'POOR' teaching and practice that jeopardised children's safety led to a nursery getting Ofsted's worst rating.

Ladygrove Day Nursery and Nursery School in Didcot, which teaches 125 children, has been judged to be 'inadequate' in all four areas assessed by the watchdog.

After an inspection on July 30, Ofsted concluded: "Children's wellbeing is compromised by weaknesses in safeguarding practice and poor staff deployment.

"The quality of teaching is poor, depending on the rooms the children attend."

The nursery in Lostock Place is part of the Busy Bees chain, and teaches babies and children up to the age of five.

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It re-registered with Ofsted under Busy Bees in 2017, having been originally established under Aurora Childcare Partnership in 1998.

This was its first inspection since the takeover, and it had previously been rated 'good' in April 2015.

Ofsted released its new report last week, stating: "Safeguarding is not effective, as some staff do not understand about wider safeguarding issues.

"Staff sometimes put their hands on the floor where adults have been walking in footwear worn outdoors, and then touch children's food."

Inspectors said some staff lacked understanding about the Prevent duty, which is a law requiring all schools and early years providers to help prevent young people from being drawn into terrorism.

Inspectors said: "Many staff do not know about the indicators associated with [the Prevent duty], despite undertaking training as recently as two weeks ago.

"This places children at potential risk."

The report said mentoring and training for staff was 'ineffective' and the management team 'does not tackle weaknesses in practice.'

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It added: "[The management team] identifies over half of the children are not making the progress they should be, but it does not act on this.

"Some children are at risk of falling further behind in their learning due to the lack of staff support."

Inspectors said they witnessed 'many of the babies frequently crying and becoming upset' due to regular staff changes in one of the baby rooms.

Their report added: "Although staff do try and comfort the babies, the lack of consistent staffing means that some of the babies are unsettled and unsure."

Ofsted also said staff had 'failed to support' children with special needs and disabilities, adding: "These children are too often left to their own devices and to play on their own with no purposeful interaction."

Despite the rating and concerns raised, Ofsted was positive about some aspects, and parents have been hugely positive on a review website.

The report said: "The management team implements robust recruitment procedures. It carries out the required checks for staff and reviews staff's ongoing suitability.

"Parents comment positively on the staff working with their children and the activities that they provide.

"Staff use risk assessments suitably to minimise hazards to children and any accidents are recorded suitably."

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Busy Bees has been approached for comment.

Parents have submitted 11 reviews for the nursery on daynurseries.co.uk, awarding an overall rating of nine out of 10.

One mother, posting last June, said: "Ladygrove nursery is fantastic, it has improved a lot since Busy Bees have taken over.

"My daughter enjoys a lot there and is a very happy thriving child.

"The staff are considerate, helping and most important accommodating, I have no hesitations in recommending this nursery to anyone."

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Another added: "My son has thrived at the nursery - he has made friends, learnt invaluable social skills, eaten well, learnt in a fun way and we have been confident that he has received a high level of care.

"The nursery and the lovely staff team have helped him to have fun, be kind, be confident, be inquisitive and to prepare him to go to school.

"They have also supported me, particularly in the early days, to feel reassured that I was leaving my son in a safe and caring place."

Commenting on the Oxford Mail's Facebook page this morning, another mother said: "I, as a parent, have never had concerns.

"My opinion as a parent is this is a very unfair representation by Ofsted on the nursery."