Jane Deighton
Director, Little Faces Daycare

I had been looking for a ‘consultant’ to come in and evaluate the performance of my staff and the environment of my setting. I felt that my staff were not performing as well as they have done in the past. I wanted to find a way of improving performance and practise overall and get the setting back on track to aim for OUTSTANDING. But it needed to be from someone who had ‘authority’ and for my staff to hear it from someone other than me.

I decided to sign up to the ‘#Just Quality ADDING IMPACT’ award. It appealed to me as it’s a journey for the whole setting to embark upon, to reflect on ‘quality’ and adding IMPACT – being a recognised accreditation was a Bonus.

However, before starting the accreditation, I felt it prudent to have an ‘unannounced’ Quality Improvement Inspection by Vanessa Dooley, Jigsaw Early Years Consultancy. Vanessa had been highly recommended to me by a fellow Day Nursery Owner who had also had a very effective QII from Vanessa and was also working towards the accreditation. Whilst there are other ‘consultants’ out there, I felt Vanessa’s Ofsted Inspector training, knowledge, background & experience would be beneficial.

On 3rd July 2019 – Vanessa conducted an announced QII. Her findings (as detailed in the QII Report which she provides after inspecting) were shocking and disappointing – however, this was the ‘wake up call’ that was very much needed!!! I was actually pleased that Vanessa’s was able to identify and highlight areas of underperformance and how our biggest resource ‘The Staff’ were missing opportunities to provide quality teaching and learning opportunities to the children. Vanessa has an in-depth knowledge of Tapestry (which we use) and was, therefore, able to identify that our current ‘tracking of children’s progress’ was ineffective. She conducted observations with my Manager who was shocked by some of the Staff’s missed opportunities and immediately realised things needed to change too.

We held a staff training meeting with Vanessa at the end of the day (after the QII) to discuss the QII Report and to use this as a starting point for our ‘#JQAD’ journey. We used the QII Report to put action plans in place to get back on track. The staff training/meeting was very positive and the team were buzzing with excitement to move forward together on improving quality and adding impact.

I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly amazing Vanessa is ... She has truly transformed my setting. My Manager and Deputy have redistributed their roles and responsibilities to utilise their strengths and the Manager is now going into each room daily to observe, model, guide and support staff. The Impact of the QII has been huge and worth every penny and more!!! If you are needing someone to be brutally honest, highlight the positives, identify the weaknesses and get your team back on track, then Vanessa is the person you need! My only regret is that I didn’t know about Vanessa sooner!