Busy Bees nursery in St Albans temporarily suspended after arrest of worker

The St Albans hospital Busy Bees nursery

The St Albans hospital Busy Bees nursery - Credit: Archant

The arrest of a Busy Bees nursery worker in St Albans has prompted the temporary closure of the premises by Ofsted.

A 25 year old man from St Albans was arrested on the evening of April 20 by officers from the specialist Child Online Safeguarding Team (COST) at Herts Police.

The man, who worked at the Busy Bees nursery at St Albans City Hospital, has been questioned on suspicion of inciting a teenager to engage in a sexual act and was released on police bail until July 22, pending further inquiries.

As a result, Ofsted has made the decision to suspend the registration of the nursery with immediate effect.

Nursery staff worked over the weekend to ensure that all children who wanted a place at the centre today (Monday) have been found an alternative one at Busy Bees’ other nurseries in this area.

An Ofsted spokeswoman told the Herts Advertiser today: “We can confirm we have suspended the registration of this early years setting while an urgent investigation is carried out.

“When it comes to the early years, the safety of young children in paramount. Decisions to suspend registations are never taken lightly.”

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She said it would be ‘inappropriate’ to comment further.

A spokesman for the nursery said: “We can confirm that a member of staff at our St Albans Hospital nursery has been arrested by Herts Police.

“We understand that this is in connection with an incident that took place away from our nursery.”

He added: “We are treating the situation seriously and in accordance with our procedures have contacted all the relevant agencies.

“The safety and care of children at our nurseries is, and always will be, our first priority and we have robust policies in place to ensure that care of children at our nurseries always comes first.”

The spokesman went on: “As a result of the situation Ofsted has taken the decision to temporarily close our St Albans Hospital nursery while their investigations take place.

“We are extremely disappointed with this outcome and are appealing the decision.

“We are making arrangements for places at our other local nurseries to be available so we can continue to provide childcare for the children affected by Ofsted’s decision.”

The Herts Advertiser was told that workers spent the weekend relocating about 100 youngsters, with key staff from the St Albans Hospital based nursery moving with them “for however long it takes to get the nursery reopened.

“Parents have been hugely supportive and we are really hoping that everyone will be back at St Albans Hospital nursery very soon.

“As this continues to be the subject of a formal police investigation and for reasons of confidentiality we are unable to provide any further information.”