A Croydon childcare nursery where “the inspector was able to access the club building without the staff’s knowledge” has been labelled as “not met (with actions)” after its latest Ofsted inspection.

"Not met (with actions)" means that during the inspection, Holiplay Kids Club was found to be below expectations, and actions were expected to be taken to address the identified issues.

Holiplay Kids Club, based in Shirley Park, was inspected on January 15, 2024, and the report was published on March 11, 2024.

Inspectors found that staff at the building where children are cared for were unaware when unknown individuals had access to the premises.

The inspectors themselves had entered the building without the knowledge of staff and saw how “one member of staff cooks while older children wait for their younger school friends to arrive.”

Inspectors also found that there were breaches in safeguarding and welfare, such as the staff’s lack of safeguarding knowledge, potentially putting the children at risk of harm.

For example, the report noted that children experienced extreme anxiety.

Inspectors recognised that children had to wait for more staff to arrive to be allowed to go to the toilet and that younger children were often overlooked. 

The report added: “They receive support from older siblings or school friends to understand routines.

“At times, they became distressed.

“Staff do not provide adequate support for the youngest children, including those who are new to the setting.

“Staff are not allocated to reassure the youngest children and help them to settle in and understand new routines.”

Ofsted also noticed that there was a lack of designated leadership in the nursery and that staff weren’t sure what their responsibilities were. 

Inspectors realised how the club is not monitored effectively, and that nobody was identified as manager or deputy manager.

The report said: “Some staff are not aware of how to respond to safeguarding concerns in the absence of the lead practitioner for safeguarding.

“Some staff lack knowledge of their safeguarding responsibilities, including ensuring the club's mobile phone policy is consistently implemented."

As well as that, they had people without proper training preparing meals, and they didn’t know about the children’s dietary requirements. 

Inspectors highlighted an instance where the staff offered chicken-flavoured noodles to a child who had stated that they were vegetarian.

However, parents told Ofsted that they were “satisfied” with the nursery and that they “appreciate the ability to use technology to view planned menus and to see information related to accidents.”

Daniel Amos-Phillips, the Holiplay Director, said: "I must express my deep disappointment with the findings of our most recent Ofsted Inspection at Holiplay Shirley Park on January 15, 2024.

"Having worked with Oasis Academy Shirley Park School and served 100’s of children and families for over a decade, we have established longstanding and strong relationships with the school and the wider school community, and for many families the work that we do is an important and integral part of their working week, facilitating that essential need for wraparound care.

"Whilst there is always room for improvement in any area of any business, and whilst I fundamentally disagree with some of the findings contained within the Ofsted report, I recognise that there is scope for continuing professional development of staff, and more rigorous protocols to ensure that all children are kept safe.

"The public will be pleased to know that we have already initiated an actional plan following the publication of the report and we will continue to work in partnership with the Oasis Academy School and our parents and carers to ensure that we raise standards and deliver the best possible wraparound care reflective of our children’s needs and interests."

"I would like to thank my staff team at Holiplay Shirley Park for the swift remedial action they have already put in place and for the continued hard work, dedication and commitment they give each and every day to ensure that Holiplay remains the first-choice wraparound care provider for parents and carers of the school and the place kids love to play, and want to be."