OFSTED has downgraded a nursery after an inspection.

Inspectors published the latest report on Dizzy Ducks Day Nursery, at Mayflower School, in Billericay.

The nursery, which has 207 children, was previously ranked “outstanding”

by inspectors in May 2009 but has now been rated “good”.

Inspectors visited after the nursery failed to notify Ofsted within a fortnight after an older child left the front garden.

However, director Sian Nisbett said she is happy because she was expecting to be downgraded after changes in Ofsted criteria. Mrs Nisbett, who would not confirm the age of the child involved, said: “The children from the Out of School Club, aged four to 11, were playing in the front garden, supervised by two staff members.

“A parent came into site and left the gate open. A child exited the nursery gate. She was out of the nursery for no more than 30 seconds as this was identified by a staff member immediately, who secured the gate properly after escorting her back into the site.”

Inspector Patricia Champion found the impact on children’s welfare was minimal and an extra lock and CCTV was installed.

Mrs Champion praised teaching, strong relationships between staff and children, the nursery’s work with parents and safety.

Mrs Nisbett added: “We were not expecting to get the outstanding level this time as it is so elusive.

“Next time the inspectors visit, they will be a lot more willing to accept that what we are doing is absolutely amazing.

“We are really thrilled and the team are as well.”