A damning report has revealed how staff at a nursery left distraught children to sob – because they thought the youngsters were “spoilt”.
Inspectors from a care watchdog saw children at All Stars Nursery in Aberdeen cry uncontrollably and “observed one child cry themself to sleep at lunch”.
When asked why the children were disturbed, staff claimed that some were “bosied” and “spoilt” and would “eventually stop crying”.
This latest visit by the Care Inspectorate – the independent regulator of social care in Scotland – comes after five years of unsuccessful attempts to shut the nursery amid fears children were at risk.
The report 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.”
A Supreme Court ruling last year ordered the nursery could stay open despite the Care Inspectorate upholding complaints of youngsters being force-fed and being given out-of-date food.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.