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Jelly Beans Day Nursery in Ashford closes after death of baby Oliver Steeper

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A nursery which was temporarily closed following the death of a baby in its care has shut down permanently.

Jelly Beans Day Nursery in Ashford has closed less than three weeks after its licence was suspended by a watchdog following the death of Oliver Steeper.

Oliver Steeper was just nine months old
Oliver Steeper was just nine months old

The nine-month-old died in hospital six days after suffering a medical emergency at the facility in Field View, Kingsnorth.

It is understood the tot choked while at the daycare on Thursday, September 23.

Following the tragic incident, Ofsted closed the nursery on a temporary basis pending a full investigation into 'serious safeguarding concerns' in the lead up to Oliver's death.

However, the regulatory body sent a letter to parents and carers today informing them that the owner of the nursery had voluntarily shut the nursery down.

The letter from Early Years Regulatory Inspector Sherrie Nyss, which has been seen by KentOnline, said that the "provider has taken the decision to resign his registration" of the nursery with the regulatory body.

Tributes to baby Oliver outside Jelly Beans in Ashford
Tributes to baby Oliver outside Jelly Beans in Ashford

"I will therefore be lifting the provider's suspension notice so that we can resign their registration with immediate effect. The provider is no longer registered with Ofsted," Mrs Nyss added.

An Ofsted spokesman confirmed that this means that the nursery will no longer be operational.

A fundraiser has been set up for young Oliver's family in the wake of the tragedy, raising more than £12,000 so far.

His father Lewis Steeper wrote on Facebook: "Our baby boy, our world, sadly lost his battle and passed away peacefully in our arms.

"We have been so blessed with him in our little family for the nine months he was here, bringing us joy and happiness every second of the day."

"We will never forget you, we will love you forever..."

Floral tributes and soft toys have been left outside the nursery in Field View, Kingsnorth, in his memory.

A card left by his parents reads: "To our baby boy, you were taken too soon. We'll always be with you and you with us.

"We will never forget you, we will love you forever. Mummy and Daddy xxx."

Nicola Huggett, who started the JustGiving page, wrote: "Oliver was such a joy to everyone that knew him, with a cheeky little smile that you couldn't help but love.

"He will forever be remembered by his loving family.

You can donate to the fundraiser here.

News from our universities, local primary and secondary schools including Ofsted inspections and league tables can be found here.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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