An Aberdeen nursery has been ordered to improve after inspectors criticised its response to the Covid pandemic.
Little Acorns Day Nursery on Cornhill Road was found to have fallen short on its infection control practices, particularly hand washing.
Some children were given a baby wipe rather than being asked to wash their hands with soap and water.
‘Significant improvements required’
The Care Inspectorate report follows the body’s two-day inspection of the nursery in March.
It said: “Our observations on both days lead us to conclude that significant improvements were required to ensure children were cared for in a safe environment.
“We noted a number of infection control practices that did not meet current guidance.
“This included inconsistences in staff and children’s hand washing practice, some staff not washing their hands at required times (for example after cleaning food from the floor, scraping children’s food plates or touching face coverings).
“Some children were encouraged and supported to wash their hands however not all, and some children were provided with a baby wipe rather than water and soap which is not in line with the appropriate guidance.
“Staff and children regularly touched bin lids which is an area of potential cross contamination, without washing their hands afterwards.
“Staff serving bread rolls with their hands rather than tongs, or allowing children to choose from a communal bowl.”
Staff praised for ‘warmth’
The nursery, which provides day care for up to 108 children at any one time, was, however, praised for its staffing arrangements, particularly reducing contact between staff.
It was further noted that parents had praised the staff and manager and appreciated their commitment to the nursery during a difficult year.
The report stated: “Children were cared for by staff that were warm and caring towards them.
“Parents told us that they were happy with the care and attention their children had experienced throughout the pandemic while attending nursery.
“Children were provided with a stable, consistent environment that ensured they felt reassured and safe.”
Vows to improve
Though inspectors had additional concerns over children’s right to privacy around personal care and during sleep times, as well as instances of delays in lunch being served, they expressed confidence in the nursery’s commitment to improve.
The report concluded: “Following the inspection we discussed with the manager the areas for improvements highlighted and the service’s capacity to make the necessary changes.
“The manager provided assurances that some changes had already been implemented and others were planned.
“We have confidence in the staff and manager’s ability and commitment to make the required changes to ensure the health and welfare of the children attending.”