YOUNGSTERS and staff at a Harwell nursery were jumping for joy after it was rated as 'Outstanding.'

Following a visit by inspectors from Ofsted, Bright Horizons Little Stars Nursery was given the rating – the watchdog's highest – in all four areas of inspection: effectiveness of the leadership, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare and outcomes for children.

Nursery manager Claire Sellwood said: "I would like to congratulate our brilliant staff team, thank them for their hard work and also the parents for their continued support.”

During the inspection, Ofsted looked through a range of documents including the children's records and watched activities taking place in all of the nursery rooms and garden areas.

Inspector Eileen Chadwick wrote: "The quality of teaching is consistently outstanding.

"All children, including those learning English as an additional language, make excellent progress.

"Staff assess children’s progress precisely and ensure activities provide optimum challenge."

In its previous Ofsted report back in 2013, the nursery was given a 'good' overall rating.

The nursery employs 23 staff, of whom 15 hold a relevant early years qualification at level three or above and currently has 64 children on its roll.

Ms Chadwick noted this year that the nursery staff provided a 'highly stimulating environment', enabling the youngsters to explore and investigate freely.

She added: "Children flourish and benefit from a very wide range of high-quality resources across all rooms and outdoor areas of the nursery.

"Children are very happy and settled.

"Staff are particularly warm and caring and form exceptional relationships with children.

"They teach children to be kind to each other and they meet their individual needs exceptionally well, the children’s behaviour is excellent."

Little Stars nursery is part of Bright Horizons Family Solutions Ltd and opened in 2009.

It operates from specially adapted premises on the site of Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, in Harwell.

Priority for places is given to employees of the site, although other families can use the facility if places are available.

The nursery is open each weekday from 7.30am to 6pm all year for children aged up to four.