Nursery at Kendal criticised by Ofsted - but says all recommendations were actioned immediately

A KENDAL nursery dropped two ratings to ‘inadequate’ after an inspector found children were being put ‘at risk’.

Playbase on Beezon Road has been criticised by education watchdog, Ofsted, which found children were not making good enough progress during a visit in October.

Inspectors said leadership was ‘weak’, while staff numbers were too low.

“This breach puts children at risk and impacts on all aspects of care and learning,” said the report. “Weak leadership and management mean that the monitoring of overall organisation and staff practice is ineffective.”

The report also said babies and younger children did not always have a ‘key person’ available to support them, while expectations of the youngsters were not high enough to prepare them for school.

The nursery was given a ‘good’ rating in December 2012 but in the recent inspection it was given ‘inadequate’ in all three areas inspectors looked at.

“The inspector found on the day that the leaders and managers are ineffective in ensuring that staff ratios meet the requirements of the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage,” continued the report.

“As a result, a breach in the requirement means that children's care and educational needs are not adequately met.

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“Also, methods to ensure that children establish consistent close attachment bonds are not fully in place.

“Consequently, children's emotional well-being is compromised, particularly for younger babies and those new to the setting.”

Playbase was set up in 2006 and currently has 85 children on roll and 12 members of staff.

However, it was praised for offering healthy, balanced and nutritious meals and snacks to the children. The inspector also said children enjoyed a wide range of activities, both inside and outside.

Nursery director Mary Ellwood said: “On the day of the inspection we were facing extreme circumstances with a sickness bug that had gone through the nursery leading to three members of staff being ill.

“All of the ratios in the rooms were correct but we were one qualified member of staff down as they were required to conduct the inspection.

“This is an extremely rare situation and all recommendations from the report were actioned instantly.

“Since the report was issued we have been overwhelmed by the words of praise and excellent feedback from our parents, many of whom have actively taken the time to write letters supporting both the nursery and the staff team and I would like sincerely thank them for this.

“We have the full support of Sure Start who are working closely with our new manager to support her and I look forward to our next inspection.”

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