CHILDREN’S health and safety was “put at risk” at a Borders nursery, inspectors have found.

Representatives of the Care Inspectorate paid an unannounced visit to Castlegate Nursery and Out of School Club at Castlegate in Spylaw Road, Kelso, on June 6.

The nursery provides a care service to a maximum of 94 children.

Inspectors found that staff were “kind and caring” in their approach with children and that improvements to the service had been implemented since the last inspection.

But the report highlights poor infection prevention and control practices, and the nursery is required to “ensure children are cared for in a clean, safe and hygienic environment” by the end of July.

A spokesperson for Castlegate Nursery has responded by saying that a detailed action plan is being put in place by the new manager “which addresses issues raised in the report and to ensure all requirements are met”.

READ MORE: Hundreds turn out to see King Charles and Queen Camilla during visit to Borders

The Care Inspectorate report says: “Children’s health and safety was put at risk due to poor infection prevention and control practices.

“Many areas across the service were untidy, unclean and cluttered.

“For example, the kitchen area within one of the rooms was cluttered with loose items and paperwork. We found some nappy changing areas were unclean at points.

“We found the storage of children’s individual personal care items were not stored in line with good practice guidance, such as children’s individual sealed boxes were left open. This meant children’s nappies were exposed.”

There was further criticism of children receiving a “negative message”.

The report adds: “We observed some interactions that supported children’s well-being and promoted respect. For example, staff asking children permission before delivering personal care such as nappy changing.

“However, this was not consistent and at times staff interactions delivered a negative message to children. For example, evidence gathered showed that some staff, at times, failed to recognise, name or validate children’s feelings when they were upset.

READ MORE: Scotland legend Kenny Logan launches his Rugby World Cup Challenge for Doddie

“As a result, children received inconsistent responses.”

The report says sleep routines had developed since the last inspection – which highlighted a sleep room being cold and children not having blankets.

The latest report says: “Staff were now monitoring and recording children in line with good practice as they slept.

“However, we still observed several children sleeping in pushchairs. While we recognise parental consent had been given, this did not align with good practice.”

The nursery was rated ‘weak’ in four categories – quality of care, play and learning, its setting, leadership and the staff team.

A spokesperson for Castlegate Nursery said: “We are pleased the Care Inspectorate has recognised that staff were kind and caring with their approach with children and that one parent noted, ‘They always make my children feel welcome and you can see the warmth and security the children feel from all members of staff’.

“The care inspectors also noted that where improvements have been made, these were having a positive impact on outcomes for children. They went on to say that children’s play experiences were enhanced with the use of the local and wider community spaces.

READ MORE: Borders Buses announce additional services between Galashiels and Edinburgh

“A new manager was now in place in the nursery and this is reflected in the report where it identifies that she was receptive to feedback and had identified gaps in practice and showed an ongoing commitment in developing all practices at the nursery.

“The report goes on to say, ‘The manager was new to their role. In the short time the manager had been in post, staff shared that they had seen an improvement in communication and staff support’.

“One parent shared that, ‘The nursery has very recently appointed a new manager but they seem very knowledgeable and keen to get children and their parents involved in shaping how they do things. I really like this approach’.

“Whilst we are very clearly disappointed with other elements of the inspection, a detailed action plan is being put in place by the new manager which addresses issues raised in the report and to ensure all requirements are met.

“Since our last inspection, the new manager has implemented changes resulting in requirements having now been met with the rest being addressed. To help facilitate this, further training has been organised for the staff team and we are continuing to work closely with the Care Inspectorate, our local authority and our visiting teacher.”