At our Playgroup we aim to provide a high quality of education and care of all the children.  We aim to offer a welcome to each individual child and family and to provide a warm and caring environment within which all the children can learn and develop through their play.  We believe that children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes.  We welcome suggestions on how to improve our playgroup.

We recognise that occasionally there may be concerns by parents about some aspect of the running of the group and we hope that through the good relationship that we have with parents, any concerns will be expressed, discussed and a solution agreed.  However, if there is not a satisfactory conclusion, the following procedures will apply:

Making concerns known

Any parent who is uneasy about an aspect of the group’s provision should first talk with one of the Joint Play Leaders.

If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or the problem recurs, the parent should put the concerns or complaint in writing to the Joint Play Leaders and chairperson of the management committee.

Most complaints should be resolved informally at this stage

If the matter or concern is not sorted out to the parent’s satisfaction, the parent should again contact the Joint Play Leaders and request a meeting with the Joint Play Leaders, together with the chairperson of the management committee.  Both the parent and the Joint Play Leaders should have a friend, partner or colleague present if wished and an agreed written record of the discussion should be made.  All of the parties present at the meeting sign the record and receive a copy of it.

This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.

If the parent and group cannot reach an agreement, an external mediator (someone who is acceptable to both parent and group) should be invited to listen to both sides and offer advice.  Such a mediator has no legal powers, must be impartial but may be able to clarify the situation.  (A mediator could be someone from the Surrey Early Years Development & Childcare Service or from the Pre-school Learning Alliance).

The mediator will help define the problem, review the action to date and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved.  The mediator will keep all discussion confidential.  S/he will meet with the group if requested and keep an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and any advice given.

When the mediator has concluded her/his investigations, a final meeting between the parent, the Joint Play Leaders and the chairperson of the management committee is held.  The purpose of this meeting is to reach a decision on the action to be taken to deal with the complaint.  The mediator’s advice is used to reach this conclusion.  The mediator is present at the meeting if all parties think this will help a decision to be reached.

A record of this meeting, including the decision on the action to be taken, is made.  Everyone present at the meeting signs the record and receives a copy of it.  This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.

The role of the registering authority i.e. Ofsted

Parents may approach the Partnership Development Officer of Surrey Early Years Development and Childcare Service, who work closely with Ofsted, at any stage.  Parents may also approach Ofsted directly at any stage of this complaints procedure.  Ofsted would be involved if a child appeared to be at risk or where registration requirements and the National Standards were not being met.  In such an instance a full investigation would be made followed by appropriate action.  Details of how to contact Surrey Early Years Development and Childcare Service and Ofsted are displayed on our noticeboard.

This policy was reviewed and updated on 10/01/2019.