A Melrose-based nursery which was deemed to be posing 'significant risks' to children has improved but remains a cause for concern, inspectors have reported.

Old Station Nursery at Palma Place is registered to provide day care for a maximum of 41 children between the ages of three months and 12 years.

The service operates from a converted railway station building close to the centre of Melrose.

Two inspectors from the Care Inspectorate paid an unannounced visit to the facility on September 6 last year.

During the visit the inspectors identified “significant risks to the children’s health, welfare and safety”.

Specifically the criticisms related to children being cared for “within an environment that was unclean”. This related to all areas, including outdoors, playrooms, kitchens, toilets and nappy changing areas.

It was also found that youngsters were allowed to play with broken and unsafe resources both indoors and outdoors and found a “potential risk of children playing in the outdoor space unsupervised”.

As a result inspectors issued a ‘letter of concern’ to the provider on the day after the visit, requiring immediate action to be taken.

Two inspectors returned to the nursery on January 15 for an unannounced follow-up inspection.

They found that some improvements had been made that had had a “positive impact on outcomes for children” and that the staff team had worked hard to develop children’s play spaces and experiences.

But the report found that the provider “must ensure that resources, including staff, are effectively managed to meet the needs of children and families”, adding: “The service must develop nappy changing and toileting procedures to ensure children’s safety, well-being and overall comfort”.

The inspectors deemed care, play and learning as ‘weak’, the same rating as the nursery’s setting and its leadership, with further improvements now required.

In October’s report nappy changing procedures were criticised, the report stating: “We found that babies who had begun to toilet train were using the same toilet as staff. We found nappy changing areas dirty, cluttered, untidy and items were not being stored in line with guidance”.

The service, provided by Zara Hedley trading as the Old Station Nursery, was rated ‘weak’ for its care, play and learning, its setting and for its staff team and ‘unsatisfactory’ for its leadership.

A spokesperson for the Old Station Nursery said: “The management and staff team at Old Station Nursery continue the ongoing process of continuous improvement supported by the Care Inspectorate, and Scottish Borders Council.

“We regard this most recent inspection and assessment as an extremely positive step on our improvement journey and would like to thank the whole team and our service users for their ongoing support.

“We continue to make significant improvements and remain wholly focussed on supporting our families and young learners on their journeys as we have done so for over twenty years.”