Why Red Bus?

We’re known as ‘the best kept secret in Bristol’ - a hidden gem for parents in the know! But in reality we have been operating for over ten years, and are well established in our local communities.

Not ones to rest on our laurels, we are constantly self-reflecting and looking for ways to improve. We listen to feedback from our parents, our staff, and the larger changes in the Early Years world to make sure we’re consistently providing the best care for children.

Outstanding Ofsted

Both Coombe Dingle and Downend have been graded as ‘Outstanding’ during inspections from OFSTED.

“The enticing and exceptionally well-organised learning environment, inside and outside, encourages high levels of exploration, imagination and choice.” – Coombe Dingle

“The inspirational leadership team empowers passionate staff, who provide an uncompromising commitment to achieving high-quality outcomes for children.” – Coombe Dingle

“Children and staff develop extremely positive and warm relationships. Staff get to know children exceptionally well and respect each child as a unique individual. Children settle in very quickly and soon develop very high levels of self-esteem and confidence.” - Downend

Coombe Dingle's full OFSTED report

Downend’s full OFSTED report

Outstanding Ofsted 2
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Experienced Staff

People are the very heart of Red Bus – they are what make us outstanding!

We have a combination of staff with childcare qualifications with an unqualified support team, some with decades of experience in early years and those who are just starting out in their careers.

What unites them all is passion for what they do, who find joy in building relationships with children and helping them grow and develop. Who work with you as parents, openly and honestly, and uphold the values of Red Bus every day. 

All staff are taken on a comprehensive training process that never truly stops -  covering essential courses such as First Aid and Child Protection as well as exploring their own interests, from Makaton to Music!

As a company we have over 350 years of cumulative experience in childcare - that's a lot of knowledge to share with our families! 

Parents as Partners

You are your child’s primary care giver and first teacher - it is so important to us that you feel respected, valued and involved in your child’s learning and development. By working in partnership, not only do our practitioners understand their key children better but children feel more secure and confident in our environment and at home.

We endeavour to form positive relationships with you before your child even has their first session with us. During your child’s ‘settling in’ sessions you are able to share your child's likes, dislikes, routine and needs with your new Key Person.

At the start of every session we ask you to update us on your child has been, and in return we promise a detailed report of your child’s time with us – through both handovers at pick up time, and through the sharing app ParentZone. We also encourage parents to add their own photographs and observations to ParentZone too, adding to the record of your child’s journey!

You will be given the opportunity to attend Parent/Carer Evenings, the chance to have an in depth conversation about your child is developing – both at Red Bus, and at home – and discuss ways to support your child to achieve certain targets.

Pre-School Girl Smiling in Garden
Kindergarten jumping in garden

Safeguarding and Policies

All children have the right to feel safe at nursery, and the safeguarding of your child is the most important responsibility we have. We have a detailed Safeguarding and Child Protection policy, as well as regular training sessions to ensure all staff are confident in their roles and responsibilities.

All our settings use a fob security system. Our front door is always locked, and can only be opened by a member of staff or parent with a designated fob. Inside, only staff are able to open doors with their fobs. We have rigorous security measures in place with regards to your child being collected. We train our staff in the absolute importance of security, and encourage them to feel confident in picking up anything unusual and challenging anything they see. Our environments are deliberately designed ‘open’ spaces, so that everything happening within the setting is visible to others without detracting from a child’s privacy.

Everything we do is underpinned by considered, comprehensive policies and procedures. Our staff are trained to follow these policies from day one, and they are regularly reviewed and updated. Developed from years of experience, you can be assured that your child is safe and secure and has a stimulating journey at Red Bus.  

A full list of our policies can be found within each setting, and specific policies can be requested by contacting your nursery directly.

Our Awards

We hold the Bristol Standard, a nationally recognised framework that supports our journey of continuous improvement. Through self-evaluation and teamwork, we review our current strengths and plan targets for improvement across ten dimensions – with children at the heart of each action taken.

All our kitchens hold a 5* Food Hygiene rating, demonstrating best practice in cleanliness, food handling and safety checks in place. We also hold the Bristol Eating Better and Sugar Smart awards, designed to help schools meet the School Food Standards, increase the availability of healthy food and promote sustainability!

We hold a Level 5 RHS School Gardening award, through our efforts to provide children with opportunities to explore growing outdoors. Gardening has multiple benefits for children – improving physical and mental wellbeing, boosting confidence, and understanding our roles in building a sustainable future. We also hold the Green Tree Gold Award from the Woodland Trust, through various environmental projects such as tree planting and visiting local woodlands.

The panel really enjoyed reading your beautifully presented submission and looking at the wonderful range of activities and thoughtful practice you demonstrated. We were impressed by the strong key person relationships that are nurtured with children. It was particularly interesting to read about how the children are benefitting from the work and training that your team have done around supporting children’s emotions.

- Bristol Standard Confirmation Letter, October 2021

Awards Food Hygiene Bristol Standard Sugar Smart