting children, what locks are in place to ensure that they can't wander off, what fire fighting facilities and drills are in place. What are their emergency procedures?
  • Do they have risk assessments for activities both inside and out, especially for outings?

Well equipped

  • Have a look at the amount of books, toys and play equipment available. What is the condition of it? Is there enough to go around all children? Is it appropriate for the ages of children being cared for? Do they clean equipment regularly and replace if it is damaged?

Happy Kids

  • The most important question to ask yourself is do the children look happy. The staff may try and tell you how wonderful everything is but the looks on the kids faces will rarely lie.

Key Person

  • A good childcare provider should operate a key person scheme for your child.
  • This means that one person should be your child’s main carer ensuring continuity and a good relationship between you, your child and the nursery. The key person for child will also be responsible for their Individual learning journal.
  • They will discuss any issues or problems that your child has with you personally. Ask who this will be for your child and what their ways of reporting progress and problems are. For example; do they have daily sheets on your child or a diary of their week


  • Do the staff look happy, well presented, calm and confident? Are they involved in the children's play or just standing around watching?
  • Are all staff CRB checked? It is worth asking about the level of training that staff have. Ask them about qualifications etc. and don't assume that they will all be fully qualified.
  • At least one member of staff should hold a level 3 qualification relevant to childcare.
    At least half the remaining staff should hold a level 2 qualification relevant to childcare. One member of staff should hold a first aid certificate.

Ratios of Staff to Children

  • Ask about the ratios of staff to children these should be;
  • Children under 2   = 1 adult to 3 children
    2 years    = 1 adult to 4 children
    3 years + = 1 adult to 8 children

Meals and Drinks

  • Does the nursery provide meals, snacks and drinks for your child?
  • Are these cooked on premises or delivered?
  • Are the meals cooked from fresh ingredients? Do they have a sample menu?
  • Ask if the meals are nutritionally balanced. Can they provide for special diets?
  • How often are drinks offered - do the children have good access to drinking water?


  • Ask about what planned activities are undertaken. Check what the children are doing
  • Do the children look well occupied and happy?
  • Are they focused on learning and playing or are they just running riot? Ask if the activities are planned and whether the children have any opportunity to direct activities themselves as part of the planning
  • Do they take the children on outings? Where? How do they travel?


  • Does your child need to be toilet or potty trained? Will the nursery be able to help and support with training?
  • Does your child have to be able to put on their own shoes and coat, feed themselves or use the toilet independently?
  • Will the nursery give medications if prescribed by a doctor. How do they store these? Do they have a medication book?
  • Ask what they nursery's policy is on sickness? How long does a child have to stay off? Do they send ill children home?


  • Ask what the nursery's policy on discipline is?
  • How do they deal with disruptive or violent children? (Remember this should never be corporal punishment in any way)


  • Ask about the fees for the nursery. Is there a deposit? Is it refundable? When do the fees need to be paid? i.e. weekly, monthly, termly.Does the cost include meals, nappies etc.
  • Are there holiday charges if nursery is open all year round and you want a holiday. If you want term time only is this possible or is there a financial penalty?
  • Does the nursery offer settling sessions before your child starts full time? Is there a limited number of sessions? Are these free or do you have to pay?
  • Are there charges for late collection of your child and for late payment of fees?


  • What is parking like around the nursery?
  • Does it have a car park? Remember you will probably be in rush dropping off and will not want to spend valuable time searching for somewhere to park, or risk a ticket from a warden or the dreaded Camera Car!

And Finally

  • Was the visit relaxed and enjoyable?
  • Always ring up if you forgot to ask anything. A good nursery will be happy to answer as many questions as you want to ask.
  • If you didn't take your child with you arrange another visit and take them with you to see if they like it too. Take a friend or relative and ask their opinion - they may see something you missed.
  • Remember if you are unsure about any aspect of a nursery after visiting either visit again to check or move on to another nursery.

We are particularly proud of our kitchen and our menus. Our aim is to avoid feeding our children the "usual stuff" like processed meats, white bread and margarine.

  • Our vegetables are fresh not tinned (we do use frozen peas and sweetcorn)
  • They are prepared meal by meal to preserve nutrients - especially vitamins
  • We steam. We don't boil
  • We have no deep fat fryer (& we 'aint getting one). We may saute onions and other veg if preparing them for a dish such as lasagne
  • We don't use cheap fatty cuts of meat, or fatty mince, in our dishes
  • We use a wide variety of vegetables and fruit to give each child a wide variety of tastes and cook dishes from around the world as authentically as possible (except for spicy foods where we will cook a mild version).

