Nurseries cleared following arrests

TWO York nurseries at the centre of a long-running investigation into child welfare have been given the all-clear from Ofsted.

The education authorities, York Council and the police have been investigating Little Joe’s in Fishergate and Heworth House in Melrosegate, since August last year with six workers arrested.

Four arrested nursery workers were released in January without further police action – two employees had previously already returned to work – bringing an end to criminal proceedings.

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The Yorkshire Post revealed in November that the national regulator Ofsted had served a welfare requirement notice on Little Joe’s, Heworth House, Askham Bar Day Nursery and Heworth Green Day Nursery – all owned by the same management.

In January it was confirmed that the welfare requirement notice – served when Ofsted considers that a provider has failed to comply with legal welfare requirements – had now been met by all four nurseries.

Now in a newly-published compliance report, Ofsted has given the all-clear, saying the nurseries’ owner had taken “prompt and appropriate action” to rectify all problems.

Ofsted said there had been complaints relating to safeguarding, promoting the good health of children, behaviour management, staffing arrangements and supporting children with disabilities at both nurseries.

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The report said all concerns were discussed with the nurseries’ owner and Ofsted was satisfied with action taken.

York Council’s Safeguarding Board also confirmed it had concluded its investigations into the nurseries.

Earlier this year, owner Lynn Dyrdal told the Yorkshire Post she has endured “six months of hell” and had to lay off staff as a result of the inquiry as parents turned their back on her once-flourishing business. She said at Heworth House nursery, the number of children had reduced from 30 children and a waiting list to fewer than four on some days.