A DELIGHTED childminder says she is “beyond grateful” after receiving the highest grading possible from education watchdogs.

Kimberley Hopkins, of Saxon Close, Halstead, has been rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted following an inspection in February.

She operates under the name Star Childminding Halstead, has been registered since 2012 and has a childcare level 3 qualification.

Hannah is proud of the rating, which follows a previous 'outstanding' report in 2018.

Halstead Gazette: Dedicated - Kimberley Hopkins and a child she looks afterDedicated - Kimberley Hopkins and a child she looks after (Image: Kimberley Hopkins)

“I am beyond grateful and proud to be recognised for the high level of education and care I provide for the children," she said.

“I am pleased to raise an awareness of the impact childminders can have in the community and recognised for the work we do."

The Ofsted report praised the childminder, saying “children benefit from an extensive range of experiences that support and promote their learning”.

According to the report, Kimberley uses her expertise of children’s learning styles and interests to provide and environment that inspires, motivates and challenges children’s thinking.

Halstead Gazette: Location - a Street View image of Saxon CloseLocation - a Street View image of Saxon Close (Image: Google Maps)

As a result, the youngsters become curious and are willing to explore the “well-considered environments with anticipation and wonder”.

Children are taught about behaviour and Kimberley supports them to think about how their choices have an impact on others and to seek different ways of behaving.

Kimberley was quick to highlight the other businesses and childminders in the town which are doing well.

Halstead Gazette: Smiles all round - Kimberley Hopkins with a childSmiles all round - Kimberley Hopkins with a child (Image: Kimberley Hopkins)

She said: “I am thrilled to be part of the town’s providers that have to offer so much outstanding education and care.

“Five out of eight them have also received the highest possible grade from Ofsted.

"I think it's important to notice that we have a really high level of care and education in Halstead including Park Pre-School, Park Nursery, the Barn Nursery, childminder Paula Dinone and myself.”

Kimberley operates all year round from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, except bank holidays and family holidays.

To find out more, go to tinyurl.com/2p8u67pk.