Monday, 9 January 2012

Having a voice



When you are unhappy with your child's daycare, remember you have a voice!!







I have spoken to a few parents recently who are not 100 per cent happy with some of the things they have witnessed in their child's daycare settings, and yet feel totally inadequate about discussing their concerns to the staff or management.






It can be a little intimidating and uncomfortable for parents to approach staff when they are unhappy, but at the end of the day it is important to remember that your child's well being is the most important thing, and if you feel this could be compromised, you need to bring it to someones attention. The first port of call is the staff in the room, unless you feel it is so important, or directly concerns the staff, in which case you would go directly to management.

If you feel that you cannot speak your concerns, a letter is a good start. This also gives them something to refer back to and would need to be kept on record. If, after you have done this, things have not improved, or the situation is more severe, you can call OFSTED, who will investigate the situation as soon as possible. This would be done anonymously, so you would not need to feel uncomfortable that you are the ones that complained.

All daycare providers have to adhere to the National Standards, 14 points which every setting must adhere by in order to run a childcare environment. These standards are:

1. Suitable person ( in other words that the setting is run by adults with the relevant qualifications and CRB checks)

2. Organisation

The 'registered person' - that is, the person or organisation that has the overall responsibility for providing the childcare - must meet the required adult:child ratios, must make sure that the space and resources are organised to meet the children's needs effectively. An operational plan must be drawn up.

3. Care, learning and play

This standard covers the activities and play opportunities that must be provided to develop the children's emotional, physical, social and intellectual capabilities.

4. Physical environment

The premises must be safe, secure and suitable and provide a welcoming environment for children, staff and parents. The appropriate amount of space must be allocated to different areas and activities.

5. Equipment

The furniture, toys and equipment in the nursery must be appropriate for their purpose and help to create an accessible and stimulating environment. They must conform to safety standards and be well maintained.

6. Safety

This standard covers the steps to be taken to promote safety in the nursery and on any outings and the precautions to be taken against accidents happening. A statement of the fire safety procedures must be prepared.

7. Health

The registered person must promote the good health of the children and take positive steps to prevent the spread of infection. Appropriate measures must be taken when children are ill, and an accident book and details of any medicines administered must be kept.

8. Food and Drink

Deals with providing children with regular food and drink that is nutritious, appropriate to their needs and properly prepared. Dietary or religious requirements should be taken into account.

9. Equal opportunities

Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practices should be actively promoted.

10. Special needs

The welfare and development of children with special needs should be promoted.

11. Behaviour

This standard deals with how the children's behaviour is managed so as to promote their welfare and development.

12. Working in partnership with parents and carers

A close relationship between the day care provider and parents benefits the child and should be fostered by maintaining close links and sharing information.

13. Child protection
Guidance on the procedures to follow to ensure the children's welfare, safety and protection.

14. Documentation

Records relating to the operation of the day nursery must be maintained and retained for a specified period. Some records, such as details of each child and their parents, must be kept on the premises

You are within your rights as a parent to quote these standards if you complain to OFSTED, especially if you feel one or even more of them are not being met. Remember, you are the parent and you have to go with your gut feeling and make yourselves heard.

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