A Thornton Heath nursery has been blasted by Ofsted after inspectors saw kids hurting their friends and throwing toys because they were “bored or distracted”.

Tammy’s Tiny Tots was given the worst possible rating of “inadequate” following an Ofsted visit on June 5, 2023.

Some staff members were looking after babies despite not having the right qualifications and younger children were stuck in highchairs for long periods of time. Inspectors also noticed children putting things in their mouths, causing a potential choking hazard but staff didn’t spot it according to a report.

The nursery, which opened in November 2017 and looks after up to 54 children on a daily basis, sometimes did not have enough staff on site to meet legal requirements, the inspection report published today (July 18) found.

An Ofsted inspector said: “Leaders fail to ensure that there are enough staff available to meet the needs of children. On the day of inspection, inexperienced staff work alone with the youngest children at the start of the day without the required qualifications.”

They added: “Some children do not benefit from the presence of consistent key persons, to help them settle into new routines and engage them in learning.” Inspectors said some of the behaviour expressed by children was a result of “weak teaching”.

They explained: “For example, [children] begin to throw toys or hurt their friends when they are bored or distracted. When some children become distressed, staff’s attempts to comfort them are unsuccessful.”

They added: “Staff do not agree and implement methods to support children

who are known to become upset during busy routines, such as at lunchtime. The emotional needs of children are not met well.”

When the LDRS contacted Tammy’s Tiny Tots, director Tamara West said she was left devastated by the inadequate rating. Ms West said: “It’s really devastating, we have been really good for a number of years. You work here all your life and [Ofsted] just come and determine the nursery over a couple of hours.”


On safeguarding issues, Ofsted said staff know how to report concerns about kids or fellow members of staff, but the designated lead practitioners for safeguarding have not completed training appropriate for the role.

Inspectors said childrens’ safety had been “compromised” by the nursery’s emergency evacuation route being blocked by large boxes. They added: “Staff’s lack of vigilance during busy times puts children’s safety at risk. For example, they do not notice when children put items in their mouths that are potential choking hazards until alerted to this by the inspector.”

Inspectors did praise staff for sometimes creating activities that children enjoy and interact with and they listen well, concentrate and project better attitudes towards learning. Ms West said the nursery has taken the report’s findings on board and has attempted to meet the requirements and areas of improvement set out by Ofsted. Tammy’s Tiny Tots was previously rated “good” overall following an inspection in February 2020.