Inspectors found “unprecedented” poor standards at a nursery which has been forced to close after children were fed raw meat.
Little Einsteins nursery in Pollokshields, Glasgow, closed suddenly last month after the owner was unable to obtain insurance following a series of critical Care Inspectorate reports.
Glasgow City Council inspectors intervened after observing children being fed raw meat.
Parents and care staff claim they are owed tens of thousands of pounds in wages, redundancy payments and refunds for paid childcare that was not provided.
Douglas Hutchison, executive director of education for Glasgow City Council, said in a letter to one parent that the situation with the nursery was “unprecedented” and that it had been operating without insurance “for a number of months”.
He wrote: “We have never had a nursery in Glasgow perform so badly at inspection that it has been unable to obtain insurance cover.”
He said the council had also suffered financial losses for paid placements and was pursuing this through debt collection processes.
Rowandale Care Home, housed in the same building, was shut down last year amid “serious concerns” over standards while another Little Einsteins Nursery in Dundee has also closed.
All are said to have been owned by Glasgow businessman Azim Khan who has been associated with a string of different companies.
The nurseries and care homes were operated by Forth Care Ltd under Mr Khan’s directorship until September 2020.
Forth Care currently has an active proposal to be struck off with overdue accounts indicated but is now said to be under the control of Umar Ishaq, a family friend of Mr Azim’s.
The Glasgow nursery was also at one point trading as Little Einsteins Nurseries Glasgow Ltd with Company House records listing Mr Khan’s wife Sobia as director.
Mr Khan, 42, is also listed online as the director of Bluemont Developments and a former director of Kelvingrove College and Wee Scholars Ltd.
He owns another care home, Hector House, on the south side of Glasgow.
Staff who worked at the care home and nurseries have said they are pursuing courts for lost wages and redundancy payments.
Deputy manager at the nursery, Kyrie Anderson, claimed she was paid some of her owed wages by the owners in exchange for removing a critical Facebook post but refused to take it down “until every member of staff was paid”.
She said: “When the care home was shut down Mr Khan’s name was everywhere so he decided to take his name off everything, which is why it was put over to Umar and Sobia.
“I owned the business and had involvement until last week.
“We are being told there is no more money to pay us.”
Families said they had no complaints about the care provided by staff at the nursery and said they have registered a complaint with the council’s trading standards department.
Mum Zoe Hunter said: “There has been no communication with parents from the owners regarding the closure or the return of monies lost for the last two weeks of March or our deposits returned.”
Another parent, Kirsten Shenk, added: “This man needs to never be allowed to run businesses where he is involved with vulnerable children and adults again.”
A spokesman for Forth Care claimed the nursery’s license had not been canceled and said it was working to resolve the issues and reopen.
He blamed “staff negligence” for the problems at Rowandale Care Home and said nursery staff had failed to manage the “required documents”.
He added: “All staff wages including holiday pay have been paid to date even in these difficult times when these is no income from the business and management is working to sort out remaining issues.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.