Fun House owner speaks of her delight as nursery is reopened after Ofsted closure (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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Fun House owner speaks of her delight as nursery is reopened after Ofsted closure
SHE has described the last few weeks as “hell” – but now a Basingstoke nursery owner is delighted that it is business as usual again.
On September 25, education watchdog Ofsted shut Fun House, in Whitney Road, on Daneshill Industrial Estate, after a four-year-old girl was left behind on a trip to a farm by staff from the company’s holiday club.
Inspectors carried out an investigation, during which time Fun House’s registration was suspended – but it has now allowed the child care provider to re-open, as of Monday, October 21.
Cath Mowbray-Williams, owner of Fun House, described the last few weeks as “hell.” Referring to the news that Fun House could re-open, she said: “I was absolutely over-the-moon. Most of our children are coming back.”
As previously reported in The Gazette, Fun House was investiga-ted by Ofsted after staff from the holiday club left Jessica Neal at Manydown Farm, in Worting Road.
They only realised she was missing when her stepfather, Craig Tribe, arrived to collect her, over an hour after the group had returned from the farm.
Jessica’s mother, Amy Neal, 27, from Shooters Way, South View, Basingstoke, said the traumatic incident left her daughter unable to sleep properly.
Although the incident happened on August 19, it was not until September 25, after the matter was reported in The Gazette, that Ofsted shut the nursery.
Referring to the incident involving Jessica, Mrs Mowbray-Williams said: “It was an error that happened that we regret.”
She added: “We have got new procedures in place and staff are more aware of what they should and shouldn’t do.”
Mrs Mowbray-Williams said it had been a difficult time for staff, but added that they had been in painting and updating the building ready for the re-opening.
She said: “Fun House has been open to the public throughout this tough time for children to play in our play centre. I have been overwhelmed with messages of support from the staff and parents.
"We have listened to feedback, have introduced numerous initiatives and have some exciting plans for the future. Importantly, lessons have been learned and processes are in place to ensure that children are safe at all times.”
Fun House runs a nursery, breakfast, after-school and holiday clubs, and is holding a charity open day on November 10, from 11am until 2pm.
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