A nursery has fallen to the lowest possible rating after the national watchdog for education found staff to be lacking in the skills to keep children safe.

Alert Kids Day Nursery in High Road, Leyton, was rated ‘inadequate’ overall by Ofsted following an inspection in October of last year.

The report, published on Monday, February 17, said the overall quality of care and education provided for children was “poor”.

The nursery was rated ‘inadequate’ in all four inspection criteria, having previously been rated ‘good’ in 2017.

The nursery was primarily criticised for a shortage of staff, and the staff in its employ were found to lack “the skills and knowledge required to care for and educate the children.”

Inspectors said in the report: “The provider does not thoroughly assess suitability of all staff and does not ensure they have a secure knowledge of key aspects of safeguarding. This puts children at risk.

“Due to poor staff deployment and compromised staff-to-child ratios, children's needs are not met at times during the day.”

Ofsted inspectors added: “Staff do not ensure that fresh drinking water is available and easily accessible to children at all times. For example, children are given water only at snack times and mealtimes. There is no access to water for younger children during other times of the day.”

Staff were further criticised for lacking safeguarding knowledge. “They do not know what signs might indicate that children are being exposed to extreme views and/or are at risk of female genital mutilation”, the report said.

Hygiene practice was also found to be lacking, as inspectors found staff did not ensure children washed their hands before each meal.

However, staff were praised for being “calm and caring” with the children and parents told inspectors they were satisfied with the care and learning opportunities their children receive.

Alert Kids Day Nursery has been contacted for comment.

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