Edinburgh nursery were 'not respectful of children's personal space', care report finds

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An Edinburgh nursery has been told to improve its standard of care after an inspection found some childrens’ dignity and privacy were “compromised” and mealtimes were “inconsistent”.

An unannounced inspection of North Edinburgh Childcare resulted in a ‘weak’ grading for its care, play and learning, leadership and staff team, whilst the setting was deemed ‘adequate’.

Two care inspectors visited the nursery in June and said in a report published afterwards: “Children’s choices were often respected. For example, they could choose which staff would assist them with toileting.

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“We were however aware of occasions when children’s dignity and privacy were compromised. For example, wiping children’s noses from behind and looking down the back of nappies to see if they needed changed.

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“This was not respectful of children’s personal space and did not involve them in their own care.”

The nursery said action had already been taken and all requirements identified in the report had now been met.

The Care Inspectorate makes a judgement on the quality of care being provided by speaking to staff, management and parents, observing ‘practice and daily life’ and reviewing documents.

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North Edinburgh Childcare has been told to improve its standard of care after an unannounced inspection.North Edinburgh Childcare has been told to improve its standard of care after an unannounced inspection.
North Edinburgh Childcare has been told to improve its standard of care after an unannounced inspection.

According to the report, three parents said communication with them was “limited and they did not feel involved in planning their child’s care” and a further three were concerned about “staff not knowing their children”.

Giving an overview, inspectors wrote that children were “safe and nurtured by calm and kind staff”, with team members “committed to the families whom they work with” and managers “committed to making improvements”. They noted some of the recommendations made had already been acted on.

However, they added childrens’ health and well-being needs “were not met consistently” and the quality of interactions to support play and learning were also inconsistent, whilst the premises on Ferry Road Avenue “needed refurbishment and repair”.

The report stated: “The storage of medication in the preschool room was disorganised, did not reflect best practice and often did not reflect the personal plan information. At our request, immediate action was take by management to adhere to best practice.”

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It was reported that one parent who was spoken to as part of the inspection felt “their child’s medication was managed very well”.

Inspectors also said the quality of mealtimes was “inconsistent for children across the age groups”, adding that while children enjoyed a “sociableexperience” while eating, the focus was on “tasks such as clearing food away, rather than supporting children in their self-care skills”.

The playrooms within the nursery were praised for ‘enabling children to problem solve, experiment, practice social skills and work as a team with friends’ while baby rooms ‘had a good range of resources to stimulate and aid children in their development’.

“Children were inspired by the resources available to them and so were fully engaged in play,” the report said.

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But it was noted the building was “tired and in need of decoration”.

“Old sticking tape was left on edges and many surfaces had scuffed paint. Small cubby-holes where children would play and rest were in need of attention to be comfortable and welcoming spaces.”

North Edinburgh Childcare was also criticised for being “without a manager” which it was said was “impacting negatively on the quality of provision provided”.

Inspectors added: “This was unsustainable and proved to be ineffective in assuring quality and aiding improvements

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“The management team attempted quick wins to address issues facing themeach day

Recruitment for a manager and depute manager was successful and both should be in post imminently.”

It comes after the nursery was visited by the Care Inspectorate in April following three complaints. A subsequent report ruled children were not receiving an ‘acceptable level of care’ due to heavily relying on agency staff.

Theresa Allison, General Manager at North Edinburgh Childcare, said all requirements noted within the report have “already been actioned and met”.

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She added: “The areas of recommendation within the report are part of our action plan many of which have also already been met and others are being worked on.

“At all times we have kept our parents/carers and staff fully informed of the report and of the actions we have taken in response.”