Playscheme ‘does not meet legal requirements’ for early years settings

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Inspectors say an out-of-school village holiday playscheme ‘does not meet legal requirements for early years settings.’

A report produced after the Ofsted inspection of the Isfield Village Playscheme on July 31 this year gives the thumbs down to the way the group is led and managed. It also finds fault with the food and drink on offer and says policy doesn’t cover the use of mobile phones and cameras.

Overall, it obtained an ‘Inadequate’ rating at level four for the ‘quality and standards of the early years provision.’ The rating had plunged from ‘Good’ at its previous inspection in 2012.

However the scheme achieves ‘Good’ ratings for how well the early years provision meets the needs of the range of children who attend and the contribution of the early years provision to the wellbeing of children, marking it level two.

In the introduction to the report, an ‘inadequate’ rating at level four is given to ‘the effectiveness of the leadership and management of the early years provision’ and ‘requires improvement’ at level three to ‘the contribution of the early years provision to the wellbeing of children.’

Under the ‘summary of key findings for parents’ the report states ‘The provider does not carry out her own checks to ensure staff are suitable to work with children. This is also a breach of the Childcare Register requirements.’

It continues: “The provider’s safeguarding policy does not sufficiently explain the procedures that the provider and staff need to follow to protect children from abuse or neglect. This is also a breach of the Childcare Register requirements.’

It goes on to say the safeguarding policy does not specify the actions she needs to take in the event of an allegation against a member of staff, nor does it cover the use of mobile phones and cameras, which doesn’t enable others to follow clear guidance.

Also criticised is the observation that not all children have a specific member of staff to meet their needs and some do not receive as much individual support as needed with their care.

However the report does praise certain aspects of the scheme’s work. Inspectors were impressed with staff, saying they are good role models.

They also say children behave well and they are kept safe with staff carrying out visual safety checks throughout the day.

In order to meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, the provider must ensure all staff and others there aged 16 and over are and remain suitable to work with children. The current safeguarding policy should be updated and organisers must give clear guidance on the use of mobile phones and cameras. A specific member of staff should be allocated to each child so individual needs can be supported. This person would also be the main point of contact for children and families. Finally the Playscheme must ensure all food and drink is healthy and nutritious.

As an addition, inspectors ask for a self-evaluation system, plus the views of staff, children and parents so improvements can be identified.

The recommendations and comments were arrived at after Inspector Lucy Newman observed children during their play and everyday activities. She also spoke to parents and children and took account of their views as well as speaking to staff about their practice.

The views of the provider and managers were also listened to and Ms Newman took account of these. She examined a range of documentation including staff’s and children’s records, policies and procedures.

Isfield village Playscheme was registered in 1994 and operates from the village hall. It is open for two weeks each summer from 9am-4pm and there are eight members of staff, two of whom hold qualified teacher status and two hold relevant qualifications at level three. The age range of children is from four to eight. The Scheme is run by Carole Ring.

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