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South Croydon nursery closed after Ofsted inspection prompted by whistleblower


ONE of the borough's largest nurseries has had its licence suspended by Ofsted.

Cherubins Day Nursery in Warham Road, South Croydon, was shut last Thursday following an unannounced inspection prompted by a whistleblower.

The nursery, which has more than 100 children on its books, will be closed for six weeks while an investigation takes place over allegations relating to safeguarding.

The owners confirmed its licence had been temporarily suspended "without prejudice".

"We are hopeful that the matter will be resolved shortly and the setting reopened," a spokesman added. "We are unable to give any further comment."

Ofsted said that in order to protect the whistleblower it could not give details of the suspension.

"The protection of children is our first priority and parents should be assured that we have made an unannounced visit to check that appropriate safeguarding provisions are in place," a spokesman said.

"The nursery's registration was suspended by Ofsted pending further investigations."

Some families discovered the nursery had been closed only when they received a call asking them to collect their children.

The sudden closure left dozens of parents searching for emergency childcare, prompting the council to step in.

The Advertiser has seen an urgent message sent to children's centres asking them to help.

"Cherubins' registration has been temporarily suspended by Ofsted and as one of our larger nurseries, several families will be seeking immediate, alternative childcare," it read.

"We are guaranteeing payment for those children claiming free entitlement from the day they start with a new setting, ie, foregoing the normal notice period detailed on the Croydon Free Entitlement Agreement."

When the Advertiser contacted the nursery directly, a member of staff said it would be closed for two or three weeks because of "building work".

Cherubins offers full day care for children aged three months to five-years-old and after school clubs for those between 4 and 11. It employs 29 members of staff.

This is the second time in a year that concerns about the nursery have been raised with Ofsted.

Last April it conducted a spot-check after a "safety incident" during a trip for children to a holiday club.

The inspection was prompted by members of staff who alerted Ofsted to an issue around the suitability of someone who had come into contact with the children.

The nursery was served an enforcement notice which noted it had updated risk assessments for trips and reviewed outings procedures with staff. It was then allowed to reopen.

Cherubins was judged as satisfactory when subject to a full Ofsted inspection last October.

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