CHILDREN are “safe”, “secure”, and “thriving” at a Benfleet pre-school which has been handed the highest-possible rating by inspectors.

Richmond Pre-School, in High Road, Benfleet, was rated “outstanding” in all areas in an inspection on May 10.

In a report published this week, inspectors praised the “inspiring” staff who have developed strong bonds with the children. 

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The report said: “Children thrive under the care of the inspiring staff team. They feel safe and secure.

“From the start, children develop exceptionally strong bonds with staff and children’s characters are developed as they build an understanding of what makes them unique.

“Staff also treat children with respect and are responsive to their needs and are highly skilled at identifying children who may need additional intervention.”

At the time of inspection there were 81 children at the pre-school, all aged between two and four.

The report added: “The curriculum is ambitious and fully embedded into the setting.

“Activities are child focused and sequenced, with children’s experiences are consistently built on and tailored to their specific needs.

“Indoor and outdoor areas are thoroughly designed to meet the needs of the children, meaning they swiftly develop excellent independence skills as they learn how to complete tasks by themselves.

“The drive and motivation to improve children’s development and learning are outstanding with children given a wealth of opportunities.”

Since the pre-school became a community interest company (CIC) in 2010, they have had three Ofsted inspections and for all three have been rated “outstanding”.

This was the first time the pre-school had been inspected since 2015. 
Maggie Catmull, Sarah Duffy, and Katie Ramsey are the three woman who run the

pre-school and they were over the moon to retain their “outstanding” status again.

A joint statement said: “We are all thrilled with the news that we have achieved an outstanding and the inspector’s lovely comments about our setting here were a real boost.

“We have heard so many settings are losing their outstanding status, so we feel very proud to have kept our for the third time in a row.”