Nursery owner devastated after child's escape leads to inadequate Ofsted rating

September 28 2021
Nursery owner devastated after child's escape leads to inadequate Ofsted rating

THE owner of a Yate nursery says she is devastated at being given an 'inadequate' rating by Ofsted, after a child escaped

The education watchdog said children's health and safety was "significantly compromised" at Moringa Day Nursery, in Stanshawes Court Drive.

Owner Cindy-Leigh Fassler, who opened the nursery in 2019, said the incident had happened when the child pushed through a 15cm (about 6in) gap between a fence and the side of the building.

She said the issue had been rectified and the nursery had since been given a positive rating in a South Gloucestershire Council safeguarding audit.  

Ofsted visited the nursery, which has 63 children aged up to four on its roll, in the summer.

While ratings for quality of education and children's behaviour were both 'good', inspector Kelly Sunderland gave the nursery 'inadequate' ratings in two other categories: personal development, and leadership and management.

The inspector's report said: "The provider has not taken appropriate action to ensure the nursery is fully secure after a child managed to escape from the nursery. Risk assessments completed by staff are not effective and do not minimise all risks to children.

"The provider has not ensured that the outdoor area is secure enough to prevent children being able to get out to the nursery car park unattended.

"While the provider has put some measures in place, these are insufficient, as children can still access the side of the building without being seen by staff."

In other areas the report was far more positive.

The inspector said: "Children are happy and settled within the nursery.

"They have developed close bonds with staff, and babies seek out staff for cuddles.

"Children behave well. Staff remind children of the rules within the nursery and are attentive to children's needs.

"Staff have high expectations of children and challenge them well in their learning."

“Partnerships with parents are positive. Parents value the care and education their children receive. They comment that their children enjoy their time at the nursery and that the staff are friendly and welcoming.”

Ms Fassler said action had been taken to block the gap where the child escaped immediately afterwards.  

She said: “We blocked it off with a pallet and other obstacles but the inspector thought it wasn’t sufficient, because someone could still come through the site.

"We rectified the problem within 24 hours of her visit, with a pole and a massive plank attached to the side of the building, so there is now no way that anyone, no matter how large or small, could get through.”

Ms Fassler said the nursery had been working "very closely" with South Gloucestershire Council since the inspection.

She said: “They come in every couple of weeks to make sure that we are hitting our targets.

“We managed to stay open throughout the pandemic and are pretty much full all the time, so to have such an incident happen was truly devastating.

"And despite the Ofsted report, we are so grateful that our parents have stood by us and have been to see what the problem was and have expressed disbelief that that is why we got the rating we did.”

A further inspection will be carried out by Ofsted in December.

Picture: The nursery building, pictured in 2019