A young child was left alone inside a nursery after it closed. Sweet Pea Daycare in Birchgrove, Cardiff, launched an internal investigation into the incident on July 13.
The pre-school’s probe found that software used by staff indicated that the youngster had been collected when they had not. Care Inspectorate Wales and the city council are both aware of the incident and working closely together, and with the nursery, to ensure the safety of children at the site.
It has not yet been stated what, if any, action will be taken by CIW, the independent regulator of social care and childcare in Wales, and the local council.
Sweet Pea released a statement saying that child safety was their “utmost priority” and they have implemented new measures to make sure this situation will not happen again, including adding an extra step to their sign-in and sign-out processes.
The daycare contacted CIW after discovering the system error, which they say was an “isolated incident”, so that their internal probe was “conducted with the utmost professionalism”.
A statement from Sweet Pea, which looks after children up to the age of five, read: “We take the safety and wellbeing of all children in our care as our utmost priority. We understand the significant responsibility we hold in providing a secure environment for each child, and we are committed to continuously improving our procedures to prevent any potential incidents.
“Following an isolated incident at our Birchgrove nursery, our management team conducted a thorough internal investigation to address the issue and enhance our child drop-off and collection process. The specialist childcare software we rely on had indicated that a child was collected, when, in fact, the child remained at the nursery.
“We took immediate action by involving the appropriate regulatory body, CIW, to ensure that our investigation was conducted with the utmost professionalism and that steps were taken to prevent any future occurrences.
“As a result of the investigation, we have identified the need to implement an additional step in our sign-in/sign-out procedure to ensure the accuracy of attendance details in our childcare software. Whilst Sweet Pea would like to rely on technology to streamline our processes, it is apparent that technology alone cannot be fully relied on.
“We have therefore reinstated a second stage to the process, whereby parents are required to personally sign out their child at the end of the day, providing an extra layer of security and accountability.
“At Sweet Pea, we are keen to learn from any mistakes and constantly strive to improve our processes to prevent failures no matter how small. We remain dedicated to maintaining the trust and confidence of our parents and the community by upholding the highest standards of child safety and care.
“Please feel free to reach out to our management team if you have any further questions or concerns. Your child’s safety and well-being are of the utmost importance to us, and we will continue to work diligently to ensure the highest level of care at Sweet Pea.”
A spokesperson for CIW, said: “We have been made aware of the situation and have taken the appropriate steps in accordance with our standard policies and procedures. We continue to work closely with the provider and local authority to ensure the safety of all children who use the service.”
A Cardiff council spokespersonsaid: “Children’s Services has been fully informed and is engaging with the nursery and partners, including Care Inspectorate Wales, in taking forward safeguarding actions.”
The UK Government website states that babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone, and that children below the age of 12 are “rarely mature enough” to be left alone for long periods of time.
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