'Dirty aprons and waste in easy reach': Nursery downgraded by Ofsted

Little Legs Nursery in Hutton, Brentwood.

Little Legs Nursery in Hutton, Brentwood. - Credit: Google

A Brentwood nursery is "devastated" after its Ofsted rating was downgraded to 'inadequate'.

The inspectors said the management team and staff at Little Legs Nursery in Hutton, Brentwood, failed to minimise risks to childrens’ safety after an inspection last month.

They said dirty aprons, plastic gloves and food waste were all within easy reach of babies at Little Legs.

Although the nursery told the local democracy reporting service that it does not feel an 'inadequate' rating is representative of the care it offers, it has taken responsibility for not finishing a risk assessment on the day of the inspection.

It was previously rated 'good' by Ofsted in 2016.

The senior management team released a statement, which said it was "devastated": “If you are familiar with our nursery, we are sure you already know the children’s safety and wellbeing is paramount at Little Legs and we strive to give the children safe, fun, and stimulating environments in which to play and learn. 

“We would like to reassure all families that no children came to any harm on the day due to the lack of risk assessment and staff were visually risk assessing at all times. 

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“After it was brought to our attention, the issue was dealt with immediately and we have taken steps to ensure this will not happen again, including additional staff training and robust daily checks of equipment and resources by staff and management.”

According to the inspection report, staff were also not deployed effectively.

This meant daily routines were not organised well, causing toddlers to fidget and become distracted.

However, the report said staff understand the signs which could indicate a child is at risk of harm and had regular training which kept them aware of the latest guidance should they become concerned about a child’s safety.

Ofsted also praised the nursery for working closely with parents and said children made consistent progress.

Inadequate ratings were given for the categories of leadership and management and personal development, while behaviour and attitudes and quality of education were rated requires improvement.

Ofsted has required the nursery to ensure risk assessments are robust and to improve staff deployment during daily routines.