CHILDREN are “left for long periods without any adult interaction” at a nursery in Colchester, an Ofsted inspector found.

The education watchdog visited the Banana Moon nursery, in St Helens Lane, in June and published its findings last week.

The childcare provider was rated “inadequate” in all four areas of the inspection, losing its overall rating of “good” which it gained five years ago.

Outlining her findings, inspector Sue Buckingham wrote: “Children do not receive high-quality educational experiences and activities that continually inspire and spark their curious minds.

Gazette: Watchdog - Ofsted visited the nurseryWatchdog - Ofsted visited the nursery (Image: Archant)

“Staff do not have the necessary skills or knowledge of children's individual specific needs to meet their care and learning requirements. Therefore, children show their frustration by pushing their peers or throwing toys.”

The inspector also observed children becoming “bored” because of a lack of interesting or exciting resources.

The report added: “Tables are left bare, and where resources are on tables, they are often not age-appropriate or sufficient to spark children's imaginative skills.”

She added that “staff struggle to support [the youngest children and children with special educational needs and disabilities]” which means some children are left without adult interaction or quality learning experiences for prolonged periods of time.

Management was also criticised for failing to identify weaknesses among staff and for not implementing effective training to improve the quality of the education on offer.

Despite the issues, it was noted that parents are generally happy and “appreciate the updates that staff share with them online”.

The nursery’s safeguarding arrangements were also deemed “effective”. It was also praised for building good relationships with other childcare professionals, welcoming teachers into the nursery to aid the transition into school.

Last year, Ofsted published the details of a complaint against the nursery after reports “a child had been left alone and unsupervised in a nursery room for a period of time” as a result of a routine headcount being completed incorrectly.

An internal investigation led to changes being made to daily routines within the nursery to prevent incidents of a similar nature from happening again.

Banana Moon was approached for comment but at the time of publication had not responded.