A NURSERY has closed while an investigation takes place into possible risks to children.

Jump Ahead Pre-School, based at the 4th Billericay Scouts’ hut, in Laindon Road, Billericay, has had its registration suspended until June 3.

Ofsted officials are now probing the nursery.

The Echo understands the management changed last year and the inquiry involves staff checks.

A notice on the door of the hut reads: “The purpose of a suspension is to allow time to investigate our belief that a child may be exposed to a risk of harmand for any necessary steps to be taken to eliminate or reduce the risk of harm.

“We will regularly review the situation and will stop the suspension within this period if we believe the children are no longer at risk.”

The nursery cares for 45 children and has 11 members of staff, seven of whom have early years qualifications at level three.

Parents were notified by nursery managers before the closure on Tuesday.

Amum, who asked not to be named, said: “I was really surprised, as we were happy with Jump Ahead. We will have to wait and see what the investigation says.

“It is a really good nursery, so we are not sure what it’s about.”

Another mum added: “All they said was it was nothing to do with how it is run or any of the staff.

“Our main concern is finding somewhere for our children in the meantime.

Richard Clark, chairman of 4th Billericay Scouts, said: “We have exchanged a few emails with the managers as we were concerned with what was going on.

“It appears to be a paperwork issue.

“We have been assured that nothing has been done wrong.

They have to make sure everything there is fit and proper.

“The Scout club is open as usual and we are being supportive to Jump Ahead, as they work well with us.”

The pre-school was graded “outstanding” by Ofsted inspectors in 2009.

Its latest inspection this year rated it as “good” and inspectors praised the “sensitive teaching”.

An Ofsted spokesperson said: “I can confirm Ofsted has suspended the registration of this early-years provision while we investigate concerns.

“This will be reviewed regularly.”

An Essex County Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the situation and are working with Ofsted while they carry out their investigations and will assist where necessary.”

The Echo tried to contact the nursery for comment, but it did not respond.