A LEIGH preschool has been praised by watchdogs and earned a 'good' rating after its first inspection following the pandemic.

Once outstanding, Smiley Pre-school in Leigh-On-Sea, was praised by the Ofsted reports with a 'good' rating in the latest report. 

With all categories being good, the school continues to provide early-life education to children aged between two and four. 

Echo: Fun - children celebrating superhero day, dress as their favourites Fun - children celebrating superhero day, dress as their favourites (Image: Smiley Pre-school/ Salvation Army)

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The inspector who visited the preschool said that the children were "happy and eager to learn at a community-inspired preschool."

The report continued: "Children are warmly greeted by enthusiastic adults who tell children about the exciting day ahead.

"Schoolkids quickly become engaged in a range of interesting activities that have been planned to meet their talents and interests.

"Children show immense kindness to their peers. They show patience, tolerance and respect for others during their play."

The report also commented on teachers' ability to deepen children's knowledge.Echo: Celebrations - students, staff and parents celebrating the coronation of King Charles IIICelebrations - students, staff and parents celebrating the coronation of King Charles III (Image: Smiley Pre-school/ Salvation Army)

The report said: "Leaders have constructed a curriculum that supports children to make progress across the seven areas of learning.

"Staff have a good knowledge of the children and use this to plan activities that broaden and deepen their knowledge."

Lauren Clay, the preschool's manager, said: "We are so incredibly proud of the result.

"After three new deputy managers, the impact of covid on the business and three new line managers at the army, as well as increasing the settings hours to full days, plus we had a refurb the week the inspector came, her feedback was so beautiful. 

"We may have left the outstanding rating behind for now, but the care my staff provide for our families is beyond any grading.

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"I just could not be prouder of our setting. The support we have received from our community and the Salvation Army has been incredible! 

"The recommendations for us to work on were resolved immediately. We reminded ourselves of the importance of our curriculum and removed the baseline marker from six weeks to two.

"Other than that, her time at the setting with us was an opportunity for us to show her just how passionate we are about providing the best holistic care and education for our unique children and their families."