A police investigation is underway after a nine-month-old boy choked to death on food at a day nursery in September.
Oliver Steeper was being cared for at Jelly Beans Day Nursery in Ashford, Kent when he became unable to breathe while eating.
The toddler was taken to hospital, where he passed away six days later. The nursery was closed down weeks after the incident.
A funeral for the young boy was held at Charing Crematorium.
Now Kent Police have confirmed officers are investigating the events that led to the child’s demise.
A representative said that Kent Police are investigating the circumstances following a death at a childcare facility in Ashford.
As well as the police inquiry, the Kent Safeguarding Children Multi-agency Partnership (KSCMP) is also carrying out a review of the case to see if improvements to care for children can be made.
Oliver’s father, Lewis Steeper, said that the funeral was simply beautiful and was the perfect tribute to Oliver’s life and that they have great memories, photos and videos they will cherish forever, and that Oliver’s presence remained strong in their house, with some lovely photos now up on the wall.
He said they will never stop loving him and that they’re thinking about him and that they have a huge hole in their hearts that will never be filled with the joy their son brought to their small family.
Well-wishers have donated more than £12,000 in the memory of the young toddler.
The daycare centre was initially closed down temporarily after education and childcare watchdog Ofsted suspended its roster over serious safeguarding concerns relating to the fatal incident.
Matt Dunkley, chairman of the KSCMP, said that the loss of a child is a terrible tragedy and that their thoughts were with Oliver’s family, friends and all those who knew him, but that the KSCMP was committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people and that they would be undertaking a Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review in regard to the case.
He said the purpose of the review was to identify improvements that could be made to practice and disseminate the learning so that they can achieve better outcomes for Kent’s children and young people, and that the element of the case relates to safe eating in a non-familial setting.
He said that the KSCMP is therefore designing a comprehensive Safer Eating campaign to assist professionals in a mixture of settings to ensure they’re working to best practice standards when feeding babies and young children.
This is a horrible tragedy, but then the Government have made it extremely hard for mothers to remain at home with their children, which means they have to go out to work, and then tragedies like this happen.
It might be said that mums that remain at home are knee-deep in nappies and temper tantrums, but being at home with your child during the early stages is much better for your children than them being in child care full time.
And being at home allows you to plan and organise activities and prepare a daily routine for both the child and yourself. You can give them their food on time and take care of their basic needs, instead of child care doing it for you.
Children flourish when they have a safe and positive relationship with people, particularly their parents, and a mother plays numerous roles in a child’s growth and she is the teacher in every aspect of the child’s developmental growth, social-emotional, physical, cognitive and independence.
However, there are a bunch of disadvantages of being a stay at home mum, and one of those is less money because most households these days need both parents to work because the Government make it extremely difficult for women to stay at home with their children.
The problem is those mother’s that do have to go out to work, spend less quality time with their children. They’re overloaded with work and have to multitask which bring negative feelings into the household. No proper disciplining of the children. There are often behavioural problems, relationship problems, which means we then have extremely clingy children.
A mother plays a vital role in the family, which is a powerful force for social cohesion and integration, and a child-mother relationship is essential for the healthy development of children, but sadly mother’s are not only caregivers now they’re breadwinners as well.
The other thing is quality childcare is not always affordable, so it can work out more costly to go to work than remaining at home with children, and if women do go out to work, they not only have to work, but they also have to do the chores and housework, that doesn’t evaporate for working women, it’s all still there when they get home.
Most working mum’s hate leaving their little ones in someone else’s care to go to work, some have even cried their eyes out for days because babies are vulnerable and can’t speak for themselves, and many mothers would rather give their children their undivided attention.
And staying at home means that you have your family, freedom and free time, which means you can take care of your family. After all, in your home, you’re the boss.
I’m not saying that mothers shouldn’t go to work, I’m just saying it’s a matter of preference, but for those mothers that do work, sometimes the pay is extremely poor. Someone you don’t know is looking after your children and you really have no idea if they’re going to come to any harm, which this little toddler did.