Complaints Procedure

We aim to offer a welcome to each individual child and family and to provide a warm and caring environment within which all children can learn and develop as they play.

We believe children and parents are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. Our intention is to work in partnership with parents and the community generally and we welcome suggestions on how to improve our group at any time.

Making concerns known:

A parent who is uneasy about any aspect of the group’s provision should first of all talk over any worries and anxieties with the pre-school leader or a member of the committee if they would prefer. Committee members are listed on the half termly newsletters sent out to all parents.

If this does not have a satisfactory outcome within a couple of weeks, or if the problem reoccurs, the parent should put the concerns or complaint in writing and request a meeting with the pre-school leader and the chair of the management committee. Both parents and the leader should have a friend or partner present if required and an agreed written record of the discussion should be made.

Most complaints should be resolved informally or at this initial stage.

If the matter is still not resolved to the parent’s satisfaction, the parent should again contact the Chairperson.

If parent and group cannot reach agreement, 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 powers but can help to clarify the situation. Staff or volunteers within the Pre-school Learning Alliance will be available to act as mediator if both parties wish it.

The mediator will help define the problem, review the action so far and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved.

The mediator will keep all discussions confidential. S/he will meet with the group if requested and will keep an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and of any advice s/he has given.

The role of the registering authority

In some circumstances, it will be necessary to bring in the Local Authority registration and inspection unit, who have a duty to ensure legal requirements are adhered to and with whom the Pre-school Learning Alliance works in partnership to encourage high standards. The registering authority would be involved if a child appeared to be at risk or where there seems to be a possible breach of registration requirements. In these cases both parents and pre-school would be informed and the Pre-school Learning Alliance field worker would work with the social services department to ensure a proper investigation of the complaint followed by appropriate action.

We believe that most complaints are made constructively and can be sorted out at an early stage. We also believe that it is in the best interests of the pre-school and parents that complaints should be taken seriously and dealt with fairly and in a way which respects confidentiality.