Children’s safety at ‘inadequate’ Derby day nursery ‘not fully assured’ according to Ofsted | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

A Derby day nursery, which was previously rated as “good” by Ofsted has been told it is “inadequate by inspectors who say that “some staff do not have a secure knowledge of all aspects of safeguarding to assure children’s safety.” Carlton Day Nursery, on Maxwell Avenue opposite Markeaton Park, has 98 children on roll and was inspected by Judith Rayner on August 9.

She criticised the curriculum and said that staff do not know the children in their care “well enough”. The newly-published report by Ms Rayner says that “children’s individual care and learning needs are not identified or prioritised”.

She said: “For example, some very young children’s identified next steps in learning are to count, which is not age appropriate. These young children, who also have some limited spoken language, do not engage in the activities. They choose to roll around on the carpet.

“This is because some of the activities provided for these children are not exciting or do not entice children to remain deeply engrossed in their play. Some staff who work with babies have limited interaction with them. Babies are not supported well enough to develop good communication and language skills.”

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The report goes on to say that despite the weaknesses, “children are happy and behave well”. It continues: “Staff praise them for their achievements, which raises children’s self-esteem and confidence. Children enjoy playing outside, which supports their health and physical development. For example, older children use tricycles and balance bicycles. They carefully manoeuvre the bicycles around cones to develop their control and balance skills.”

What does the setting need to do better?

  • The manager does not make sure that all staff have a secure understanding of all aspects of safeguarding practice. Some staff have weak knowledge of how to protect children from extreme views and ideas or from being exploited. Consequently, children’s safety is not fully assured.

  • The manager completes regular observations of staff practice and holds supervision sessions with them. However, these are not effective in identifying and addressing weaknesses in staff practice. The manager does not provide staff with the necessary coaching and support they need to help them improve their skills and knowledge.

  • The manager does not make sure that all staff understand their important role as a key person. For instance, some staff are unable to recall the ages of children in their key-person group or identify if they receive early years government funding or not. Some staff do not know the needs, interests and development of the children in their care. Consequently, children’s overall learning and care needs are not met.

  • The manager does not ensure that her vision of how to deliver an ambitious curriculum is understood by all her staff team. Some staff, particularly those who work with babies and younger children, have a limited knowledge and understanding of child development. This means that their assessments of children’s development are not accurate, and the expectations set by staff are too high.

Ms Rayner said that parents speak positively about the service they receive. They comment how information is shared with them by staff when they drop off and pick up their children. They comment on how well the online communication system works, which is how they are kept up to date about their child’s day.

But she says that safeguarding is not effective and some staff do not know how to identify all the signs that a child is at risk of radicalisation, despite completing safeguarding training. She added: “Nevertheless, all staff are confident in other signs that a child may be at risk of harm. They know they must follow the child protection procedures to keep children safe.

“Staff deploy themselves well and report to one another if they are leaving the room. Children are closely supervised by staff to ensure they are safe. Staff complete appropriate risk assessments of the environment to ensure the premises are safe and secure for children.”

Ms Rayner tasked the Maxwell Avenue nursery to ensure that all staff have up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding practice and procedures, to ensure ongoing coaching and support for staff identifies weaknesses and develops their skills, to implement an effective key-person system to ensure that staff know children in detail in order to support all their needs, to ensure records are available, to improve staff understanding of child development and to make sure that staff understand how to deliver a curriculum which is carefully planned and tailored to individual children’s learning needs.

These requests were made in order for the nursery to meet the requirements of the early years foundation stage and childcare register and had to be completed by August 23. Ofsted will publish a letter in due course to announce whether or not the nursery met the deadline.

It will also have to be inspected again before the inadequate grading can be overturned. At its last inspection in 2018, the day nursery was rated as “good”.

Derbyshire Live has approached the day nursery for a comment but has not had a response so far.

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