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Gran finds child choking at Blackburn nursery
A NURSERY has sacked a worker after a child was found unattended and choking on a wax crayon.
Claudia Mitchell pulled her children out of Kings Nursery, Blackburn, after her 18-month-old son Theo was discovered lying on the floor, gagging and kicking his feet against a radiator by his grandmother.
The nursery said it reacted quickly to the incident, which was an ‘isolated’ event, and it had acted against the member of staff responsible.
Claudia, 18, said she had concerns when her youngest son Haaris was given a jacket potato, cheese and baked beans for lunch at the nursery despite the five-month-old never having had solid food.
College student Claudia also said a member of nursery staff had discussed her children’s progress with another parent without her permission.
The nursery, in King Street, said this breach of confidence, as well as the choking incident, also led to the member of staff’s dismissal.
Claudia’s mother, Toni Mitchell, 44, said she rushed to Theo when she spotted him on the floor after going to the nursery 10 minutes early to collect him.
Toni said: “I picked him up and noticed he was gagging. I scooped my fingers into his mouth and pulled out bits of wax crayon.
“When I told the member of staff what had happened she didn’t even seem bothered. She just said, ‘Oh, sorry about that’, and got him a cup of water.
“I was shocked. I was shaking. I couldn’t even speak. All I could say was, ‘this is so not good’.
“It’s awful. I shudder to think that if I had waited until one o’clock, what could have happened.”
Toni immediately rang her daughter and Claudia said her children, who had been enrolled for just a matter of weeks, would not be returning to the nursery.
Claudia, who has complained to education regulator Ofsted, said: “My mum went in and saved him at the last minute. It’s lucky she was there.
“It’s like they don’t know anything at all about children.”
Claudia and Toni also expressed their concerns about staffing at the centre.
Toni said: “When I went in there were about 10 babies and only one worker. At least four of the children were crying and not being consoled.”
The nursery, which run by East Lancashire Deaf Society and has some deaf members of staff as well as catering for both deaf and hearing children, strongly disputed it was understaffed.
Bosses said the choking incident and breach of confidence was being treated as an isolated incident.
Nursery manager Mikaela Knight said: “This isolated incident was an unacceptable drop in our exceptionally high standards.
“This incident was a result of negligence from one single member of the nursery team, which resulted in their summary dismissal for gross misconduct.
“The nursery always maintains the required ratios of staff to children in compliance with Ofsted regulations.
“This is the first and only complaint in the nursery’s history and not a true reflection of the service and care we pride ourselves on.”
The nursery did not want to comment on the allegation of food being provided to Haaris.
The nursery opened in March 2012 and Ofsted said it had re-registered with it in July.
An Ofsted spokeswoman said: “Ofsted does not comment on individual complaints.
“We do take complaints very seriously, investigate each one rigorously and deal with issues as quickly as possible.”
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