Abacus Day Nursery in Billericay has been temporarily shut while detectives carry out an inquiry.
The action has been taken following concerns about the welfare of children in its care. A 49-year-old woman has been arrested and released on bail until 31 March, while the investigation happens.
The setting has been open for 19 years and, at the time it was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in 2012, cared for over 60 children and employed 11 staff members.
As yet, specific details surrounding the suspension are unclear, but a police spokesman said, “The safeguarding and wellbeing of the children is a priority for all of the agencies involved and Essex Police will continue to make enquiries with parents and other people who have an association with the nursery.”
Ofsted has not commented on the matter, but would only suspend a childcare provider’s registration if it felt that any of the children attending may be at risk of harm, according to its website.
Essex Police detectives are working with social services to contact parents with children who attend the nursery. Anyone with information that may assist the investigation is being urged to contact the police’s public protection unit on 01245 282103 or via 101.
Does this case highlight that Ofsted inspections can only go so far? Is there more that could be done by Ofsted? Leave your thoughts below.