Child put blind cord ‘around their neck’ without staff noticing at Clip Clop Day Nursery in Newmarket, say Ofsted

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An Ofsted inspector was forced to take swift action after a child allegedly put a blind cord “around their (own) neck” without staff noticing at a Suffolk nursery.

The incident took place at Clip Clop Day Nursery in Newmarket during an inspection this month by the education watchdog which rated the nursery ‘inadequate’.

Bosses dispute the details of the “isolated” incident but admitted it was “unacceptable”.

The nursery, based in Old Station Road and attended by 68 children aged up to seven, retained its ‘inadequate’ rating, the worst-possible outcome, from its last inspection in May 2017.

Ofsted inspector Jill Hardaker wrote: “There are significant breaches of welfare requirements. Management demonstrate a poor capacity to continually improve and this compromises children’s health, welfare and safety.

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“Staff in the pre-school room failed to complete their daily safety checks. Risk assessments do not identify all significant hazards to children, such as dangling blind cords. At (the) inspection, a child managed to put this round his neck unnoticed by staff and the inspector had to step in to safeguard this child.

“Furthermore, staff do not give children clear guidelines on how to play with the resources appropriately or to tidy them away. This results in the pre-school room quickly becoming a chaotic environment with toys strewn all over the floor.”

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Attendance is not accurately recorded, children are not supported to build positive relationships with their key person to feel secure in the nursery, and teaching is inconsistent, the report added. But it said babies and toddlers have good relationships with staff who provide a range of activities.

Darren Young, director of Clip Clop Day Nursery, said action is being taken to address concerns.

He said: “Regarding the (blind cord) incident, staff have been made aware of the need to check all equipment prior to the children arriving. We feel that this was an isolated incident and not representative of the care we provide. The report states that the child placed the cord around their neck, but in fact they placed it by their neck without letting go of it. However, this is still unacceptable The blind has since been removed. The parents of the child were informed on the day and have accepted our explanation and apologies and the child still attends the nursery.”

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