A STALYBRIDGE nursery which failed to notify Ofsted after an allegation against one of its staff members has been branded inadequate.
Grow Happy Childcare, on Bridge Street, told Tameside Council after the claim – but not inspectors.
And at a visit in February, they found a number of failings, even though parents speak highly of the way their children are looked after and the provider is describes as being ‘committed to making improvements.’
An Ofsted report states: “Children’s safety and welfare are compromised due to weaknesses in safeguarding arrangements. Leaders and staff do not protect children’s safety or promote their good health.
“The provider made the required notification to the local authority when faced with an allegation against a member of staff.
“However, the provider failed in their responsibility to notify Ofsted about the allegation, which is a requirement.
“There are a number of risks which have gone unnoticed by staff. Children do not play in a safe and stimulating space.”
Inspectors made specific reference to all nursery children being grouped together in one tiddler room which is described as ‘not inviting.’
An activity on Pancake Day was highlighted, with them adding: “Children briefly enjoy exploring the texture of flour during a Pancake Day activity.
“However, they quickly lose interest as this fails to challenge or inspire them. Children of different ages and abilities take part in activities that are not designed to motivate them.”
The leadership and management at Grow Happy is also criticised, with inspectors stating: “Leadership and management are inadequate which has led to a number of breaches in requirements.
“The provider failed to notify Ofsted about an allegation against a member of staff. Risk assessment is weak.
“The provider has not ensured that staff understand how to identify and minimise risks to children. For example, broken equipment, trailing wires and toxic substances are accessible to children.
“Children do not make good progress and are not being prepared for the next stages in their learning.
“This is not the result of a precisely focused curriculum where children develop individual skills.
“Staff are unaware of what children know and can do. This means that children who need the most help are at risk of falling further behind.
“Younger children wander around aimlessly and start to throw soft bricks when they become bored with building a tower. Staff fail to explain why this behaviour is not acceptable.
“Since the previous inspection, there has been a major decline in the overall quality of the provision.
“Self-evaluation has failed to identify significant weaknesses in practice. However, the provider is committed to making improvements.”
Despite its shortcomings, Ofsted inspectors found children like what they do at Grow Happy and parents spoke highly of them.
The report continues: “Children do enjoy active play. They participate in dance and movement sessions, yoga classes and the nursery cook provides nutritious home-cooked meals.
“Parents who were spoken to praise how staff communicate with them about how their children have been during the day.
“This includes sharing information about what children have eaten, nappy changes and time spent sleeping.
“Parents particularly enjoy seeing the photographs of children playing and participating in activities.
“Children appear happy and giggle with delight as they engage in pretend play. However, their safety is not assured due to the number of hazards in the outdoor area.
“Standing rainwater in a trough is accessible to children. Children play near to damaged equipment that is waiting to be thrown away, and a low-hanging washing line presents a strangulation risk. These hazards have gone unnoticed by staff.
“They want to offer a good service to local children and families.”