Ofsted are responsible for investigating complaints about registered childcare when they relate to the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage - however one of the requirements of the Foundation Stage is that all providers have a complaints procedure and that parents should be made aware of this. If you have not made a formal complaint to the provider before contacting Ofsted, they will ask you to do so unless you have a good reason not to. You should in the first instance speak to your childminder or daycare provider directly and try to resolve matters by talking them through. You may find it helpful to write down your concerns before you meet. If you remain unhappy then you should follow the complaints procedure and if necessary involve Ofsted. You can contact them on 0300 123 4666 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You should work out what you want to say before contacting Ofsted. You need to note any key persons, times and dates. You will probably be asked to put your concerns in writing.
However Ofsted do not act upon complaints about providers which relate to private matters between the provider and the complainant, such as:
- contractual or payment disputes
- employment matters
In these circumstances you may need to take legal advice.
If you feel that you are unable to talk about your concerns with the childminder or daycare provider because you think your child or another child in their care may be at risk of abuse or neglect, you should report your concerns immediately to Ofsted and also inform the local Child Protection Assessment Team. In Redbridge you can contact this team on 020 8708 3781.
You can also contact Families Information Direct for further advice and guidance.