A PRE-SCHOOL where arrangements for safeguarding are “not effective” has been told it must improve by watchdogs.

Little Hands Pre-School Nursery in Witham, has been rated inadequate following a report from Ofsted.

The pre-school cares for children aged two to four years old and was given the rating in the personal development and leadership and management sectors.

Inspector Shelly McDougall said: “Weaknesses in staff's knowledge of child protection mean that some staff are unable to identify and report concerns they may have about children.

“This does not promote children's welfare or safety.”

The report also noted the arrangements for safeguarding are not effective.

It continued: “The managers have recently updated the setting's policies and procedures and shared these with parents.

“They share children's information and progress electronically with parents through an online platform.

“However, managers are not aware of all their responsibilities under Data Protection Legislation, regarding storing information online.

“The provider has worked with the local authority to meet the recent actions raised by Ofsted.

“Safeguarding policies are now in line with the local safeguarding partners.”

Despite this, the report did have praise for the support given to children, the curriculum, as well as the activities children are enjoying.

Little Hands was rated good in its quality of education and behaviour and attitudes.

The report said: “Children are warmly welcomed into the setting by familiar staff.

“Managers have designed a curriculum that focuses on children building strong attachments with staff.

“Children who are new to the setting receive plenty of support from their key person to help them settle. This supports children's emotional well-being.”

It continued: “Children enjoy being physically active in the outdoor environment.

“They develop strength and coordination as they move around on the ride-on wheeled toys.

“Children squeal with delight as staff play a game of chase around the garden with them.

“Parents talk positively about their children's experiences in the setting.”

A spokesperson for Little Hands Pre-School Nursery said: "We are understandably extremely disappointed to have received an Inadequate rating during our recent Ofsted inspection.

"While we have taken immediate steps to address the concerns raised by the inspector, we remain confident that the provision of care and education at our setting is excellent, and we are very proud of the level of care, skill, love, and dedication our staff show to the children on a daily basis.

"We are incredibly grateful to our families for their understanding and support, and look forward to showcasing the high quality of our nursery at our re-inspection."