THE owners of a nursery that had its licence suspended by Ofsted have decided not to reopen.
Cherubins Day Nursery, in Warham Road, South Croydon, was shut in March after an unannounced inspection prompted by concerns about child welfare.
Before an investigation could be completed the owners decided to shut the nursery, costing 29 staff their jobs.
When the Advertiser contacted the company's Lambeth nursery this week, a member of staff said: "It was closed by Ofsted. It was being investigated. Go back to Ofsted and ask. Let them explain directly about what they have done.
"The truth of what happened is there was a few accidents there and we spoke to Ofsted. They came in, did their investigation and Ofsted was the one that closed it.
"We don't really have anything more to say. We are comfortable because it's closed now."
A spokesman for Ofsted, however, said it had not taken the the decision.
"We suspended the registration of Cherubins Day Nursery because concerns about children's welfare were raised with us," he said.
"While we were investigating these concerns, the owners themselves took the decision to close."
Later a person identifying themselves as one of the company's directors called the Advertiser and said the closure had been a "business decision".
"There has been no underlying reason, we've just decided to close the setting," she said.
"I can't say anything more. There's no coincidences at all. It was a business decision."
When asked whether any staff at the South Croydon branch were now working at other Cherubins nurseries, she refused to comment.
At the time of the suspension the company released a statement saying the nursery had been closed "without prejudice" and would reopen.
Ofsted said that in order to protect the whistleblower who raised the alarm it could not give details of the suspension.
Cherubins offered full day care for children aged three months to five-years-old and after-school clubs for those between 4 and 11. It employed 29 members of staff.
The suspension was the second time in a year that concerns about the nursery had 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 with an enforcement notice which noted it had updated risk assessments for trips and reviewed outings procedures with staff. It was then allowed to reopen.
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