Shocking moment toddler escapes nursery into busy high street
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A three-year-old boy made a shocking escape from a nursery onto a busy high street, with CCTV footage even showing the toddler standing at a crossing.
Just moments before, James Maguire had been at the Elmhurst House Day Nursery with the little boy disappearing through a broken fence post before heading to Stone Town Centre.
Whilst Maguire was later retrieved by nursery staff, his family have been left furious over the incident.
It happened around 11:30 am in the Staffordshire town, with the unaccompanied child eventually being found in a nearby public car park on Station Road on 16 May.
As per StokeOnTrentLive, the toddler was missing for 14 minutes in total, with footage even showing him standing in the middle of a crossing on the A520 before heading towards the high street.
Despite this, Maguire’s family say they were not informed for several hours.
His mum, Fiona, also feels that the family were not given a full account of what happened to the youngster, who is non-verbal.
Speaking about the incident, she said: “First, we were told he had been found on the school premises and had only been missing for a few minutes.
“They said staff had found him in the nursery car park, but that clearly wasn't the case.”
While the family lodged a formal complaint, Ofsted still awarded Elmhurst House a rating of ‘good’ – just two days later.
The organisation later stated that the nursery had taken action ‘to mitigate the incident reoccurring' and that they had complied with its investigation.
It added: “However, we found that the provider was not meeting some of the requirements. We have served a welfare requirements notice. This is a legal notice that requires the provider to take the actions below within the timescales set out.”
This included improved risk assessments and adhering to a strict ratio of adults to children at all times.
Meanwhile, Elmhurst House has acknowledged what it calls ‘its responsibility and its failure’ over the incident.
They said: “We were all deeply relieved that no harm came to the child. No such event has ever occurred at the nursery before and, following an immediate investigation, we have taken urgent steps to ensure that this could never happen again.
“We regard this event as our responsibility and our failure. It should never be possible for a child to escape in this way, whatever the circumstances.
“However, we are also concerned that a number of circumstances surrounding this situation have been misrepresented in public statements. It has, for example, been alleged that there were just ‘two apprentice girls’ supervising the children.
“This claim not only understates the size of the supervising team, but, more importantly, it misrepresents the reality that the staff in question were qualified professionals, not ‘apprentice girls’.
“The same sources have also stated that Ofsted ‘have put the nursery into Special Measures’. This is untrue.
“Ofsted have rightly investigated the situation and we have been happy to cooperate with them. We have also worked closely with the Local Authority. But there has been no question of the nursery being put into Special Measures.
“A further claim falsely stated that ‘an old lady’ had told our staff about the child’s escape three times before action was taken. This again is untrue. This was a very upsetting situation for all concerned, and it is not helpful when the facts are misrepresented.
“We are proud of our nursery and our track record, and we love the children we are privileged to care for. But we offer no excuses for what happened on this occasion. We can only redouble our efforts to ensure that we provide the finest possible professional attention and support for the children in our care.”
Topics: UK News