A nursery where children learn the importance of personal hygiene thanks to ‘excellent role models’ has retained its good Ofsted rating.

Les Enfants Nursery and Forest School, in Avondale Road, Darwen, was visited by inspectors in January, who found it to still be a good education setting.

Inspectors noted that the nursery has a “warm and friendly atmosphere” and picked out the emphasis on oral and personal hygiene as a particular strength, as the borough has been one of the worst areas in the country children’s dental health.

In the report, Ofsted said: “Children are settled and happy and their parents form close bonds with key staff.

“Parents are very complimentary about the level of service they receive and highly rate the quality of care and education provided for their children.”

The curriculum was praised for being balanced and addressing what children need to learn to get them ready for school, while also providing wider experiences.

The report said: “Children enjoy visits from the local dentist. This helps to allay children's fears of visiting the dentist.

“It also helps them understand the importance of implementing good dental hygiene routines.

“Children are kind and thoughtful and are willing to have a go and do things for themselves.

“Older children confidently manage their own personal hygiene needs and offer help to their peers.”

Staff were also praised highly, with inspectors noting: “Staff are excellent role models. Their cheery nature and keenness to help and support children shines through.

“They shower children with praise and encouragement and are always on hand to give a reassuring cuddle when needed.”

Senior leaders were commended for their staff coaching and mentoring, leading to high morale among staff, but were told to become outstanding staff practice needs to be monitored better to ensure the curriculum is implemented consistently to a high standard.

Children are given the chance to develop their physical skills through play, music and dance, and while most interactions are good some staff need to make sure they engage all children during sessions to keep them involved and challenged.

Understanding of maths and communication are emphasised and a strength, while children behave well and are kept safe and secure, particularly in the forest school area.