BABIES were allowed to eat to paint and glue and children's health was jeopardised at a nursery rated inadequate by inspectors.

Flaxton Children's Nursery, near York, which cares for up to 30 children at a time, received the lowest mark possible in all areas assessed by Ofsted.

However, the nursery's new company manager said all parents remained supportive and the report bore "no relationship to what is happening" there.

One parent told The Press she had expected it to be rated outstanding and that some of the report was "complete rubbish".

Flaxton Children's Nursery was inspected on February 22, with the Ofsted report published last week.

Although marked good in its previous inspection in 2010, this time the nursery was rated inadequate under the leadership, teaching, personal development and outcomes for children headings.

Inspector Laura Hoyland's report stated that children's welfare and health was "compromised" and that "arrangements for safeguarding are ineffective".

She wrote: "Children's health is jeopardised. Staff do not risk assess activities thoroughly to ensure children explore resources safely. Babies are allowed to eat paint and glue as they make pictures.

"Staff do not check the ingredients of the materials which clearly state should not be ingested."

Elsewhere she added: "Some staff have a weak understanding of the different types of abuse and the procedures to follow in the event of an allegation against a member of staff."

Her report also stated: "Staff do not fully understand the medication documentation or follow the medication policy when administering medicine."

Reporting on the effectiveness of leadership, she wrote: "The provider does not have a thorough understanding of its responsibilities to meet statutory requirements.

"The provider has not notified Ofsted of a fire that occurred, which resulted in a wealth of documentation being unsalvageable."

Flaxton Children's Nursery was given deadlines to make improvements and will be inspected again within six months.

Company manager Natalie Bishop said: "The inspector started her feedback with a glowing report on how welcoming the staff were; that the well-being of the children was paramount and she had seen excellent provision in the forest school and practice from our graduate leaders.

"She observed loving relationships between staff and children and how well they listened and followed instruction.

"The safeguarding policy was strong and there was good safe practice with staff recruitment.

"However, we would be judged inadequate because of a medical form which was incorrectly filled in. We accept the judgment and have disputed the wording on the report as being incorrect.

"All our parents have been extremely supportive and feel this judgment bears no relationship to what is happening in the nursery."

Catherine Metham, whose daughter attends the nursery and whose son has now moved on from there to school, said: "I was fully expecting it to get outstanding."

In her view, some of the comments about children not achieving learning goals were "complete rubbish".

She added: "The report is very damning. It's almost wrong in a way for Ofsted to print something like that.

"I have sent an email to Ofsted to complain about it because I feel very strongly.

"As a working mum, I would never put my child somewhere where she would be put at risk. I would recommend them to anybody."