Shut down Liverpool nursery back in Ofsted’s good books

All of the nursery’s staff have improved their safeguarding knowledge since the previous inspection.

A Liverpool nursery forced to close its doors following concerns about children’s safety has turned its fortunes around.

Earlier this year, Ofsted stepped in to shut down Sandfield Park day nursery in West Derby for six weeks after an unannounced inspection and fears being raised about safety. Now, six months on, the North Drive provision has won round the opinion of the education watchdog, securing a good rating – up from its last mark of inadequate.

In its report following a visit in July, Ofsted said the nursery’s newly formed leadership team had “taken swift action to address the concerns that were identified at the last inspection. Staff feel extremely well supported and feel like their well-being is prioritised.”

After initial worries were mentioned about children’s safety at Sandfield Park, inspectors found all staff have improved their safeguarding knowledge since the last inspection. They added: “All staff have accessed a range of training and support to ensure their knowledge is current.

“Staff know the signs and symptoms that might indicate a child is at risk of harm and the procedures to follow.” The nursery employs 18 members of childcare staff; 16 of whom have relevant childcare qualifications from level 2 to level 6.

The nursery opens Monday to Friday, from 7.30am to 6pm, all year round. It provides funded early education for two-, three- and four-year-old children.

At the time of the inspection, Sandfield Park had 87 children in its care. A spokesperson for the nursery said “a lot of hard work” had gone into improving performance at the site that has been in the community for 22 years.

In a bid to encourage parents to return to the provision, an open day is being held for prospective new families on October 9. Another of the city’s other nurseries is also celebrating receiving an outstanding rating from the education watchdog.

Ducklings Day Nursery in Stoneycroft was viewed in glowing terms when inspectors visited the centre last month. The nursery, which has 46 children on roll, was said to help youngsters “thrive” in its care, while all staff are “highly trained and have an impressive understanding of their role in protecting children.”