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Failing day nursery is re-graded 'good'
LESS than a year ago, Petit Enfant Day Nursery in Witney’s Madley Park was judged to be failing.
Ofsted inspectors said the nursery, which has about 100 youngsters on roll, was inadequate and highlighted concerns over hygiene, poor observation and the behaviour between children.
Last month, the Oxford Mail reported that half of the Co-operative Childcare nurseries in Oxfordshire were judged inadequate.
The change in grading at Madley Park now means that four out of six of them are deemed good.
After bringing in new manager Gareth Jones and investing about £153,000 on facilities, the Co-operative Childcare facility is now praised for its improvements.
A report by inspector Gill Little after an inspection last month describes staff as kind, caring and enthusiastic.
Ms Litttle said: “The nursery has made noticeable improvements regarding hygiene and supervision during toileting. There are now ongoing spot checks and support from senior staff, with new initiatives such as implementing a toilet checklist.”
In last November’s inspection, children were seen drinking from each other’s cups and were said to be becoming bored because of uninspiring nursery activities.
Inspectors said this was leading to behaviour such as youngsters pulling each other to the floor, trying to bite other children and kicking the doors.
But when the inspectors came back, they had no such concerns, and praised “significant improvements”.
Nursery manager Mr Jones, who joined the staff in December, said: “At that time, the Co-op hadn’t had a chance to put all the resources into making the nursery what it is today. We are putting a lot of training in for the staff and bought new resources and equipment.
“We have also recruited new staff and helped them with training and worked hard to be a team.”
Mr Jones said he had joined the nursery from one rated as outstanding in Wales, and his goal was for Madley Park to reach the same standard.
He said: “The team we have in place works closely together to provide the best care we possibly can, supported by our area manager who is constantly monitoring us.
“With any Ofsted inspection, when the judgement goes down, a lot of parents do get nervous and start looking elsewhere and we did lose some parents.
“But a lot have seen the developments we have put in place and stuck by us.”
There were 118 children on roll in November 2012 compared to 99 at the August inspection.
Some of the drop in numbers was due to children going on to school.
Physical improvements to the nursery carried out since the last inspection included the creation of a mound with a crawl-through tunnel, artificial turf and a purpose-built gardening area.
Inside, the pre-school now has one large room instead of two small ones, and the room for two- to three- year- olds has been enlarged.