Complaints Procedure

Statement of intent

Our playgroup believes 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 and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the playgroup. We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly by an informal approach to the child's Key worker or the playgroup leader. If the parent feels unable to raise the matter in this way they should approach the Chair of the Playgroup Committee. If this does not achieve the desired result, we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns.


We aim to bring all concerns about the running of our playgroup to a satisfactory conclusion for all of the parties involved.

EYFS key themes and commitments

A Unique Child Positive Relationships Enabling Environments Learning and Development
1.2 Inclusive Practice

2.1 Respecting each other

2.2 Parents as partners




To achieve this, we operate the following complaints procedure.

How to complain:

Stage 1
• Any parent who is uneasy about an aspect of the playgroup's provision talks over, first of all, his/her worries and anxieties with the key worker or playgroup leader.

Stage 2
• If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the problem reoccurs, the parent moves to Stage 2 of the procedure by putting the concerns or complaint in writing to the playgroup leader and the chair of the playgroup committee.
• Most complaints should be able to be resolved informally at Stage l or at Stage2.


Stage 3
• The parent requests a meeting with the playgroup leader and the chair of the playgroup committee. Both the parent and the leader should have a friend or partner present if required. An agreed written record of the discussion is 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.

Stage 4
If at the Stage 3 meeting the parent and playgroup cannot reach agreement, an external mediator is invited to help settle the complaint. This person should be acceptable to both parties, listen to both sides and offer advice. A mediator has no legal powers but can help to define the problem, review the action so far and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved.
Staff or volunteers within the Pre-school Learning Alliance are appropriate persons to be invited to act as mediators.
The mediator keeps all discussion confidential. S/he can hold separate meetings with the playgroup personnel (playgroup leader and chair of the playgroup committee) and the parent, if this is decided to be helpful. The mediator keeps an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and of any advice s/he gives.

Stage 5
• When the mediator has concluded her/his investigations, a final meeting between the parent, the playgroup leader and the chair of the playgroup 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 Office for Standards in Education, Early Years Directorate (Ofsted) and the Area Child Protection Committee.
Parents may approach Ofsted directly at any stage of this complaints procedure. In addition, where there seems to be a possible breach of our registration requirements, it is essential to involve Ofsted as the registering and inspection body with a duty to ensure the National Standards for Day Care are adhered to.
The address and telephone number of our Ofsted regional centre are:

Early Years
Ofsted Eastern Regional Office
2nd Floor, Field House
Station Approach
CM20 2FS
0845 601 4771
These details are displayed on our playgroup's notice board.

If a child appears to be at risk, our playgroup follows the procedures of the Area Child Protection Committee in our local authority.
In these cases, both the parent and playgroup are informed and the playgroup leader works with Ofsted or the Area Child Protection Committee to ensure a proper investigation of the complaint followed by appropriate action.

A record of complaints against our playgroup and/or the children and/or the adults working in our playgroup is kept, including the date, the circumstances of the complaint and how the complaint was managed.


This policy was adopted at a meeting of Much Hadham Playgroup on 17th November 2009.