Orchards Day Nursery owner praises exceptional team after following late mum with ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating

Gemma Emmett, Aimiee Gentry and Cheryl Jarman with some of the Orchards children outside Orchards Da

Gemma Emmett, Aimiee Gentry and Cheryl Jarman with some of the Orchards children outside Orchards Day Nursery in Royston – one of three centres to be rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted. Picture: Orchards Day Nurseries - Credit: Orchards Day Nurseries

The owner of a Royston day nursery has reflected on their success after being awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating by Ofsted, continuing the legacy of her mother who ran the business until her death aged 64.

Aimee Gentry took over Orchards Day Nurseries after mother Laura died as a result of lupus in 2015. Laura had built the nursery from scratch, having started in Caxton in 1991.

Orchards now has three sites - a nursery and preschool in Royston and a day nursery in Eaton Socon, Cambs.

An inspector visited The Orchards Day Nursery in Kneesworth Street - which is run by manager Cheryl Jarman and deputy manager Gemma Emmett - at the end of last year and awarded the top mark - just as Aimee's mum had achieved in their previous inspection in 2013.

The latest report stated: "Babies and children thrive and flourish at this homely, nurturing nursery. They receive consistently high-quality care and exciting, meaningful learning experiences.

"Staff act as excellent role models for children. They are professional, kind and deeply committed to their role."

The inspector highlighted strong partnerships with parents, staff promoting children's good health and safety, the calm atmosphere and effective safeguarding, among other positives.

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Now, Aimee has reflected on the nursery's success.

The 30-year-old told the Crow: "It's been such an amazing achievement.

"I took over when my mum died and didn't have that much experience in early years and have had to continue to build the business - the team have been exceptional.

"It was amazing to see the report and to get outstanding again, to get that recognition of our hard work. It was incredible.

"We've had amazing emails from parents, they know how well looked after their children are - it is a proud moment.

"we are a family and care about each other, there are challenges ahead with government changes, but the goal is to continue to overcome these."

Commenting on the rating, manager Cheryl and deputy Gemma added: "We're so amazingly proud of all the staff's hard work and dedication. It is truly deserved by all."

To read the report in full go to https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50129013.