An inspection body has raised serious concerns over health and safety issues at a Flintshire playgroup.
A report found that children at Kelsterton Playgroup in Connah’s Quay were being placed at ‘unnecessary risk’ because of a lack of supervision, a fire escape being locked and children being able to access rooms with harmful equipment.
Care Inspectorate Wales expressed worries over a potential infection risk because of inadequate nappy changing facilities and tables not being cleaned properly.
It also highlighted problems with the lack of healthy food on offer at the playgroup, which is based in The Quay Clubhouse and Cafe
on Golftyn Drive.
Inspectors have now issued a non-compliance notice against the playgroup over what it described as ‘serious matters’.
In a report, they said: “We found several hazards in the environment which were brought to the attention of the registered person who should address them immediately.
“For example, we found the door to the football team’s treatment room to be unlocked, the room contained a number of risks to children’s safety and we advised that action needed to be taken immediately to ensure children were not able to access the room.
“We saw children accessing the main hall and getting belonging from their bags without staff supervision.
“Fire drills had been undertaken, but we found the fire escape gate at the back of the premises was locked and access blocked by old broken and damaged resources waiting to be thrown away.
“Leaders not always provide a safe environment for children and they need to address these matters urgently.”
They said staff did not have the right facilities to change nappies appropriately and found the changing area was located within the main playroom.
The report states that no fruit and vegetables were offered to children at mealtimes and they were made to wait until after their food to be given drinking water.
It also said that tables were cleaned with baby wipes instead of water and an anti-bacterial solution.
Inspectors added: “The impact on children using the service is that they are being placed at risk of potential harm, which may impact on their safety and well being.
“Due care and attention is not given to ensuring all children are safely supervised whilst using all areas within the building.
“Children are exposed to unnecessary risk which impact on their health and safety.”
In response to the concerns, the playgroup’s supervisor Karen Dix said staff have since taken a number of steps to address the issues raised. She said:
“In terms of what was raised, we had actually brought most things into force by the next day.
“The main issue was that there were some blind spots in the building, so we’ve purchased new gates so that no child can get anywhere where they shouldn’t be sneaking out to.
“We’ve sent all the photographic evidence and paperwork to them and they are quite happy with it.”
The report shows that nappy changing facilities have been relocated to the disabled toilets and children can now access a jug of water to pour their own drinks during the day.
The playgroup has previously been targeted by vandals, who caused significant damage to the outdoor play area, including a sensory shed for children with special needs.
As a result, CCTV cameras and floodlighting have been introduced, which has resulted in a reduced number of incidents.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter.