Nursery where toddler wandered off near motorway is to close

Partnership Nursery in the Cowglen area of Glasgow where a toddler went missing and was found near a bus stop beside a dual carriage road. June 13 2012.
Missing child: Partnership nursery set to close© HEMEDIA / SWNS Group

A nursery which let a three-year-old girl escape and wander close to a busy motorway is to close.

Staff at £600-a-month Partnership Nursery in Cowglen, Glasgow, failed to notice the girl was missing after she walked out of the nursery garden and across a main road before being found at a bus stop close to the M77 last month.

Coincidently, the facility was being routinely inspected by child care watchdogs, the Care Commission, on the day of the crisis and subsequently recommended that health and safety assessments and risk assessment procedures be tightened.

One senior member of staff was sacked and another resigned following the incident, in which the girl went missing for 20 minutes after staff reportedly did not conduct to do a head count.

But despite the incident, which happened on May 27, staff members failed to tell the girl's mother for another five hours.

Parents have now been sent a letter informing them of the "imminent closure" of the nursery.

Business owner Alan Grant, whose other nursery in Hillington was named the worst in a report by the Care Commission, described the incident as "regrettable".

The drama unfolded when the toddler wandered off from the nursery - which takes up to 77 children - shortly after 12.15pm.

The child was discovered at a bus stop close to the M77 motorway by a worker from the nearby National Savings Bank.

Staff reportedly only realised she was missing when she was returned to the nursery.

Concerned parents were sent letters about the incident.

The facility is privately run but has 28 places funded by Glasgow City Council, which has withdrawn its funding for places at the nursery from the end of the current term.

The facility was also the subject of scrutiny when a two year old was burnt during a cookery class in May last year.

Staff at the nursery would not comment on the closure claims.

The Care Inspectorate, which asked staff at the nursery to improve its safety and security procedures immediately following the incident, confirmed the closure.

A spokeswoman for the watchdog said: "We received confirmation from the nursery that they intend to cancel their registration, with a proposed closure date by the end of the summer."

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