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Six women have been arrested after the death of a one-year-old boy at a day nursery

On December 9th an infant collapsed and suffered a cardiac at the Fairytales Day Nursery in Dudley, West Midlands. He was rushed to hospital but did not recover and was pronounced dead later that day.

West Midlands Ambulance Service said paramedics and an air ambulance had been called to the nursery on Bourne Street at about 3.20 pm. They found the boy in critical condition and he was rushed by ambulance to the Russells Hall Hospital where he was pronounced dead

Initially, police said there were no suspicious circumstances, however, following a visit to the nursery by Ofsted inspectors a criminal investigation was launched. On December 16th three women were arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter. The women, aged 20, 23, and 50, have all been released on bail with strict conditions whilst enquiries continue.

“We are treating the death of the boy as suspicious and an investigation is underway,” a spokesman for the West Midlands Police said. Further comment was made that, “The family of the baby boy 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.”

On its website, the nursery stated that it offers childcare for families with children aged from three months to nine years, operating out of three private settings in Dudley town centre. “We aim to provide a loving and caring environment for children to be able to learn in and be happy when away from their families, we have a team of dedicated staff who work hard to look after the children as if they were their own,” it said. “We cater for all children and have on site cooks who can provide dietary requirements as needed. Staff have a range of qualifications from level 2 in Early Years right through to level 7, this enables us to have the best knowledge available. All staff are fully vetted to enable a secure environment for your child and all staff are first aid trained. Staff have a comprehensive training platform to ensure their knowledge is updated.”

Police confirmed that Ofsted has closed the nursery, along with other nearby premises operated by the same company. Ofsted, which rated the nursery as “good” in 2019 and “outstanding” three years earlier, said it had received concerns that the nursery was not meeting certain welfare and safeguarding standards. Its registration was suspended amid fears by officials that, “children may be at risk of harm”. It is also alleged that the nursery had failed to notify Ofsted of a change in manager, which is an offence.

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