Police raided three nurseries and arrested five male nursery workers today after a toddler claimed they had been sexually assaulted by a member of staff.
Officers from West Mercia Police swooped on three branches of the privately-run Bright Eyes Nurseries in Bromsgrove, Redditch and Droitwich, all in Worcestershire.
Five men were arrested and six properties searched including the three nurseries following allegations of a sexual assault.
The raids come after a concerned mother told police last week that her child claimed they had been assaulted while they were at one of the nurseries.
The men are currently in custody at Worcester and Kidderminster Police Stations.
Superintendent Kevin Purcell, of West Mercia Police, said: “A young child has made a disclosure that we are taking extremely seriously.
“We also are treating it as sensitively as possible due to the nature of the offence and the very young age of the child involved.
“Our primary concern is their welfare as well as that of the other children who attend the nurseries.
“We are working with our partner agencies in the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board as part of our response.
“The investigation is at its early stages and five men have been arrested as we endeavour to identify the person responsible for the assault.
“We fully understand how concerning this disclosure will be to those people whose children attend Bright Eyes Nurseries, as well as the wider community.
“All parents and carers who have visited the nurseries today were given a letter explaining, as far as possible, the reasons for our activities, while police staff are available to discuss any immediate worries they may have.”
There are 20 registered staff on the books and the nursery caters for 67 children aged between three-months and five years of age.
The nursery costs parents around £157-a-week and is open five days a week.
Anyone with information can contact the non-emergency police number 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
In 2010 the nursery received a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted.