A nursery in York has been rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted, following a ‘period of turbulence’.
But parents gave positive comments to the inspector, and ‘can see some improvements’. And a spokesperson for the business say they have a new team working hard to a very clear plan.
Ofsted visted Happy Jays Nursery, on Audax Close, on 22 September, and published its report yesterday (Wednesday, 12 October).
Happy Jays has 42 children aged between 0 and 4 on roll. “The nursery has been through a period of turbulence regarding changes to staff,” the report says.
“However, despite the enthusiasm of the new leadership team and staff, some children’s needs are not met. The provider does not ensure that staff fully understand their responsibility to keep children safe.”
It said babies were cared for by unqualified staff, while children don’t have a named key person: “This results in some of the younger children being unsettled and upset throughout the day.”
Mealtimes were “noisy and chaotic” and “staff have a weak understanding of the learning intentions for the curriculum”.
The inspector said safeguarding arrangements were ineffective. “Hazards, such as brambles and a low-level tray filled with stagnant water, are not removed from the babies’ outside play area.
“This leads to situations which potentially could compromise children’s health and safety.”
On the positive side, the inspector said: “The new leadership team has the best intentions to provide high-quality care and education. They have the expertise to restore quality in the nursery.”
And they added: “Staff are calm and caring. They teach children about respect and manners, regularly reminding them to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.”
The Ofsted report gave seven things the provider must do to improve.
What the nursery says
Sarah Drew, regional manager for Happy Jays’ operator First For Childcare, told YorkMix they were “very disappointed” with the outcome of the Ofsted inspection.
She said: “We have a new team here at the nursery who have been working really hard. Our new manager joined us just two weeks before the inspection.
“She is a very strong leader but two weeks really is a very short space of time. We also have a new regional manager who is currently permanently based at the nursery.
“An Ofsted inspection is one day as a snapshot of the whole nursery.
“We have reviewed every single area of our practice and have a very clear plan that everyone has been involved in. We have kept our parents updated on this.
“Recruitment has been hard, it is in all sectors as we know, and we did not want to just take the first person to come along.
“Being an amazing nursery practitioner requires many different skills. We need the right people who can meet all of the needs of the children.
“We have been building much stronger relationships with our parents and have had some very positive feedback following the changes that we have made.
“We are looking forward to our re-inspection which will be within the next six months.”