A POPULAR Ledbury nursery has been shut down temporarily after a damning Ofsted inspection which found that "children may be at risk of harm".

The Playstation Day Nursery has closed after being served with a suspension notice by Ofsted on following an unexpected inspection last week.

The nursery, next to Ledbury train station, has been given until February 18 to fix a number of serious problems and if those issues are not addressed, Playstation will not be allowed to re-open.

Shortcomings were found with the heating, hot water supply, staffing levels, recruitment procedures, staff supervision and behaviour management.

The Ofsted inspection followed a recent complaint.

The report states: "We carried out an unannounced visit on January 29 and we found that the premises were unsuitable, there were concerns with behaviour management, ratios are not maintained, staff do not have a good enough understanding of safeguarding, the recruitment process is weak and there is no arrangements for the supervision of staff.

"We suspended the provider's registration because we believed children may be at risk of harm. Suspension allows time for the provider to take steps to reduce or eliminate the risk of harm to children."

The report adds: "We have served a Welfare Requirements Notice. This is a legal notice that requires the provider to take actions within the timescales set out."

Ofsted has asked Playstation Day Nursery to comply with a number of actions, including making sure the premises meet health and safety standards, in particular the heating of the premises and the hot water supply.

Consistent strategies must be used "to manage children's behaviour in an appropriate way, to support their emotional well-being", the report added.

All staff must be are trained to understand the settings safeguarding policies and procedures, and Playstation must develop "recruitment and selection processes to ensure staff are suitable to fulfil the requirements of their roles".

Management must ensure there are "enough qualified staff on the premises at all times and ensure that staffing arrangements meet the needs of all children".

Ann Brennan, the owner of the nursery, issued a statement to say that "the health, wellbeing and safety of all children at Playstation Day Nursery Ltd is of paramount importance".

In a conversation with the Reporter, Miss Brennan described the situation as "a nightmare", and she said: "We are unable to accept children onto the premises until Ofsted feel that requirements are met fully.

"We will co-operate with Ofsted fully to ensure that Playstation Day Nursery Ltd can re-open in a timely manner."

Previous Ofsted inspections have been in line with the high regard in which the Playstation Day Nursery has been held locally since it opened in 1991.

An inspection in May 2017 found that the quality and standard of early years provision was "good". At the time, 33 children were on the roll and the day nursery employed 11 members of staff.

Ledbury resident Sara Manns Pedlingham said of the nursery: "They were always so good with my granddaughter; always tried their best to help her settle into nursery without me or her mum. She was happy there."