A NURSERY in Leigh where a child was left alone outside unsupervised has failed to heed warnings from Ofsted, as it has been hit with another damning report.

Squirrels Children’s Day Nursery, on Cook Street in Leigh, was slammed by the regulators in a recent visit.

They highlighted failures in leadership, equipment hygiene, safeguarding assessments as well as an insufficient understanding of child protection issues.

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No improvements since previous inspection

The inspection report published on March 31 showed that they have not learned their lessons from previous warnings which had marked them as an inadequate childcare provider. 

In February 2021, the Cook Street site notified Ofsted “that a child was left alone, unsupervised, in the nursery garden, out of sight and hearing of staff for approximately six minutes”.

This concern, which required actions to be taken by Ofsted, was followed by an inspection in August 2022 which marked them as ‘inadequate’ in all categories.

Following the most recent report, which took place on March 7, 2023, the nursery has temporarily closed down due to staffing issues which means they don’t employ a manager.

The report highlighted a number of failures to meet requirements set at the previous inspection.

Lack of effective management at nursery, report finds

According to the report, the lack of management “hinders their ability to demonstrate a capacity to improve”.

“The outside area has not been risk assessed or maintained in a way which ensures that it continues to be suitable for play and learning,” the Ofsted report stated. “Some equipment is weathered, unclean or in disrepair. 

“There are a number of water-gathering containers, which would be accessible to children and pose a risk of harm. Additionally, there is still no safe area for babies to play, as previously required.

“The provider’s representative fails to demonstrate an ability to implement an effective safeguarding policy and procedure. They are unclear about how they would respond to an allegation made against the manager or a staff member.

“This hinders the provider’s ability to protect children from harm. The provider’s representative does not demonstrate a sufficient understanding of child protection issues. They lack understanding of the training required of the lead safeguarding practitioner.

“Furthermore, the representative is unable to recognise potential indicators of abuse and ways they would expect the manager and staff to respond to these, to help keep children safe.”

Nursery must fulfil Ofsted requirements

The report, written by Angela Rowley, goes on to say that staff understand their responsibility to provide a challenging curriculum that promotes their progress and that they demonstrate strong commitment to promote inclusive provision for all children.

However, the inspector said that the provider has failed to meet the requirements of the early years foundation stage and Childcare Register. In order to do so, they must fulfil requirements set out by Ofsted by June 7, 2023.

This includes actions such as recruiting a suitable manager, developing an adequate procedure for safeguarding, ensuring the outside play area is safe and free from hazards, and demonstrating how staff will carry out the necessary progress checks. 

Squirrels Children’s Day Nursery has been contacted by the Local Democracry Service for comment.