A PLAYGROUP has been praised by inspectors for its “outstanding” planning and learning assessment for children.

Llangollen Playgroup, an English language service registered for 19 children, was inspected by the Care Inspectorate Wales on November 4 last year. The report, published on January 7, rated the playgroup ‘good’ in well-being; leadership and management; and environment; and ‘excellent’ in care and development.

The report said the children are “happy, valued and experience positive interactions” and “benefit from an exciting and innovative variety of activities from which they can choose”, while “planning and assessment for the children are outstanding”.

Leaders ensure that children are “competent learners” and are “pro-active in making changes and use feedback effectively to plan for improvements,” the report said.

The playgroup, which has been managed by Maria Williams since 2014, is open on school weekdays and offers early entitlement to children the term after their third birthday. It teaches informal Welsh.

The report said children are “given plenty of choice and are listened to” and “speak confidently” and “interact positively with each other and with staff”.

Children also “enjoy a good variety of activities, showing enthusiasm and are keen and interested in what they are doing,” it said.

Meanwhile staff provide “good role models” and have “warm relationships” with the children, while they “ensure children are kept safe and promote healthy lifestyles”.

“Staff provide an exceptionally interesting range of activities and visits and meet children’s individual needs highly effectively” which “encourage children’s independence” and “develop their curiosity”. They included monitoring nearby trees during different seasons, a ‘listening walk’ to identify sounds and a nature walk to forage. The children also visited a care home to read a story and sing Christmas songs.

It said the playgroup has “systems in place for regular maintenance of the premises” to prevent hazards.

The report recommended an improvement to put a mat at the back door for children to wipe their shoes after playing outside.

Mrs Williams, who took over the playgroup in 2014, said: “I’m really pleased and very proud of the staff who work hard daily. It is nice to be told that you have done well which you don’t often hear in this job.

“Having experiences is the way children learn so the more opportunities we can give them the better. There are many different types of learning and you don’t want to stand still.

“I’m never 100 per cent happy and always trying to improve the playgroup.”