Nursery Staff Ignored Sobbing Children Because They Said They Were 'Spoilt'

Baby boy (12-15 months) in cot, crying, close-up
Baby boy (12-15 months) in cot, crying, close-up

Nursery staff left distraught children to cry uncontrollably because they thought they were 'too spoilt', a damning report found.

Inspectors saw babies and toddlers at All Stars Nursery in Aberdeen sobbing without any intervention from staff.

In one visit, officials from the Care Inspectorate even 'observed one child cry themself to sleep at lunch'.

When asked why the children were left alone, staff claimed that some were 'spoilt' and would 'eventually stop crying'.

The report was published after the latest inspection which followed five years of unsuccessful attempts to shut the pre-school amid fears children were at risk.

It stated: "We saw occasions where staff did not respond in a sensitive and caring way towards the children.

"We observed a number of children who appeared unsettled and who cried for lengthy periods of time on both days of the Inspection."

The publication also revealed that staff undermined the children's safety by leaving the nursery untidy.

A Supreme Court ruling last year ordered the nursery could stay open despite the Care Inspectorate upholding complaints of children being force-fed and being given out-of-date food.

Owners Sheila Davis and Maureen Mowat mounted appeals at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, the Court of Session and the Supreme Court after the commission was replaced by a new body during proceedings.

The pair argued that the body could not continue the case of its predecessor and the sitting judges agreed.

But since then a surprise inspection revealed concerns including a baby sleeping next to a plastic bag and youngsters having easy access to packed nappy bins.

Another unscheduled inspection noted few qualified staff on hand and raised concerns about attitudes towards the children.

The care authority did acknowledge attempts to improve conditions since the last inspection but added: 'there remains significant areas of concern'.

Following this latest visit, the inspectorate graded the nursery as 'weak' - the second worst standard - and said it must continue to improve 'in all areas' and children need to receive 'consistent' and 'sensitive' care.

Owner Sheila Davis declined to comment.