A PARENT of a child attending a Tidworth nursery has raised concerns over the performance of the pre-school after it was rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted last year.

Perham Down Nursery, which is hosted at a military base near Upavon, has been under pressure since its latest Ofsted inspection in September and has undergone a large staff turnover as well as closing earlier than usual for the Christmas period.

The Ofsted inspection found problems including safeguarding of children, a weak key-person system and a lack of positive staff-child relationship development.

The garrison town nursery was given further deadlines to meet for improvements by the end of November.

The parent, who did not wish to be named, said: “The staff worked very hard after the Ofsted but then it closed down early before Christmas.

“The parents were not told initially [about the closure]. A lot of the parents have pulled their children out as the children will not have a recognisable key worker there when they go back.

“But the other nurseries in the area are all full already.

“The staff were brilliant before.”

In response to the claims, the nursery’s owner, charity TNB Garrison Early Years and Play admitted the process since the Ofsted inspection had “not been without difficulty” but steps taken including a new recruitment wave had seen a successful and optimistic start to the new year.

A TNB Garrison Early Years and Play board of trustees spokesperson said: “We were naturally all very disappointed with the outcome of the recent Ofsted inspection and since then,the trustees have been working very closely with the management, staff and parents of the setting to ensure that the appropriate support and care is in place for each and every child.

“As can be expected, this process has not been without difficulty. Normal staff turnover, combined with staff illness before Christmas, resulted in a period of unprecedented short staffing.

“In order to ensure the safety and care of all the children, the decision was taken by the trustees and the management team to close the setting four days early for the Christmas period.

“This decision was not taken lightly but in this instance could not be avoided.

“On a positive note, we have had a successful period of recruitment and training over the Christmas period.

“As a charity organisation of seven settings we have been in a fortunate position to be able to bring in support and expertise from across the group to Perham [Down] Nursery to help improve and rectify the concerns raised in the Ofsted report.

“Following an extremely successful open day last week where families were able to meet and discuss the future with the new key workers and management team, the children have all returned and have settled in well to the new term.

“Whilst challenges may still lie ahead, the board of trustees are confident that the correct levels of support are in place for the children, families and staff of the setting and we are extremely optimistic for the future of the nursery.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the parents for their support and understanding through this difficult time.”