An ‘enthusiastic, sensitive and skilful’ childminder has been praised by Ofsted and given its highest possible rating.
Maria Tierney, of Albert Street, Lytham, has been branded ‘outstanding’ following a recent inspection.
She had previously been rated as ‘good’.
The 46-year-old, originally from Carlisle, said: “I’m really proud because the inspector said she had never given outstanding to a childminder before.
“It’s really nice to be acknowledged. People still think childminders do not offer the same quality as nurseries but we do.”
Ofsted inspector Estelle Noblett visited Maria’s home to carry out observations and to speak with parents in August, before later publishing her report and rating.
She also examined documentation and evaluated the standard of teaching.
Ms Noblett said: “The childminder superbly uses the children’s interests to engage them in activities for an extended amount of time given their ages.
“The childminder has exceptionally high expectations of what children can do.
“She is enthusiastic and very proactive in keeping her own skills up to date through courses and research and children benefit from this as it positively enhances their experiences.”
She continued: “Maria promotes children’s well-being because she is extremely sensitive to the needs of each individual child. She tailors activities to ensure they are suitable and stimulating for the different ages of children that attend.”
Maria began childminding some 14 years ago, and is qualified to care for six children.
She currently has two she cares for from Monday to Friday, Ofsted’s report said.
Ms Noblett added: “The childminder uses self-evaluation to reflect on her own personal strengths and look at areas that she would like to further refine.
“To further improve she should refine the already excellent opportunities to develop problem-solving skills for the youngest of children that attend.”