Nursery’s selection of toys put children at risk of injury

The Oxford Times: Ofsted rated the centre as inadequate Ofsted rated the centre as inadequate

CONCERNS have been raised after a nursery was criticised by inspectors for having toys which leave children at risk of injury.

Ofsted visited The Oxford Nursery in Witney Road, Eynsham, on April 9 and rated the centre as inadequate.

It is a big drop in rating for the nursery, which looks after 29 children, after it was told by inspectors in 2010 that it was a good provider.

The latest report means it is not meeting the requirements of the Childcare Register and has been given actions to complete.

Inspector Nicola Johnstone said in her report the provider, Acacia Care and Education Ltd, is ineffective and compromised children’s safety.

She raised concerns about some of the toys on offer to children, which were judged to be not “suitable and safe”. She said: “This means that risk assessment procedures are not thorough enough to identify potential hazards to children, leaving them at risk from serious injury.”

There were also problems relating to criminal record checks. She added: “The provider accepts staff with previous Disclosure and Barring Service checks, without following the service’s own guidance.

“In addition, at times unchecked staff are left alone with children.

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“Because the suitability of all staff has not been checked by the provider, this compromises children’s safety.”

West Oxfordshire District ward councillor for Eynsham and Cassington, Edward James, said people would be concerned by the report.

He said: “I am a parent of a two-and-a-half year old and it does concern me. There have to be processes in place to protect people and children and which provide proper due diligence.

“And that has to be followed so that you can ensure the best possible protection to children.

“The question also is, however, if the children are happy.”

In a statement, the nursery said: “Having received our first ever ‘inadequate’ in our 17-year history, to say we are disappointed would be an understatement, but under the current climate of Ofsted inspections we are aware that many settings have faced the same harsh judgment.

“We have undergone a change of management to cover a maternity leave and can only look forward with determination and our steadfast dedication to getting back to our sound ‘good’ judgment upon re-inspection.”

Ofsted also raised concerns about the promotion of language development for children who are learning English as an additional language, saying children are not making good enough progress.

The nursery is rated across three areas. In two areas, the contribution of early years provision to the well-being of children and the effectiveness of the leadership and management of the early years provision, it was rated to be inadequate – the lowest grade.

In the area of how the provision meets the needs of the children who attend the nursery, it was judged to require improvement, one above inadequate.

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