A PRESCHOOL is helping children to make 'steady progress' and explore new skills.

That was the praise from Ofsted as it rated Ladybird Pre-School in Didcot 'good', in a report released last week.

The education provider, based in the grounds of Manor School, had slipped from is previous rating of 'outstanding', which was awarded in 2015.

Ofsted said this was because staff at times 'overlook opportunities to challenge children's thinking fully or encourage them to consider how to solve problems'.

The regulator still painted the preschool as a happy and supportive place, however.

Its report said: "Children settle quickly, and staff offer comfort and reassurance to children who need extra support when separating from their parents.

"Parents are complimentary about the pre-school and say how much their children enjoy attending.

"Staff work closely with parents to find out about their children's individual needs and capabilities when they start.

"They keep parents well informed of their children's progress."

The inspector noted how all children make 'steady progress' from their starting points, adding: " Staff provide good opportunities for children to make their own choices and explore the stimulating play environment.

"They are good role models and support children effectively to understand behavioural expectations."

The pre-school had 158 children on its roll when Ofsted visited on September 6.

It was rated 'good' in all four areas.