Nursery safety is slammed

Diane Watkinson, the proprietor of Small World Private Day Nursery, Leyland
Diane Watkinson, the proprietor of Small World Private Day Nursery, Leyland
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A children’s nursery in Leyland has been condemned by Ofsted for breaching legal health and safety requirements.

An inspection was carried out at the Small World Private Day Nursery on Liege Road following a complaint against the provider, and the education watchdog has determined that provision is ‘inadequate’ and that there are a ‘number of safety hazards’.

The report slams failures of staff to comply with health and safety regulations at the nursery, in which 41 children attend.

It reads: “The nursery is not kept suitably clean and well maintained, so the children’s health and safety is compromised.

“The provider is unable to demonstrate that minimum staff ratios are met at all times to ensure children’s safety and well-being.”

Manager Diane Watkinson, who has been at the nursery for eight of its 10 years, said the health and safety aspect also related to a pet guinea pig which was being cared for by children at the nursery, which has since been removed.

The Ofsted inspection also found that “the setting is not particularly welcoming for children, with limited resources ... and poor maintenance of the setting.”

However, it does add that “children have developed close, warm relationships with staff, who are kind and caring” and that “parents speak well of the nursery and the staff, and are happy with the care provided.”

Ms Watkinson said she was shocked by the results of the inspection, but said that work was in place to make improvements.

She said: “We are keen to sort this out, and we have got support from parents and we have not lost any children as a result of this.

“We got help from Lancashire County Council and we actually managed to turn things around in a week.”

Ofsted also said there were problems with observation and assessment of children’s learning, and said that a lack of stimulating resources meant they were not motivated to learn.

Ms Watkinson said: “We used to have a free-flow of two rooms which all the children aged two to five could go in, but we now have two very separate rooms; one for the toddlers and one for the pre-school children.

“This has made a tremendous difference for both children and staff, because it means we can identify the needs of different age groups.

“We’ve also enhanced the outside area so that there is more for the children to play with.”

Ofsted is set to return to the nursery, which employs 10 members of childcare staff, in the next six to 12 months, and has set a number of action points which must be met.

A risk assessment of the premises and equipment must be conducted, and all necessary measures must be taken to minimise any identified risks, before the next inspection.