A FULL Ofsted report raised major concerns around the safeguarding and welfare of children at a pre-school rated "inadequate".

Giggles Pre-School, in Central Avenue, Southend, was rated inadequate in all areas by the education watchdog after an inspection on March 13. In the report, published in recent weeks, Ofsted said they intended to “take enforcement action” and issued a Welfare Requirements Notice.

Giggles Pre-School was contacted for comment by the Echo but did not respond.

The pre-school has now been listed as closed on Ofsted and Google.

See Ofsted's full findings below:

What is it like to attend this school?

Leadership and management:

"Weaknesses in leadership and management mean that children's welfare is not assured. The provider, who is also the manager, and the staff have limited knowledge of the children, which means they do not plan effectively for their individual learning needs, taking into account what the children already know and can do.

"For example, they do not know which languages some children speak at home and lack information about the children's correct ages. As a result, they are unable to support those children to make good progress in their learning.


"Children are not provided with an interesting, challenging and purposeful curriculum. Staff do not support children's speech and language development effectively. They are slow to identify children who require additional help to speak clearly. As a result, appropriate interventions, such as liaising with other professionals, are not put in place to help to close gaps in children's communication and language development.

"Children's play is often disrupted so that routines can take priority. As a consequence, children's natural flow of exploration is halted.

"Some children become bored and argumentative with each other. This is because activities are not interesting enough or tailored to their individual needs.

Enjoyment and caring staff:

"Despite these serious weaknesses, children generally appear to enjoy their time at the pre-school and make use of the toys and resources on offer to them. The staff are seen to be caring towards the children."

What does the early years setting do well and what does it need to do better?

Addressing concerns raised at previous inspection:

"There have been a number of staff changes since the last inspection, with the manager being the only remaining staff member. The new staff team is beginning to learn how to work together, although this is in its infancy.

"The provider has addressed some of the actions raised at the last inspection. However, there continue to be weaknesses in staff's understanding of safeguarding issues, such as their knowledge around the 'Prevent' duty and the correct agencies to refer safeguarding concerns to.

"There are also weaknesses in the way that staff manage children's behaviour, especially when children appear bored and disinterested in what is available to them.

Vetting arrangements:

"The provider does not have robust-enough vetting arrangements in place. This means that appropriate checks are not undertaken to assure the suitability of new staff before they commence working with children. For example, the provider does not always follow safer recruitment procedures in relation to taking up references for new staff. She does not follow her own procedures to ensure that new staff have a current and valid Disclosure and Barring Service check before being allowed to attend to children's personal care needs, such as nappy changing.

"The provider is developing her arrangements for staff supervision, monitoring and support. However, these are not effective enough to ensure that there is a strong and consistent staff team that understands and delivers the curriculum to a good level.


"The pre-school day is very routine driven. For example, children are asked to tidy away the toys at regular intervals during the day, such as for lunch. While this is good practice, staff do not oversee this well enough to engage the children in the process. The staff's attention is distracted by tidying up, which results in a lack of effective interaction with the children. At times, this leaves children squabbling and fighting.

"The organisation of the environment is, at times, restrictive. The three interconnecting rooms' gates are often closed, preventing the children from freely accessing resources that would help to capture their interests, such as the role-play equipment.

Involving parents:

"There are some procedures for involving parents in their children's learning, and parents are able to discuss their child with their key person. Generally, parents state that they are confident that their children enjoy attending the pre-school.

Children enjoy playing in pre-school garden:

"Children enjoy playing in the pre-school garden. They drive the sit-in cars around, carefully reversing and driving up and down the roadway that has been painted on the ground. Children participate in a play dough making activity, measuring and mixing the ingredients together.

"They use diggers to dig and transport soil from one place to another. Children are interested and excited when they find snails and other insects in the garden.

"Staff find them a vessel to place their insects in. However, they do not follow the children's lead and enhance their knowledge through appropriate resources and conversation."

As part of the welfare notice the preschool was told to ensure managers and staff have knowledge of safeguarding and that appropriate checks are carried out.

Information on all children must be correct, with particular notes to date of birth.

At the time of the inspection, there were 21 children at the pre-school, all aged between two and three.