Childminders quit after inspectors find safety risks

TWO childminders in Staple Hill have closed their businesses after inspectors found children in their care were at risk of harm.

Neither of the childminders has been named by regulator Ofsted, which said toddlers staying with one of the women were knocked over by her “aggressive” dog, and put its toys and bones in their mouths.

After visiting her in January the inspectors said she was “unable to manage children’s behaviour or interact with them appropriately, due to the loud and chaotic environment” at her premises.

The inspectors said: “The childminder’s dog frequently knocks children over. At times, the dog becomes aggressive towards the childminder.

“She fails to identify this risk or protect children by removing the dog from the area. The space used for childminding is not appropriate for the number and age of the children. As a result of this, children play and jump on the sofa, often with the dog also present on the sofa. 

“Dog toys litter the floor, along with children’s toys.

“The dog frequently chews children’s toys, which they play with afterwards.

“Children put dog toys and bones in their mouths, which spread germs and increases their risk of other infections.”

Ofsted rated the provision ‘inadequate’ and intended to issue a welfare notice requiring urgent improvements but the woman resigned her registration, which means she is no longer legally able to operate as a childminder.

The report said she had been registered since 2011 and had looked after up to six children, aged one and two, for four days a week.

The inspectors said: “The childminder is frequently too busy trying to manage the dog’s behaviour, picking up toys and rocking children in buggies, to be able to interact effectively with children.”

In addition to the issues with the dog, the inspectors said toy containers sometimes fell on to children, youngsters were often unable to sleep due to noise levels and hygiene practices were poor, which “put children’s health at risk”.

They said: “The childminder does not understand how children learn. She does not have appropriate expectations for children’s development. Children wander around, throwing toys and tipping out boxes. Children do not have their care and learning needs met.”

The report said the childminder did not teach youngsters to behave, stop them arguing or help those who tried to resolve disputes themselves.

 “As a result, children do not learn the difference between right and wrong.”

The second childminder, also from Staple Hill but not connected to the first, also resigned following an Ofsted rating of inadequate in March.

The regulator’s report said “children’s safety and welfare cannot be assured” because they were left in the sole care of another member of the woman’s household, who had not been vetted, putting youngsters at “significant risk of harm”.

The inspectors said: “The childminder does not work effectively with parents to support children’s toilet training. This means children who are due to start school are still in nappies.”

By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service