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Jelly Beans Day Nursery in Kingsnorth, Ashford, shut down by Ofsted after death of child

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A nursery has been closed over "serious safeguarding concerns" after a child died following a medical emergency.

The infant became unwell at Jelly Beans Day Nursery in Ashford last week and was taken to hospital where they later died.

As a result of the tragedy, the daycare facility in Field View, Kingsnorth, has been shut after education watchdog Ofsted suspended its registration.

A spokesman for the nursery said: "Following a medical emergency at the nursery involving a child on Thursday, September 23, Ofsted served a notice of suspension of registration for a period of six weeks for the purposes of an investigation.

"The nursery will remain closed for the period of the suspension.

"We have today been notified that the child who was subject to this medical incident has tragically died. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family who are in everyone’s thoughts.

"Due to the ongoing investigations by the various agencies involved, we are unable at this time to make any further comment. We have been cooperating fully with all relevant authorities and will continue to do so."

Jelly Beans Day Nursery in Ashford. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Jelly Beans Day Nursery in Ashford. Picture: Barry Goodwin

In an email to parents, sent shortly after 7pm on Monday and seen by KentOnline, nursery manager Debbie Alcock says her "heart and thoughts are with all of the parents".

An Ofsted spokesman said: "We have suspended the nursery's registration due to serious safeguarding concerns. It will remain closed while investigations continue."

A notice of suspension is visible at the entrance to the nursery, and in it Ofsted sets out that an investigation is required into "our belief that a child may be exposed to a risk of harm".

The notice gives the period of suspension from September 27 until midnight on November 7.

Parents of children attending the nursery, which is part of the Essex-headquartered RCH Care Homes group, have now been forced to seek alternative arrangements.

A notice from Ofsted outside Jelly Beans Day Nursery in Ashford. Picture: Barry Goodwin
A notice from Ofsted outside Jelly Beans Day Nursery in Ashford. Picture: Barry Goodwin

One mother, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed her concern about the lack of clear information communicated about the incident.

In 2016 the nursery, then run by Ranc Care, came in for scathing criticism from Ofsted after an inspection found a toddler had been given an overdose of prescription medication.

As a result, its Ofsted rating was downgraded from 'good' to 'inadequate'. A later inspection in 2018 restored its 'good' rating.

Ms Alcock declined to comment on the incident. RCH Care Homes and South East Coast Ambulance have been approached for comment.

A police spokesman said: "Kent Police attended a medical incident in Field View, Kingsnorth, Ashford at around midday on September 23."

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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