Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Investigation launched into nursery child abuse

An investigation has been launched into allegations of child abuse at a south Belfast nursery.

The claims relate to a number of alleged assaults against children at Knightsbridge Daycare in the Stranmillis/Malone area of the city.

Police said a child protection unit is carrying out the investigation but stressed the allegations were not of a sexual nature.

It is understood social services visited the nursery last week after complaints were made.

A spokesman from the nursery confirmed an investigation was being carried out and that a female staff member was being examined as a result of complaints made by a colleague.

“We can confirm that a member of staff is currently under investigation by the statutory agencies as a result of allegations about her work with children by other staff,” he said.

“We will cooperate fully with this inquiry as the interests of children must always be put first. We have been assured by the statutory agencies that the investigation does not include any allegations of a sexual nature.”

Knightsbridge Daycare, which is part of the Belfast YMCA, has been operating in the south Belfast area for the past 15 years.

It is currently licensed to care for 35 children in daycare aged from six weeks to five years, as well as 14 children aged from three to five years in playgroup. It also has an after-schools’ programme for five to 10 year-olds.

The spokesman for Knightsbridge moved quickly to reassure parents that management encouraged staff to “take responsibility” for ensuring they and their colleagues implemented good childcare practices.

Both police and the Belfast Trust confirmed an investigation into alleged assaults at a nursery in south Belfast was being carried out. A PSNI spokeswoman stressed the allegations were not of a sexual nature.

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