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Inspectors to take enforcement action after report slams ‘inadequate’ nursery

Inspectors found holes in children protection procedures, inadequate recruitment practices and said children were not making enough progress.

Ofsted inspectors say they are planning to take enforcement action on a nursery which was deemed to be “inadequate” after a recent inspection.

A damning report into the provisions offered by Gatehouse Farm Childcare in Dawlish found holes in children protection procedures, inadequate recruitment practices and that children were not making enough progress.

The nursery, which caters for children between the ages of two and seven, was rated as inadequate across the board after the inspection on May 22 this year.

It followed a previous inspection back in September 2018 at which inspectors had rated it “good”.

The report, which was published on June 21, says: “The provider, who is also the manager, does not ensure that information about child protection matters is recorded or shared with relevant staff in line with the Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures.

“The provider does not implement robust recruitment procedures for all new staff before they begin working with children. She does not complete full suitability checks and ensure they have the appropriate skills to demonstrate good-quality practice.

“The provider and staff do not make sure attendance records are accurate to help them keep track of which children are present and who is on the premises.

“The provider does not implement the complaints policy consistently to record all concerns, carry out full investigations and share findings with relevant individuals. The provider does not monitor the quality of teaching or provide effective support and coaching.

“As a result, staff do not provide proper support for children with speech delays, and fail to plan suitably challenging activities that build on children’s individual next steps in learning. Children do not make enough progress.

“Partnerships with parents and other settings attended by children are not effective. Parents often receive inaccurate information about their children’s progress, and staff do not involve parents or other settings in assessing and planning for children’s learning.

“The provider does not monitor children’s progress, to help her check staff’s assessments and identify and close any gaps in children’s learning, to target their specific learning needs.”

Inspectors did, however, have some positive points to make about the nursery.

They said: “Staff provide a clean, welcoming and attractive environment for children to explore.”

The report goes on to say that Ofsted intends to take enforcement action at the nursery.

It stated that a welfare requirements notice would be issued requiring the nursery to:

  • Ensure child protection procedures are implemented in line with the local safeguarding children board, with particular regard to the recording of concerns and sharing information about children with the relevant staff
  • Improve understanding of responsibilities relating to wider safeguarding matters, with particular regard to the ‘Prevent’ duty
  • Improve recruitment processes to ensure the suitability and skills of new staff before they begin working with children
  • Maintain accurate records of children’s hours of attendance at all times
  • Implement the complaints procedure consistently to ensure all concerns are recorded, investigated and responded to appropriately and in a timely manner
  • Improve support and coaching for staff and the monitoring of their practice to raise the quality of teaching, with particular regard to meeting the needs of children with communication and language delays
  • Improve partnership working with parents, to involve them all in their children’s learning and ensure staff share accurate assessment information with them
  • Develop links with other settings that children attend to enable consistency in children’s experiences

Devon Live has contacted Gatehouse Farm Childcare for a comment.

On the nursery’s website it says: “Gatehouse Farm has been started by Claire Mildenhall to meet the growing demand for quality all year round childcare and more choice for the parents of Dawlish and the surrounding areas.

“Claire has over 25 years’ childcare experience managing a range of settings both in London and Devon; she is supported by a very committed and highly motivated team of qualified Nursery Nurses.

“All staff working at Gatehouse Farm are experienced childcare professionals and everyone is: DBS checked, First Aid trained and registered with Ofsted and Social Services.

“The scrutiny of these checks ensures that the best quality care and welfare is given to each child, so that they are never exposed to harm.”

By: Joel Cooper - Chief Reporter - Devon Live