Childcare provider’s flaws highlighted in Ofsted report


A CHILDCARE provider in Angmering has been rated inadequate by Ofsted and found to have serious flaws.

But Heather Harmer, owner of Beech Tree Childcare, in Roundstone Lane, Angmering, disputes the findings and has filed a complaint with Ofsted.

Key findings in inspector Jill Steer’s report reveal not all staff have undergone Disclosure and Barring Service checks (DBS), putting ‘children’s welfare at risk’; staff do not always obtain written consent from parents before giving medication; not all snacks were ‘nutritionally balanced’, as they did not give children sufficient energy or leave them satisfied; children played on tables which had not been cleaned after lunch; and the staff’s ability to interact with babies was criticised.

Speaking to the Gazette, Mrs Harmer said: “The report is factually incorrect. All the parents I have spoken to have full support for the nursery. It’s not a true reflection of what happens here. We are open and honest with the parents.

“It’s the staff I feel sorry for because they come in and do a really good job. We go above and beyond and, at the end of the day, I said to the staff, we shouldn’t worry about what people are putting on Facebook, it’s the people who leave their children with us and have backed us 100 per cent, they are the people we need to be concerned about.”

Addressing the issues raised in the report, Mrs Harmer said all staff have been DBS checked, except for a 17-year-old cleaner who ‘usually comes in at the weekend when there’s no children here’ and has no unsupervised contact with children; she said the employee working with babies ‘froze’ during the inspector’s visit but was an experienced carer; tables were cleaned prior to eating and children went straight outside to play once they had finished instead of playing on the tables; snacks comprised of bananas, grapes and milk and there was ‘plenty for everybody’; and she added that they had written consent from a parent to give medication but needed to contact the mother to clarify how to administer it.

When Beech Tree is reinspected, Mrs Harman, who has provided childcare for 14 years, said she was confident it would achieve a much higher score.

An Ofsted spokesperson said: “We do not confirm whether we have received complaints. However, all complaints about inspections are taken very seriously, will be investigated thoroughly and dealt with as quickly as possible.”

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