A CHILDREN’S nursery has been slammed as totally inadequate – failing in hygiene, care and safety standards.
Dolli Dimples on Warner Street, Accrington, was inspected last month by Ofsted’s Rachel Ayo who subsequently raised serious concerns about the quality of care.
Criticisms included hygiene levels, inadequate safety measures and staff’s knowledge of child protection procedures.
But furious owner Carla McLoughlin, who opened the business 10 months ago, has challenged many of the points raised during the two-day visit – the first inspection for the nursery.
The centre, which cares for 19 tots and can take up to 24, will be revisited in the next six months.
The inspectors have the power to close the business if standards do not improve.
Speaking on behalf of the nursery, duty manager Danni McLoughlin, Carla’s sister, said: "We were quite upset about the report and it hasn’t portrayed us very well.
"Some points we can’t argue with, but the inspector didn’t take into account it’s a new nursery and it’s a new team.
"Some valid points have been highlighted and some staff inadequacies, which we are addressing.
"A lot of procedures were in place but maybe not to the standard that is expected. We have sent Ofsted an action plan and a list of what is being done.
"It’s only a snapshot of the business. We do have standards and we do adhere to them but things didn’t go to plan during the visit. We have to take it on the chin and learn from it.
"Some of the things mentioned were wrong and we have to hold our hands up, but a lot of positives were overlooked. We really do feel that some of the comments are unjust.
"It’s a pretty shocking report but the next one won’t be like that. We are extremely confident that the next inspection will be 110 per cent better."
She said a letter has been sent to parents inviting them in to discuss the report.
Hygiene is one of the main criticisms concerning both the staff and children washing their hands.
The inspector also noticed a child was left in soiled underpants as staff failed to notice the ‘accident’.
Danni said: "I don’t understand why she has seen it but not us. It’s an insult that no-one noticed it.
"As for the washrooms, there are checks carried out about six times a day. All the paperwork is signed off for that day and we wouldn’t put a signature next to something that wasn’t true. A member of staff is always present with the child in the bathroom.
"The children are encouraged to flush the toilet and wash their hands. We try and get them to lead rather then a member of staff."
The inspector raised concerns over a fan and high chairs stacked dangerously and ‘sharp implements’ easily accessible in the kitchen.
Danni said some of the concerns raised were correct and that measures had been brought in to address them.
The report states: "Food given to children under two years is not cooled to an appropriate temperature and staff fail to notice steam coming out of the dish as toddlers scoop the spoon into the centre before putting it into their mouth. An accident is averted because of the intervention of the inspector."
Danni said this was one of the many points the nursery is contesting.
"At what point did she intervene because she didn’t do it in front of us? The children are never allowed food that is too hot for them."
Speaking about staff training, Danni said that owner Carla often books staff on courses.
The inspector noted many of the toys and facilities were inadequate and a number of pieces were missing from the puzzles.
The report said: "Although staff demonstrate a generally warm and caring manner, they do not sufficiently talk to children about what they are doing or have high expectations of what they can achieve.
"The outcome is that the children’s learning and development is mainly incidental and is not a direct result of good quality teaching methods."
Danni said many parents had seen the report and staff say they know it was far from the truth.
She added: "The people that know us are happy with their child care.
"I hope people come in and see it for themselves and not just listen to what Ofsted said."
Ofsted confirmed it received a letter for dispute from Dolli Dimples on 8 August which it acknowledged on 12 August.
Dolli Dimples now has until Friday 4 September to respond.
What the inspector said:
- Staff fail to wash their hands before serving food or feeding children
- Children under two crawl around without purpose
- Children do not readily flush the toilet or ask for a tissue to wipe their nose
- Children’s soiled underpants are not changed as staff fail to notice
- Food given to children under two is not cooled to an appropriate temperature