Childminders can be a crucial find for busy and working parents, along with concerns that children are safe and enjoying themselves.

Ofsted carries out regular inspections of the service providers to ensure they are at a high standard.

The businesses which are under the early years register are graded in a similar way to schools, with 'outstanding' being the top and 'inadequate' the lowest.

Here is a list of those in and around the Watford area rated 'outstanding' after their most recent inspections dating from 2017 to 2022.

Lauren Gillon, Watford

This business has been set up since 2018 and provides an “outstanding” rated service for children aged one to seven.

She was described as setting “extremely high standards for her childminding provision” and having “a genuine enthusiasm for her work” in her most recent inspection in 2021.

Watford Observer:

Area: Watford

Lynn Lovelock, Oxhey

She has been graded the top mark at the most recent inspection, in February 2020.

Her work has been described as “dedicated” and “welcoming” by Ofsted.

Lynn has been a registered childminder since 1992 and “provides rich opportunities for children to learn about themselves, the local community and beyond”.

Area: Watford

Natalie Jean Rusher, Bushey

This childminder, who has been registered since 2009, had the last inspection in January 2020 and was described as “ambitious” for her setting and “supportive” of every child.

She had her planning described as “excellent” and “uses her high-quality teaching to support each child to be included superbly in activities”.

Watford Observer:

Area: Bushey

Emma Louise Cooper, Abbots Langley

Her business has been given the highest rating by Ofsted, at the last inspection in 2017.

She has been described as providing children with a “welcoming environment” and “is an inspirational role model and supports them very expertly in learning to be kind, have good manners and respect others”.

Emma has an assistant working with her and “strives to deliver the highest-quality provision for children”.

Watford Observer:

Area: Abbots Langley

Tracy Claire Gravatt, Abbots Langley

She is described as building “excellent partnerships with parents and has a comprehensive understanding of children's needs” by Ofsted.

The last inspection was in 2018, where she was rated as 'outstanding'. The report described her work as an “exciting environment for children where they readily make choices about their play”.

The report also said: “Children are very comfortable in the childminder's care and show that they feel happy and secure.”

Area: Abbots Langley

Anne Margaret Bateman, Pinner

This childminder is a little outside of Watford but was rated as “outstanding” during the last inspection in January 2020.

She was described as “dedicated to providing children in her care with high-quality provision” and creates “strong partnerships” with parents.

She is “skilful” when helping children understand their emotions and is “dedicated” to developing her practice.

Address: Pinner