Children’s safety ‘at risk’ at nursery

AN inspector says “children’s safety is put at risk” at a day nursery in Downend.

Education regulator Ofsted visited the Kiddi Caru Day Nursery and Pre-school in Downend Road in January.

In her report, published in April, inspector Victoria Nicolson said the nursery’s leadership and management, and children’s personal development, is ‘inadequate’.

She said the quality of education and children’s behaviour and attitudes ‘require improvement’, with the nursery given an ‘inadequate’ overall rating.

The inspector said: “Although there are procedures in place to safeguard children, these are not followed, and children’s safety is put at risk.

“Leaders have not ensured that staff understand the new nursery procedures for safeguarding to make sure that concerns are recorded and acted on appropriately. For example, even when staff raise concerns about children’s welfare, the designated safeguarding lead does not share this information with parents and other agencies to ensure that children are kept safe.”

The inspector said that staff working with the younger children at the nursery, which has 57 under-fours on its roll, “take time to work with parents and get to know the children to support their needs well”.

However older children “do not get the same supportive and nurturing experiences”, as their key-person system does not work well and staff working with them “do not gather information from parents about children’s individual needs and interests”.

The inspector said: “Children struggle to settle due to frequent changes to the staff who care for them.”

She also criticised support for pre-school children with delayed progress or special educational needs or disabilities, which was “not good enough”.

The inspector said staff working with the younger children support children’s communication and language skills well, and the nursery also provides “lots of opportunities for fresh air and exercise”.

Ofsted has told the nursery to make a series of improvements to staff understanding of safeguarding, improve its key person system for pre-school children, improve support for staff working with older children and provide support for children who need additional help.

The nursery was one of two in Downend that Grandir UK bought from Bristol-based provider Mama Bear’s last summer.

It was last inspected in September 2022, and given a ‘requires improvement’ rating.

A spokesperson for Grandir UK said: “We take Ofsted’s feedback very seriously and we apologise to our families for falling below the standards they would expect from us.

“We are disappointed with the inspection outcome but accept it and fully commit to addressing the points raised in the report.

“We have already taken action; the nursery has a clear plan in place following our own internal  assessment and will continue to act upon and resolve any further points raised from the  inspection.

“Our highest priority, as always, is the safety, well-being, and education of all children in our care and we will continue to strive to ensure that the next time Ofsted visit, the outcome of the inspection will be vastly different.”