Children “flourish” at an outstanding nursery where they are provided an “education and love”.

Young Friends Kindergarten, Hove, maintained the highest rating following an Ofsted inspection in April.

Nursery staff were praised for the passionate way the ethos and curriculum are delivered, for teaching children how to care for the local environment and the world around them and for their thorough understanding of how to keep children safe.

Inspectors also said there is an “open and positive culture” around safeguarding that puts children's interests first at the nursery, in Holland Road.

“Staff implement the highly ambitious curriculum with creativity and passion,” inspectors said.

“They provide a calm environment in which all children flourish both academically and emotionally. Children are extremely capable and motivated to learn through a range of exciting and engaging experiences.

“Staff ensure that all children feel welcomed by promoting a strong sense of belonging in the home-from-home environment.

“Babies are cuddled and soothed by the highly skilled staff who understand everything about them. Staff respond to babies' every need and communicate to them through sign and simple language. They support babies to develop strong independence skills by encouraging them to keep trying.

“Staff have a thorough understanding of children's starting points. They expertly plan learning experiences based upon children's existing knowledge and interests.

“As a result, all children, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, make excellent progress in their learning.

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“Children's behaviour is exemplary. Staff model respectful language and actions. They teach children how to care for each other and the environment.”

The owner and managers of the nursery were also praised for creating a positive working environment where staff “feel valued and listened to”.

“Staff comment that the kindergarten is an incredible place to work and that their well-being is very well supported,” the report said.

“Parents mention that the strong values that their children experience have a positive impact on their home life. They say that their children are gaining valuable skills that will be used for their whole lives.

“Parents comment that they feel reassured that their children are in a safe environment and that the staff provide 'an education and love'.”