Scotland’s care watchdog had to intervene after finding youngsters in a “chaotic” nursery climbing at an open window.
Children at the Links Nursery in the Aberdeenshire village of Balmedie were found to be at “significant” risk during a visit by the Care Inspectorate.
And the team had to step in to ensure that there was no “serious injury” to the youngsters.
The nursery received the lowest grade – unsatisfactory – across the four areas covered in a damning report released yesterday.
The three-day inspection in June threw up a number of causes for concern.
Bubble wrap was left on the baby room floor, toys were being thrown around and some of the children were hitting, kicking and pulling the hair of others, as well as spitting.
The Care Inspectorate served a formal improvement notice at the time, telling staff and management to address the situation as a matter of urgency.
The report said: “Older children were trying to climb onto a window sill where the window was open.
It was reported online earlier today that children climbed out of the window, we are happy to clarify this was not the case.
“This posed a potential risk to the children and could have resulted in a serious injury.
“We had to intervene and ask staff to address this situation.”
The report went on: “Toys and resources were regularly being thrown by some of the children.
“Other children were being hit and hurt if they were in the way.
“We had to address this situation and speak to the child in question. Staff seemed unaware of the chaotic environment the children were in.
“There were instances of children hitting and kicking each other, pulling hair and spitting. Again the inspector had to ask staff to intervene.”
The service has been told it must make urgent improvements including making sure staff have the necessary qualifications, skills, and experience.
Management must also ensure the safety and welfare needs of children attending the nursery are met and that staff understand their responsibility and the importance of keeping children safe.
Links director Iain Finnie, who owns two other nurseries in Edinburgh, said: “It is unfortunate that the production and finalising of the report takes a long time so that now it pertains to a period where the nursery was going through change and not the situation that currently prevails.
“The majority of the staff have now been replaced and it is unfair especially to our new, very capable manager, to compare the situation at that time with the way the nursery is performing now.
“We are confident through further visits by Care Inspectorate and the fact that we have met all the requirements imposed, that the situation has moved on now and soon Links Nursery, Balmedie, will be providing the same high quality care as our other establishments.