Children put at risk of 'significant accident or injury' at 'inadequate' nursery
PUBLISHED: 19:00 25 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:30 26 October 2019
A nursery in Trimley St Mary near Felixstowe has been placed in special measures by Ofsted over concerns about children's safety, it has emerged.
Tiddlywinks Day Nursery, in High Road, was rated 'good' by the education watchdog three years ago - but it is now considered 'inadequate' after inspectors visited in September.
However, staff at the nursery have expressed their surprise and disappointment with the Ofsted rating.
Safeguarding arrangements at the nursery - which had 35 children on roll at the time of Ofsted's visit - were not effective, assessors warned.
"Managers have failed to act decisively to keep children safe," inspector Julie Meredith-Jenkins wrote in her report.
"Children's safety at the nursery is not assured or prioritised.
"Children are put at unnecessary risk of a significant accident or injury. Managers do not carry out rigorous risk assessments to identify and manage hazards that could place children at risk of significant accident or injury within the nursery, or when they are taken off the premises."
Managers had not considered the risk of significant injury from trips and falls, she said, particularly when babies move between their base room and the outside play area.
Staff also failed to identify and minimise risks posed to young children's fingers by the unsecured outer door. Yet managers had assessed some risks when taking children out of the nursery, following a significant incident.
However, inspectors did make positive comments about some staff, who were found to actively listen as children confidently shared stories from home.
Older children also happily sang songs during break times, learning to communicate in different ways, such as using sign language.
Staff also effectively prepared children for changes in their day, with youngsters eager to help tidy away resources before lunch, and to follow good hygiene routines.
Inspectors rated the nursery 'requires improvement' for the quality of its education and behaviour and attitudes.
Personal development and leadership and management were both rated 'inadequate'.
What did Tiddlywinks Day Nursery have to say?
"We were both surprised and very disappointed with the Ofsted inspection report on September 19, 2019," a spokeswoman said.
"Our previous inspection was rated as good and since then we have strived to not only maintain that standard but indeed improve on it.
"So it came as a complete shock when we were downgraded to inadequate mainly because of safeguarding issues relating to steps and door closures and I ask why these issues were not brought to our attention at any previous inspections we have had in the 27 years of the nursery being open when the steps and doors have always been the same, we do however feel each inspection is not consistent.
"All actions have been fully completed and now we await our re-inspection with hopefully a better outcome.
"Staff made all parents/carers aware of the new inspection grading and have received nothing but positive feedback. Tiddlywinks Day Nursery would like to thank all parents/carers and staff for their continued support."