Nurs­ery closed af­ter child wan­dered out on his own

Tod­dler found safe, but man­ager says ‘we can’t open un­til we find out what hap­pened’

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Goolis­tan Cooper goolis­tan.cooper@trin­i­tymir­

A NURS­ERY in East­cote has been tem­po­rar­ily closed af­ter a 19-month-old child wan­dered out on his own with­out the knowl­edge of the staff work­ing there.

Of­sted has con­firmed it sus­pended the reg­is­tra­tion of My Mum’s Away @ Cavendish af­ter the in­ci­dent, which saw the child walk away for a few min­utes on April 25.

It has now launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and says the sus­pen­sion, which was im­posed on May 3, will be lifted “if we are sat­is­fied that chil­dren are no longer at risk”.

The nurs­ery is one of two My Mum’s Away run by Carol Cochran and is based at Cavendish House. Ms Cochran is work­ing with Of­sted, in­de­pen­dent as­ses­sors and the owner of the build­ing to find out how the tod­dler was able to make off and to im­prove se­cu­rity in the fu­ture.

She said: “A child did go miss­ing and he re­turned a cou­ple of min­utes af­ter be­ing out of the build­ing. But un­til we can es­tab­lish how the child got out it’s not safe to re­open. And that’s what we are do­ing now.

“He was found safe within a few min­utes but it could’ve been worse which is why we can’t open un­til we find out what hap­pened. At the end of the day safety is para­mount and we have to make sure the place is safe. Un­til it’s safe we can’t have kids there.”

A spokesper­son for the education watch­dog said: “Of­sted has sus­pended the reg­is­tra­tion of this set­ting due to con­cerns raised about risk as­sess­ment ar­range­ments and the safety of chil­dren.

“The pur­pose of this sus­pen­sion is to al­low time for the cir­cum­stances to be in­ves­ti­gated and for steps to be taken to re­duce or elim­i­nate the risk of harm to chil­dren.

“We will reg­u­larly re­view the sit­u­a­tion and will lift the sus­pen­sion if we are sat­is­fied that chil­dren are no longer at risk.”

Ac­cord­ing to the My Mum’s Away web­site, it was judged Good in a 2013 Of­sted re­port.

n SAFETY IS PARA­MOUNT: Carol Cochran is work­ing with Of­sted to find out how the child got out

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