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Childminder Disagrees with ‘Inadequate’ Rating by Watchdog

Published on: 7 Oct, 2021
Updated on: 7 Oct, 2021

By Julie Armstrong

local democracy reporter

A Guildford childminder has been rated inadequate after an education watchdog found children’s safety is “compromised”.

Jane Foster, director of Cotton Tails Nursery based in Wykeham Road, a residential road in Bushey Hill, Merrow, was given an inadequate rating in every category following a routine inspection last month by Ofsted, the first since she registered three years ago.

Inspector Kelly Lane said in a report that kids’ behaviour “is not well managed”, citing examples of young children who were not fastened in their high chairs, while others walked around eating food, which was a choking risk, and ate food that they had dropped on the floor.

She added that the childminder had not followed “the correct procedures with Ofsted to ensure the suitability of her assistant”.

Jane Foster told the LDRS she has submitted a complaint to Ofsted and disagrees with the report “wholeheartedly”, but added she wouldn’t comment further.

And parents shared positive feedback, telling the inspector they were happy with their children’s care and were kept informed each day of their child’s well-being.

The front sheet of the contested Ofsted report on Cotton Tails Nursery

What does the report say?

The childminder looks after children, aged between one and three, in Guildford, and works with an assistant who holds an early years qualification at level 2.

The Ofsted report, published earlier this week after an inspection on September 3, said: “Children’s behaviour is not well managed. The childminders routine of her setting [sic] does not promote positive behaviour for children. For example, at story time and group times, young children are continually told to sit down. This causes disruption and limits learning opportunities.

“Furthermore, quieter children attempt to make conversations. These are overlooked by the childminder, and she misses several opportunities to support early communication.

“Children are bored and make their own amusement as they throw toys around the garden due to very little being available for them to do.

“Children’s health and well-being are put at risk as they eat food dropped on the floor. Furthermore, they walk around eating food.

“Children show a lack of challenge. The childminder does not plan her curriculum well enough to support their individual learning and development needs.

“Although children are happy in the childminder’s care, their attitudes to learning are not promoted well enough.

“Parents share positive feedback regarding the care of their children and comment that they are happy with their children’s care. The childminder keeps them informed each day of their child’s well-being.”

The report also said the childminder and her assistant regularly updated their safeguarding knowledge and that “children are happy in the childminder’s care”.

What did the childminder say?

Jane Foster, who has 11 children on her roll, told the LDRS: “I have always, and will remain in close contact with the local authority for continuous improvement, advice and training.

“I am currently liaising with the Early Years Team at Surrey County Council for guidance in regards specifically to the Ofsted inspection.

“It is the right of myself, and the parents, to disagree with the referenced Ofsted report wholeheartedly and therefore I refrain from any further comments whilst the complaint procedure is ongoing.

“The nature of the complaints are concerns related to the process of inspection and the conclusion made.”

Ofsted is expected to re-inspect the childminder within six months.

The Ofsted report can be found here.

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