A NURSERY claims a backlog of Ofsted inspections is putting children at risk.
A quarter of nurseries nationally were found to have been left uninspected in the past four years, with East Lancashire providers describing the situation as unsafe.
Taywood Nursery in Burnley has two types of provision, one for children over the age of three and an early years service for younger children.
The main nursery school provision for older children was graded Outstanding last year when it was monitored by inspectors separately. However their early years provision for younger children has not been assessed for seven years.
Headteacher Gail Murphy said: “It has been seven years since we were last inspected. Our provision for older children is Outstanding and we are very proud of that. The same level of care is on offer for our younger extended services children, but we cannot advertise that fact to the parents until we are inspected.
“It cannot be a good way of preventing children being at risk either. Parents who have brought their children from elsewhere sometimes felt the nursery was not safe. Concerns we have heard about include not enough staff to supervise children and oversee safety.”
Blackburn’s Little Angel Childminder service, rated Satisfactory in 2013, also claims parents are voicing concerns about nursery provision. Owner Yasmin Ughratdar said: “Parents tell me they are concerned that some nursery schools have too many children for the staff to oversee.”
It comes after national figures showed a quarter of early years providers have not been inspected for at least four years, despite Ofsted requirements.
Following a Freedom of Information request by Sky News, it was revealed that out of a total 77,509 nurseries and childminders, 19,204 had been waiting for four years or more for an inspection.
This is despite Ofsted requirements which state that all early years providers must be inspected at least once within 47 months.
Ofsted have said they are ‘confident’ they can inspect all providers registered on 1 September 2012 by the end of July 2016.