The Wokingham Paper

Wokingham nursery closes to fix safeguarding issues raised by Ofsted last month

Bright Horizons on Molly Millars Lane has closed for four weeks. Picture: Jess Warren

A WOKINGHAM nursery has closed for four weeks to remedy its safeguarding policy, after an unannounced Ofsted visit.

Bright Horizons, based on Molly Millars Lane, was visited by Ofsted on Monday, August 24, after a complaint about staffing problems in April.

At the inspection, Ofsted officers served a welfare requirements notice, calling for a safeguarding policy to be established at the nursery and preschool.

This was due to be completed by Monday, but parents believe the month-long closure was put in place because staff could not meet this week’s deadline.

A parent who sends their child to the nursery said they were “extremely frustrated” after being given two days’ notice ahead of the four-week closure.

They said: “They’ve helped find alternative childcare at their Bracknell site. But it makes you wonder if they’ve got that level of knowledge expected of nursery staff.

“From my understanding this is a very rare situation and I hope they reopen better.”

But this is not shared by all nursery users.

“I know at least three parents leaving because of this,” they added. “It takes time to get to this stage … it shouldn’t be happening.”

Ofsted issued five areas for improvement, including the need to implement a policy, and procedures to safeguard children in line with the Local Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP), to assign a lead practitioner for safeguarding, ensure all staff have up-to-date knowledge of safeguarding issues, a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and opportunities for further coaching.

A spokesperson from Bright Horizons, said: “We are very disappointed to be in this position and we acknowledge the weaknesses that the inspector has identified.

“We are fully committed to addressing these thoroughly and as a matter of urgency. We believe that the best course of action for the nursery is to dedicate time and focus into a comprehensive programme of training for the whole staff team.

“We also believe that to do this in the most effective manner we need to close the nursery for a short period of time.

“We fully appreciate the news has been unsettling for our nursery families and are sorry for the temporary disruption it will cause them.

“We have offered families a place at our nearby nurseries to support them with their childcare needs during the time the nursery is temporarily closed.

“It is our commitment to return the nursery to the high standards which families would expect of us and which we set ourselves.”

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