A PREVIOUSLY “inadequate” nursery, which left dirty nappies in reach of children, has turned things around and been praised by a government watchdog.

Scallywags Day Nursery, in Church Street, Bocking, was rated rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted, following an inspection in November 2023.

At the time, inspectors found it had a “weakness” in its leadership management.

Scallywags founder Donna Dunmore said life has been “pretty tough” after her husband had a serious stroke.

Braintree and Witham Times: Business - Scallywags Day NurseryBusiness - Scallywags Day Nursery (Image: Google Maps)

But Donna vowed to bounce back and Scallywags Day Nursery has done exactly that its most recent Ofsted inspection on April 23.

The nursery is now rated good in all areas – for quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, and leadership and management, a clear improvement.

Inspector Shelly McDougall said: “The provider, manager and staff have worked incredibly hard since their last inspection to meet the actions raised.

“For example, they have made some significant improvements to the nursery environment, both inside and outdoors, to ensure that it is now clean and fit for purpose.

“The manager is undertaking additional training to assist her in her role.


Location - a Street View image of Scallwags NurseryLocation - a Street View image of Scallwags Nursery (Image: Google Maps)

“This has been successful in supporting her to ensure that risk assessment is effective in identifying and minimising risks to children's health and safety.”

There has also been a big priority for all the nursery’s 21 staff members, including the manager, to complete additional training.

Its curriculum has been revisited and is now in a better state that “shows clear intentions for children’s learning”.

The children at the nursery are demonstrating growing independence in their self-care skills, as staff encourage all children to wipe their own noses and wash their hands at appropriate times.

Staff are ensuring the children benefit from daily activities so they are physically active.

The report also said: “Parents comment positively on the improvements made since the last inspection. They appreciate the enhanced communication they receive regarding their children's learning and development.”

Celebrating - Staff and pupils of Scallywags Day NurseryCelebrating - Staff and pupils of Scallywags Day Nursery (Image: Scallywags Nursery)

Staff roles have been reorganised to mean they don’t have to take time away from the children to complete housekeeping tasks, they also feel more supported in their roles.

Donna is extremely proud of all the hard work that has been carried out so far to get the business back on track.

She said: "The passion, commitment and dedication of all our staff, along with an extensive modernisation program in all areas of the nursery, all within a short space of time, has put Scallywags back where it truly belongs."

"We will continue to provide our parents and children with quality care and education in a nurturing, stimulating environment."