An Aberdeen nursery has been issued an improvement notice after failing to meet requirements previously set by the Care Inspectorate.
Stompers Childcare Services Ltd in Bridge of Don has been told it must meet the issued improvements by April 26, or it will risk losing its registration.
A report into the service highlights incidents where staff left a plastic bag within children’s reach and a hanging string in the sleeping area.
Staff used a negative tone to talk to children and failed to clean their dirty faces.
A letter laying out the details of the improvement notice was sent to the nursery on February 28.
The first improvement states the nursery must make sure all children’s health, welfare and safety needs are “consistently” met.
The second improvement requires staff to ensure these needs are identified and addressed through “effective quality assurance processes”.
A weak and unsatisfactory rating
Based in the Balgownie Science and Technology Park, the nursery can provide care for up to 106 children in its playrooms and garden areas.
The Care Inspectorate issued “weak” and “unsatisfactory” ratings when it paid a visit in June last year.
During their two-day visit, inspectors evaluated care, play and learning, the setting, leadership and the staff team.
They witnessed interactions that were “not nurturing, respectful or responsive”, with staff missing opportunities to build on children’s interests and lacking an understanding of potential risks.
It states: “The general environment was tired, not well maintained and areas of the nursery and some toys were found to be unclean. Staff overlooked worn bedding, rubbish around the setting and damaged toys. As a result, the environment looked and felt neglected and was not welcoming or inviting.”
The Care Inspectorate paid another unannounced visit to the nursery in October during which it put further requirements in place.
The report states: “Children’s dignity and privacy was not always respected. For example, sensitive information about children’s needs was shared loudly across the playroom, and on one occasion, a child had to wait to go to the toilet.
“This did not uphold and respect children’s rights and support their wellbeing.”
This was followed by an inspection in January which found a number of requirements had still not been met.
This report read: “A significant lack of progress and urgency to make improvements meant that children did not experience high quality care and their safety and wellbeing needs were not met.
“Children were put at risk as child protection and wellbeing concerns were not identified and acted on appropriately.”
A spokeswoman from Stompers Childcare said the staff were “devastated” to receive the grading but are aware of the improvements that need to be made.
She said: “Staff and management have been working tirelessly to ensure all areas are improved and a full auditing system implemented.
“We have created an action plan which has been shared with Aberdeen City Council, Care Inspectorate and our families which highlighted the children’s personal plans as one of the first tasks to be addressed.
“We have gathered all the required information and created My Stories for all of the children as well as strategies. The environment has been developed from the initial inspection and although this is a continuous process we have to evidence that we are maintaining this standard.”
Creating a nurturing environment
The Care Inspectorate will continue making support visits to the nursery where the national induction has been introduced for all staff.
The nursery has also held an open evening for parents to ensure “transparency” and introduced a new online system to communicate with families who have been “extremely supportive”.
She continued: “The support structure of the nursery setting has changed, roles and remits are clear and policies and procedures are defined to ensure clarity on expectations, procedure, practice and positive outcomes for the children.
“Regarding the child protection concerns, the majority of these were historical and all concerns have been addressed. Staff have now all under gone Child Protection Training and the setting has identified a child protection lead who is responsible for ensuring the rights, wellbeing and care of the child are continuously being met.
“With the support we have been given and the determination from staff, management and the directors we will do better, we will achieve and we will do this to ensure the children in our care have the most positive, nurturing environment and experience which they all deserve.”