Parents left out of pocket as Fareham nursery shuts suddenly over ongoing Ofsted safety concerns
A FAREHAM nursery has informed parents about its closure after a history of concerns raised by Ofsted.
In a letter to parents, director of the The Children’s House Montessori, Anne Marodeen, stated: ‘It is with great regret and sadness that I write to inform you that The Childrens House Montessori Ltd has ceased trading. The problems that have been caused by Ofsted and Hampshire County Council have proved to be too insurmountable for us to continue.’
Of particular concern were issues over children’s safeguarding which were described as ineffective. The report stated: ‘Important discussions regarding children’s welfare are not held when needed and leaders do not follow appropriate safeguarding procedures.’
One of the key criticisms was failing to obtain Disclosure and Barring Service checks and medical suitability of staff. The nursery was subsequently given a Welfare Requirements Notice with a directive to improve safeguarding provision by the stipulated date of March 21. After meeting these improvements the nursery was allowed to remain open.
However, inspectors returned to the nursery on August 8 to issue a further notice after being notified in July that ‘statutory requirements were not being met’. Despite the latest report confirming that these safeguarding requirements were now rectified the nursery has taken the decision to close with immediate effect.
This has left parents both out of pocket and struggling to find alternative provision.
One parent, who asked not to be named, said: ‘I pay my fees a month in advance. I had paid £860 to cover care for my daughter and half-term holiday provision for my son. I contacted the nursery and they sent an email saying I could not have any refund as they were technically insolvent and did not have any funds. I don’t have the surplus cash to pay for other provision this month. I have known the owners for many years and I’m devastated with how I have been treated.’
The parent was particularly annoyed about the timing of the letter.
‘We were informed on Sunday that the nursery would be closed from Monday. I had a real panic trying to find someone to look after my children. Fortunately family stepped in but I’ve had to take a week off work at the end of the month,’ she said.
The News contacted the nursery but has not yet received a response.