TV show raises nursery fears

Nurseries are putting children at risk by failing to check the criminal records of their staff, a television documentary is claiming.

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Ofsted does not inspect nurseries rigorously enough, leaving toddlers potentially in danger, according to allegations on BBC One’s Whistleblower programme.

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An undercover reporter with no professional childcare experience or qualifications was given jobs in two nurseries in England and for a British holiday company in Egypt.

In an interview given to the programme on condition of anonymity, an Ofsted inspector claims that the watchdog is approving childcare facilities that should not be operating.

The inspector said: “The number one priority for all inspectors is to meet their targets because if they don’t then they are disciplined.

“Between us I would say we would inspect roughly 700 crèches, nurseries, after-school clubs, childminders, and there weren’t more than five that we would take our own children to.”

Ofsted said in a statement that it would consider making improvements based on the things uncovered by the BBC documentary.

But it added: “Ours is the most intensive inspection and monitoring system in Europe.

“Our inspections of nurseries and childminders are rigorous and the vast majority of our inspectors are highly skilled professionals who do a good job.

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“Our policy of unannounced inspections keeps most nurseries and childminders on their toes.”

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