Caring for young children involves sharing responsibility with their parents and families and recognising the prime role they play in their children's upbringing. As a Registered Childminder I aim to provide the highest quality childcare and education for all children in my care.
I believe that children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. My intention is to work in partnership with parents and the community generally and I welcome suggestions on how to improve my childcare facility at any time.
All concerns or worries will be taken seriously regardless of gender, racial origins, cultural or social background (including religion, language, class and family pattern), disability, health, age or sexuality.
Making Concerns Known
A parent who is uneasy about any aspect of the provision should first talk over any concerns or worries with myself.
If we do not have a satisfactory outcome within a couple of weeks, the parents should then put the complaint in writing and request a formal meeting with myself. Both the parents and myself should have a friend or partner present and an agreed written record should be made.
The same applies for any concerns or complaints that I myself might have. I will first have an informal meeting with the parent(s) in question, to voice my concerns and to see if we can reach a satisfactory outcome.
Again if a satisfactory outcome has not been reached within a couple of weeks, I will then put the concern or complaint in writing and possibly request a formal meeting with the parents to discuss the problem. A written record will be made of any meetings held.
Most concerns or complaints should be resolved informally or at this initial stage
If the matter is still not resolved to the parent's satisfaction, then the parents again should contact myself. In the case of myself having the concern then I would again request a meeting with the parent(s) to seek a possible solution or agreement.
If an agreement cannot be reached then it might be helpful to invite an external mediator, one who is acceptable to both parties, to listen to both sides and offer advice. A mediator has no legal power, but can help to clarify the situation.
The mediator will help to define the problem, review the action so far and suggest further ways in which it might be solved.
The mediator will keep all discussions confidential. S/he will keep a written record of any meetings that are held and of any advice s/he has given.
The role of the Registering Authority - OFSTED
In some circumstances, it might be necessary to bring in OFSTED who registered me as a childminder) on 0845 601 4772, or to contact the Children's Information Service for further advice on 0845 602 1125. Who have a duty to ensure laid down requirements are adhered to. They should be involved if a child appeared to be at risk or where there seemed to be a possible breach of registration requirements. In these cases both parent and childminder would be informed and OFSTED will ensure a proper investigation of the complaint is followed by appropriate action.
I believe that most complaints are made constructively and can be sorted out at an early stage.
I also believe that it is in the best interest of the childminder and parents that complaints should be taken seriously and dealt with fairly in a way that respects confidentiality.