A NURSERY where children were at “significant risk” has come under fire from a children’s services watchdog in a damning report.

Orchard Barns Nursery, in Colchester Road, Ardleigh, was rated inadequate by Ofsted following an inspection last month.

It received the concerning verdict across the board in the overall effectiveness, quality of education, personal development, behaviour and attitudes and leadership and management criteria.

The inspector’s report reads: “Children at this nursery do not receive the care and education they deserve,” while staff were said to not be deployed effectively enough to meet children’s needs.

Furthermore, the report stated staff do not consider risks in the environment to ensure children remain safe.

The inspector revealed on the day of inspection, staff in the pre-school room were preoccupied with the lunchtime routine meaning they were unaware when “children climbed up on furniture with items, such as plastic tongs and a pencil, in their mouth”.

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Staff in the baby room had also not removed a large poster-paint container from a table within the children’s reach and toys were scattered all over the floor.

The inspector said this “disorderly environment” hinders children’s learning, and the hazards pose a “significant risk” to children’s safety and well-being.

They deemed the arrangements for safeguarding to be ineffective and the children’s safety is “not assured” with staff not providing an environment which consistently prioritises the youngsters’ welfare.

On the day of inspection, the two-year-old children lost interest during a group singing and story session before lunch and throughout the day they weren’t supported to develop an understanding of appropriate behaviours.

The baby room was also criticised for not being stimulating and instead “uninviting and poorly thought out,” with limited sand in the tray being highlighted in the report.

The inspector did, however, praise the nursery after it became clear the children have built good relationships with the staff.

They added the children readily leave their parents at the door to go into their rooms and babies welcome cuddles and comfort from staff when they need reassurance.

Nursery: ‘We are disappointed by report’

THE manager of the under fire nursery Orchard Barns has said she is “very disappointed” with the outcome of an Ofsted inspection.

Nursery manager Lavinia Dzundza said staff have since apologised to parents of the children at its nursery for not meeting “our usually high standards”.

She explained a number of changes have already been implemented including a change of manager and they have spoken with parents to hear their views.

The manager added: “We have reviewed daily routines including our lunch time practice to ensure children are better supervised and all staff have been retrained to ensure the environment remains safe for children.

“We have also invested in new resources and equipment in order to enrich the learning environment further.

“We are pleased there were a number of positives highlighted within the report, including the way staff engage effectively and interact with the children.

“The inspector also commented children enjoy healthy and nutritious meals and self-care skills, responsibility and independence are being fostered at the nursery.

“We will continue to work tirelessly so the next Ofsted inspection returns a judgement which reflects our high expectations of the care and education we seek to provide our children and families.”