Little Steps Nursery improves safety procedures and cleanliness following Ofsted 'inadequate' rating

Will Taylor

Will Taylor

Little Steps Nursery improves safety procedures and cleanliness following Ofsted 'inadequate' rating

Improvements have had to be made by a Twyford nursery after Ofsted inspectors identified a string of failings.

Little Steps Nursery, in the High Street, was rated ‘inadequate’ by an Ofsted report on Friday, April 1, which claimed the manager did not ‘have the knowledge to fulfil her role’.

The inspector issued a welfare requirements notice that compelled the nursery to improve 18 criteria, including a need to take steps ‘to ensure children are not exposed to any risks, including those associated with hanging blind cords in sleeping areas’.

Ofsted set a deadline for Monday, April 11, but when it returned inspectors found there were still improvements to be made.

Another inspection and report, dated Thursday, May 5, found the improvements had been done.

The Advertiser contacted Little Steps Nursery for comment but was told it had been advised by solicitors not to speak to the press.

The nursery had been rated ‘good’ in an inspection in November 2013, and that remains on its website despite the result of the newest Ofsted reports.

The inspector visited the nursery on Friday, April 1 after it received a complaint.

Inspector Melissa Cox found staff had ‘a poor understanding of their responsibilities’, risk assessments were ‘ineffective, compromising children’s safety’, and staff failed to ‘support children’s good health and well-being’.

The only category in the ‘strengths’ section was that ‘children enjoy freshly prepared and nutritious meals’.

The report said Ofsted issued a welfare requirements notice to the nursery, which ordered it to improve various aspects of its operations. These included ensuring ‘staff are alert to all safeguarding issues’; that it maintained ‘effective vetting processes to ensure full and relevant information about previous employment history, reference checks and staff qualifications’ were kept; and that it held a record of all Disclosure and Barring Service checks completed for staff.

A second unannounced inspection held over Tuesday, April 12, and Wedneday, April 13, found blind cords were no longer accessible to children and new systems were ‘being implemented to improve recruitment and supervision’.

But it found potties were still not kept clean at all times and the emergency evacuation drill was ‘not practised and staff are not all familiar with what to do’.

A follow-up report on Thursday, May 5, found ‘evacuation drills are being practised very regularly’, ‘risk assessment is being used appropriately to keep children safe’, and ‘more effective hygiene practices are followed regarding potties to prevent cross infection’.

The Advertiser understands some children at the nursery are funded by Wokingham Borough Council.

Cllr Lindsay Ferris (Lib Dem, Twyford) was disappointed by the Ofsted rating and said the nursery now needed the support of the borough council.

He added: “I suspect parents will vote with their feet. There needs to be enough nurseries in the area or parents will have problems.”

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