But we serve the old favourites as well, including beans on wholemeal toast and fish & chips ( grilled fish and low-fat oven chips)

Our food has to be good, not just for the children but also because our staff share mealtimes with them, providing role models and giving a sense of family mealtimes rather than a cafeteria. You would be surprised at how developed children's palates are, and our policies encourage them to try new foods and tastes.

We're always on the lookout for new ideas. If you have a recipe you think our children will like, send it to us using the messageboard below. If we use it we'll give you full credit.

Here is our actual first week's menu.



Our photo galleries have moved to our Facebook page.

  • We have a strict policy of only showing photos of children whose parents have given permission.
  • We immediately delete any photo that however innocently, compromises or may be judged to compromise any child's dignity.

Please click on the link below to take you straight to our photo galleries.


Check out our Facebook Page
We use our Facebook page for updates and especially photos. To find the page go to:· http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ready-Steady-Grow/123269121090182

This page will carry details of any staff vacancies at Ready Steady Grow!

We have no vacancies at the moment





Special Offer for Eldon Grove School - Free Pickups and/or Drop-offs
As many parents know, getting a day nursery to pick up or drop off your children at school can cost a fortune - and £5 or £6 a time adds up!
Ready Steady Grow! couldn't be any closer to Eldon Grove School unless it was in the Head Teacher's office, so we're offering a fantastic deal to Eldon Grove School parents:

For any child placed with us, we will pick up or drop off at Eldon Grove School for free! All you pay for is the time your child spends at Ready Steady Grow!

  • For children who attend Eldon Grove Nursery in the mornings, We will take your child from 8.00am, give them breakfast, take them to their Eldon Grove session, then pick them up again and look after them until you are ready to take them home (up until 6.00pm). If you want to take them straight to school yourself that's fine, we'll still pick them up afterwards.
  • For afternoon children, you can drop them off any time from 8.00am, we'll take them to their Eldon Grove session then bring them back until you are ready to pick them up (up to 6.00pm).
  • This special deal isn't introductory - it's permanent!


Special Deal for Siblings

We do all we can to keep our charges down, but childcare can be an expensive business and this is doubly so where parents need two children looking after.
At Ready Steady Grow! if you place two or more siblings with us we will reduce the second and subsequent child's bill by 10% for as long as both (or all) children are with us


Information parents need to know

We have worked hard to ensure our prices are good value, competitive and straightforward with no hidden costs you're not expecting. Click on the prices link below for details.

Our pricing structure differs from many of our competititors in some very important ways:

  • Most day nurseries allow two free weeks holiday per year; many though tell you when to take it - either during the summer break or else at Xmas. Ready Steady Grow! opens throughout the year except for Bank Holidays, which means you can decide when to take your holiday allowance.
  • As well as the standard two weeks holiday allowance, we offer a further two weeks at 50% your normal weekly rate, guaranteeing your child's place with us even if you take an extended break. You are free to choose whether and when to take these.
  • Many day nurseries charge you for Bank Holidays even though they are closed. We do not.

Our application form is now online; click the link below to download. You can either email it or post it back to us (or drop it in our letterbox!).

We think we have the best nursery site in Hartlepool, a perfect blend of security, privacy, accessibility and fantastic outdoor play.

Ready Steady Grow! is situated in Elwick Road directly opposite Eldon Grove Primary School. It's a single-storey building with bright airy rooms that open directly into our spacious grounds. Outside we have a patio area and plenty of grass where your children can play safely. Our private grounds have many mature trees, bushes and hedges in which children can play, create dens and have Bear Hunts (not real bears!). Everything is of course securely fenced off and under constant watch from our staff and by CCTV.

The photos below give an idea of our nursery and our private meadow - we'll add more as more rooms come on line, including our After-School room and Wobblers Room. Remember, all this room for a maximum of only 58 children and babies: Everyone will have plenty of room to play, run, explore or whatever takes their fancy, and that's before we even get out to the Burn Valley, the Family Wood or Summerhill!

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Directly behind us is the pretty and picturesque Burn Valley Gardens Park with a plethora of plants, trees and walkways as well as two fantastic play areas. Also close by is the Family Wood and Summerhill Nature and Outdoor Centre.

Hartlepool-20110414-00003 Hartlepool-20110414-00005

Yet we are close to the town centre - only minutes walk way - and accessible by public transport using the number three Stagecoach bus.

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