Well, in theory, yes it can. Let’s say you have a professionally built, fantastic looking nursery website like outstanding provider Little Holcombe and Tower View Nursery.
As soon as you click on the page, you see a slideshow of high quality images of happy practitioners and smiling children.
You see how inviting and warm their baby and toddler rooms look.
You can’t help but be impressed by the clean finish and easy-to-navigate look of their website.
You see their accreditations and how their passion for providing great childcare resonates through their “Our Aims” page.
Now, imagine for one moment that you’re an Ofsted inspector….
You decide to google the nursery you’re planning to visit, in order to find out more before the inspection. On the first page of google search results, the setting name comes up straight away.
You click on the website and take a look around.
You realise that this particular provider has gone to great lengths to build a professional looking website and they really care about the impression they make. Putting two and two together, you expect that this attention to detail also extends to other areas of the business, such as the level of care and education they provide.
Either way, you’re left with a positive initial opinion of this nursery!
Other than helping to create that all-important first impression, there are many other ways you can use your nursery website as a tool to help you showcase your strengths and fly through your next inspection:
- Demonstrate “partnership with parents” through a blog
A blog is like an online diary – you can use it to update parents on the latest events, visits to the community, themed days, charity fundraisers and much more. Teamed with colourful photographs, a blog demonstrates that you’re helping parents understand what life at your provision is like for their child.
- And use your blog to fulfil the inspection criteria for “personal development, behaviour and welfare”…
One of the new Ofsted outcomes includes “personal development, behaviour and welfare” and this includes children contributing to wider society and life in Britain. So, blogging about any fundraising activities/visits in the local community will help demonstrate that you’re actively promoting this.
- Explain how you’re meeting learning and development outcomes
Use your website to explain what a commitment you’ve made to supporting children and encouraging confidence, self-esteem and self reliance. You can give examples of some of the ways you meet the EYFS learning and development outcomes on your website too; this will lend itself well to showcasing your setting to Ofsted.
- Give parents a way to feed back on your service
Having a feedback form on your website will demonstrate to Ofsted that you’re serious about continually making improvements to your setting. This can be one of the many ways, along with surveys and parent evenings, that you can show that you’re always striving to provide a better service, in partnership with parents.
- Showcase the talents and passion of your staff with a “Meet the team” page
This is usually one of the most popular pages on a website, and you can use it to talk about why each member of staff got into childcare, what area they specialise in or have a passion for, as well as their childcare qualifications. This demonstrates you are meeting the EYFS requirements for Ofsted and it also reassures parents that your staff members are qualified and knowledgeable.
- Publicise glowing testimonials from parents
What better way to show off parent testimonials, than on your website? In terms of recognising the professionalism of your staff and the excellent level of care you provide- nothing is more credible than praise from parents who have had firsthand experience of your provision. Use these to your advantage!
With so many positive aspects of your setting that you can evidence to Ofsted through your website – make sure yours creates the right impression and showcases the strengths of your provision to the fullest. If your website doesn’t convey the professional look you’d hoped for, speak to an experienced design team to find out what action you should take so that your website truly reflects the quality of the service you offer.