HeaderImage There's an important decision to be made. It's time to put your thinking colander on!

Why choose Polly’s?

You need to be sure that you’ve made the right choice of childcare. However, making this important decision can sometimes prove difficult - particularly if it’s your first time.

With this in mind, we wanted to offer you some food for thought in the form of five questions that can help you to evaluate the quality of a childcare provider.

We hope you find it useful and we wish you well in making the right choice of childcare for your child.


What do Ofsted say

Ofsted are responsible for registering, inspecting, and regulating childminders, playgroups and nurseries in England. They inspect childcare providers against the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and make an overall judgement about the quality of care, teaching and learning at that setting. There are four possible inspection judgements: inadequate, satisfactory, good or outstanding.

So when you are looking for childcare it's a good idea to get hold of the latest inspection report for the settings you are interested in so that you can see what Ofsted say about them. You can find our inspection reports on our links and downloads page and we've also included a link to help you search for others if you want to.

You'll see that the standards and quality of care and pre-school education at Polly's are judged to be outstanding in all aspects by Ofsted.  This means our performance has been graded as outstanding  against every single one of the seventeen inspection judgements you can find in Annex A on the last page of an Ofsted early years' inspection report.


What are the people who will care for my child like?

We believe that the quality of care and education can only ever be as good as the people delivering it. That’s why at Polly’s you’ll find qualified, well-trained and competent people who have a positive, can-do attitude and that lovely, natural nurturing quality that children respond so well to.

You’ll see that we show passion, professionalism and expertise in our work and that we take great pride in  everything we do and in being part of the Polly’s team. What’s more, it’s not just a few of us who are like this. It’s all of us.

The result is that Polly’s is a very special, happy and beneficial place for children.


What is it like to be a child here?

We believe that if children could choose where to be cared for, they would choose Polly’s! That’s because we’ve designed our service from the ground up, asking ourselves ‘what should it be like for a child here?’

Here are a few examples of how considering things from a child’s perspective can lead you to design a much better experience for children:

  • You would like to be cared for by grown-ups who enjoy playing with you and who are good at it. So, our ground up approach means that if you’re not seriously good at playing (as well as lots of other things) you don’t get to work at Polly’s.
  • You want to do as much as possible for yourself. A top down approach means adults would do most things for you because it’s quicker and easier. But that completely misses the point and it’s why our ground up approach means children receive the support, encouragement and time they need to develop their independence.
  • You are fifteen months old and you want to sit and play in your nappy in a builders tray filled with warm custard just to see what it feels like. Our ground up approach means you can. In fact, we’re really glad you like this sort of thing because we’ve got plenty of other joyful but ‘way too messy to do at home’ treats in store for you at Polly’s!
  • You need someone to notice if you need something and to do something about it. We’re acutely aware that children depend on us to meet their needs while they are in our care, including babies and young children who can’t talk yet. That’s why we only employ kind, loving and sensitive people who have a natural caring instinct. It’s why we get to know our children really well so that we ‘just know’ what they need and when they need it. And it’s why we make sure that all the other things we have to do each day never get in the way of what’s most important. It means we’re quick to comfort a child who needs a cuddle. It means we’re never too busy to answer a child’s question. It means runny noses are noticed and taken care of promptly. It means that nappies are changed when needed rather than waiting until a rota tells us to change them.
  • You’d like the food to be good and you’d rather not have apple or banana for snack time all the time - it gets boring! A top down approach to food would probably be driven by convenience and price, whereas our ground up approach emphasises quality and variety. Now, who fancies dips with fresh cucumber, red pepper, carrot and warm Pitta bread for snack!?


What do parents think?

Our parents have very positive views about Polly’s. Evidence of this includes:

  • the fact that so many of our parents kindly recommend us to their family, friends and work colleagues
  • that so many of our parents choose Polly’s above childcare options closer to where they live
  • that in our most recent Parents Questionnaire, 96.3% of parents rated the quality of our care for their children as outstanding
  • that we receive so many kind verbal and written compliments from our parents about our care for their children.



What should I look for when I visit a childcare setting?

Regardless of the type of setting you are visiting (e.g. nursery, playgroup, childminder etc) what you are looking for is evidence that this is a place where your child will be safe, happy, learning and valued.

In trying to form a judgement about this, our main piece of advice is to use, and trust, your senses. So, think about what you can hear, smell, see and feel on your visit. Is it a happy place? Is it clean and well-maintained? Do the staff and children seem to enjoy being together? How do the staff speak to the children? Do the children seem nicely engaged in whatever they are doing when you visit? What are the children learning about today? Is the setting nicely presented and can you see lots of the children’s own work displayed? Can you see plenty of high quality toys, books and play equipment that children can access for themselves?

Take your time before you decide, definitely try to visit more than one setting and, if possible, make sure you and your child visit together.