Staff have been hailed for their dedication after a nursery was rated outstanding in all areas by education watchdog Ofsted.
Westoe Village Kindergarten, based on St George’s Avenue, South Shields, was visited by inspectors in October.
Nursery bosses were left “ecstatic” when the resulting report contained praise across the board.
In the report, inspector Emma Allison hailed the nursery’s “dedicated and ambitious leadership team”, and also commented that babies and children demonstrate “exceptional levels of engagement in activities” and “excellent levels of respect for one another”.
The childrens’ behaviour and manners were also praised, while the staff were described in the report as “fantastic role models”.
Nursery manager Sammy-Jo Bettley said: “This is very exciting news for us.
I’m absolutely ecstatic with the report, because the staff have worked so hard to get us where we are todaySammy-Jo Bettley
“I’m absolutely ecstatic with the report, because the staff have worked so hard to get us where we are today.
“I’d like to thank the nursery’s dedicated owner, Eamonn Gribben, the fantastic staff team who have worked exceptionally hard, and the parents and children for their continuous support.
“We aim to get the children ready for school, and hopefully help them to become competent learners, ready for whatever school throws at them.
“We’re just going to keep striving for the highest possible standards.”
The nursery has 93 children and 18 staff, and is part of the Early Learning Partnership, a childcare programme in South Tyneside.
It cares for children aged from six months to five years old.
Miss Bettley added: “We weren’t due an inspection, but we’re always ready.
“We had pushed a lot for this since July, because we really wanted the outstanding rating.
“The inspector said she would only give outstanding if she saw something she had never seen before, and she went away saying that the bar had been raised because this was the highest outstanding grade she had given.
“One of the little things we’ve done at the nursery is introduce trays, like the children will have at school, and some of them are learning to read and write in our pre-school room.
“We also go round the schools to see what they are doing, so we can adapt to get the children ready for the school they’re going to.
“The parents are so supportive of what we do, and are over the moon that we’ve been recognised in this way as well.”