The parents of a toddler who died at nursery recalled the moment they first saw their daughter’s lifeless body during a documentary on childcare safety last night.

The Channel Four Dispatches programme How Safe is Your Child’s Nursery? investigated safety at nurseries following government plans to allow each member of staff to look after more children.

Shatl and Jay Malin, whose daughter Rhiya died in 2007 at the Eton Manor Day Nursery in Chigwell, told the programme they first thought she had suffered a fit.

Mrs Malin, 33, said: “We went straight into A&E and there was a nursery staff member sitting on the floor and she was crying and holding onto one of the nurse’s hands.

“We were allowed to go to the resuscitation room and she was lying there, stripped down, and they just had a lot of tubes all over her.”

An inquest into Rhiya’s death recorded the narrative verdict that she had suffered a heart attack due to compression of the neck.

Her parents criticised the nursery’s former owners, Casterbridge Care and Education, who have since sold it, for re-registering the nursery before their first Ofsted inspection since Rhiya’s death.

Some detail about former nurseries that are linked to current ones can now be found on Ofsted’s website following a campaign by the Malins, but the way this is done was criticised on the programme.

Mr Malin, 42, said: “If you have one nursery with a history of complaints and they decide to move next door and change their name, this doesn’t help me make the link between the two companies.”

Ofsted said it was speaking to the Department for Education about changes to the law that it says need to be made before it can link open nurseries to closed establishments.

• Nursery nurse Kayley Murphy, of Greenfields, Loughton, was found guilty of health and safety breaches at Chelmsford Crown Court and is due to be sentenced together with Casterbridge, which admitted failings at an earlier hearing, on February 25.