A small, friendly preschool near Exeter that welcomed its first intake of young children last spring has already received a good grade.

In a recent Ofsted inspection, the Kidzone at Exminster - operated by local charity Westbank Community Health and Care - was described as a ‘Good Provider’.

The charity’s preschool for Over 2s opened its doors at the end of April 2022, with just three children attending over three days. Since then, it has quadrupled its numbers and extended its opening hours. The facility now looks after 12 young children over five days and has recently expanded its team by taking on two extra staff members.

Kidzone Childcare Manager Lucy Elliott has more than twelve years experience as an Ofsted-registered childminder. Lucy says, “Westbank aims to provide high-quality childcare that makes a big difference to local families. We’re pleased with the result of our Ofsted inspection in November and, in particular, the positive comments we received. The inspector noted that the ‘Children are happy and confident in the nursery. They communicate well and are secure in explaining what they are doing, why and what they would like to do next. They know they are unique and that their opinions matter.’ “

Lucy adds, “Two wonderful new members of staff joined our close-knit team in November and are helping us to provide tailored, play-based learning experiences that meet the individual needs and interests of each child. Parents and carers know their children are in a fun, safe, secure environment at Kidzone.”

Westbank also runs an After School Club and Holiday Club for children aged 3 to 12 and is looking to restart a Playgroup for babies, toddlers, preschool children, and their carers twice a week, on Monday and Friday mornings.

The charity has plans to provide even more space for imaginative, free-flow play activities for children by extending and remodelling the outside recreation area, which adjoins the large indoor spaces.