Nursery ordered to close after inspectors found children walking around in soiled clothes

Inspectors rated the service as "inadequate" - the lowest rating - in all areas

A nursery was ordered to close after Ofsted inspectors found children walking around in soiled clothes and sleeping on dirty sheets.

These were just two of the failings which confronted officials when they visited the Explore and Learn 2 nursery, in Glenfield earlier this year.

During the inspection, which took place on Thursday, March 31, officials also raised concern over food hygiene practices and found basic health and safety flaws, such as nails sticking out of broken radiator covers, loose electric plug sockets and instances of children under three putting magnets in their mouths.

As a result, they rated the service as "inadequate" - the lowest rating - in all areas.

Ofsted immediately suspended the nursery's permission to provide childcare due to fears over the children's health and well-being.

It gave the operator 18 points to address before it would be allowed to open again and later reported: "The environment created by staff exposes children to serious hazards."

They returned at the end of April to check whether any progress had been made and were satisfied only some of their issues had been addressed.

During that visit, the operator told them she no longer intended to run the nursery and would not be seeking the official registration required by law to do so.

The report on the Main Street nursery reads: "Children are not supervised appropriately during the day - they fall and injure themselves without staff being aware.

"Children remain in wet clothing for long periods of time as staff do not notice they have had a toilet accident."

They also witnessed staff failing to intervene when children snatched toys off each other, wrote on walls or spoke rudely to each other.

Fresh drinking water was not always available for children, while milk had been sat on the side "for a long period of time" on the day of the inspection.

Also staff did not know where first-aid equipment and medication were kept and therefore did not "check or help children" when they became ill.

The report continues: "Staff do not know children's interests, care routines, or their existing knowledge and skills.

"Children spend their time wandering around the room unoccupied, silent and distressed.

"Staff do not comfort children when they are unhappy, and they therefore seek comfort from visitors.

"Children do not experience established daily routines. Staff do not promote hygiene and a healthy lifestyle. The sheets where children sleep are dirty and unhygienic.

"Children do not have daily access to outside play to develop their physical skills. Children cry for long periods of time as they are overtired and staff have not allowed them to have a nap.

"Children do not know what behaviour is acceptable as staff do not have any expectations or boundaries for them. They throw heavy wooden resources around the room and fight over toys."

Inspectors also found failures in management, including the manager being unable to identify children "at risk of harm", not ensuring enough qualified staff were working and not checking staff were "suitable to work with children".

One parent whose son attended the service a couple of days a week claimed her son would often come home with bumps and bruises.

She said: "Every week, on one of the days or sometimes even both of the days, we'd have an accident form to fill out for him.

"On a lot of the occasions, they hadn't seen what happened and just found him crying with a bruise or a mark.

"It was things like he'd have a mark on his head where he'd run into a chair or he'd fallen off a sofa or another child had struck him in the face with a toy or he'd fallen backwards on a chair and banged his head."

She said she was not surprised by the Ofsted report and had already decided to pull her son out of the nursery at the end of the academic year due to the frequent incidents.

However, she added she now feels guilty for not doing so sooner.

"Reading the report made me and my husband feel very sad and guilty that we had kept our son there when we knew there were issues," she said.

"Obviously we didn't know the full extent of the issues but it makes me wonder what could have happened.

"Our son was always happy being there and playing with his friends but to now know he was unsafe makes us feel we have failed him as a parent.

"I feel incredibly angry towards the management for letting the kids down. We trusted them to look after our son."

A second parent with two children who attended the service said she nearly lost her job as she had to take time off to look after her kids.

She added she has been left nearly £1,000 out of pocket as she allegedly has not had a refund from the nursery.

"I've got two children and I've had to find alternative care for them in the hope they would return to Explore and Learn as promised, which has led to my job being put on the line.

"My oldest goes to school in September, so I've had to find another nursery for the sake of 11 weeks, which has upset her and then it will upset her again going to school.

"She's gone from having loads of friends, to a nursery where she knows no one, and then she's going to go again to a school where she's going to know no one.

"It's a lot of money, childcare is a lot of money, and to lose nearly £1,000 and not get it back is just not on.

"And then I've had to find another £1,000 to put down for the other nursery. It's not just pennies."

The Local Democracy Reporting Service contacted the registered manager on Friday, May 27, and they agreed to provide a comment.

At the time of publication, no comment had been received.