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A tragic one-year-old boy's death at a nursery is being treated as suspicious, police have revealed.
The tot's death on Bourne Street in Dudley, West Midlands on December 9 2022 has led to the arrest of six women.
At 3.20pm, the unnamed boy collapsed at Fairytales Day Nursery where ambulance crews were scrambled to after receiving reports he had gone into cardiac arrest.
Despite attempts to resuscitate the boy, he died at the scene
Half of the women aged 20, 23 and 50, were arrested a week after the tragedy on December 16, on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter.
Police subsequently released the trio on bail with strict conditions while enquiries continue.
On Wednesday, January 4, another three women aged 51, 53 and 37, were taken into custody – two on suspicion of corporate manslaughter and one on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter.
West Midlands Police said the criminal investigation was launched following an inspection by Ofsted after the boy’s death. The nursery has been closed by Ofsted along with other linked premises.
The force said the boy's family is being supported by specially trained officers. A post mortem has taken place but further tests will be conducted to establish the exact cause of death.
Police launched a criminal investigation following an Ofsted inspection after the boy’s death which raised concerns about the “safeguarding and welfare requirements” at the nursery.
Inspectors temporarily closed the nursery and made nine recommendations which included better training for staff and flagged the fact that they were not informed of a change of manager at the nursery.
Staff were told to check sleeping babies more frequently, putting babies down to sleep in a safe way with inspectors adding that staff should have “appropriate qualifications, training skills and knowledge” with regards to sleeping children.
In a worrying observation, the report said staff should “take all reasonable steps to ensure children in your care are not exposed to risks, paying particular attention to risks in the baby room.”
The Fairytales Day Nursery opened in 2003 and cared for children from as young as three-months and received a ‘Good’ Ofsted report as recently as last February.
The day before the boy’s death, staff at the nursery posted on Facebook celebrating a pay-rise. They wrote: "So the government is raising the wages for all staff. I am so happy for this as early years is low paid but hard work.
"I would pay my team the earth, they work so hard under stressful circumstances and are some of the best people I have had the pleasure to work with however with insurance, food, pensions, electricity, gas to name a few costs rising there is a serious lack of funding from the government to support us and parents.
"We must get proper funding to support parents in being able to access affordable, good childcare in this country.”
In 2019 nursery bosses were ordered to pay £3,000 after hygiene inspectors found mouse droppings in the kitchen.
- Breaking News
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