Crèche staff lost my DD!

(54 Posts)
PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 09:11:35

My DS3 and DD1 attended a crèche run by our local children's centre yesterday, while I was on a course.

At the end of the course I went into the crèche room to pick them up. DS was sat playing but I couldn't see DD anywhere. One of the ladies noticed me looking round and asked another member of staff where my DD was. She replied that DD was with third member of staff. I said she wasn't as I had just seen the third member of staff washing pots in the kitchen.

So the first two staff and I started looking for DD, she was found outside, on her own on the wooden play equipment. No one had known where she was, or had even noticed her absence. The three members of staff had only been caring for 7 children.

My DD was fine, I picked her up and gave her a cuddle, got my DS and went home.

But now it's all I can think about. I don't know how long she was outside on her own, definitely 5 mins minimum. A lot could have happened in 5 mins, it didn't though I know.

The play area she was found in is right next to the road. Whilst the centre is gated, the gates are not locked as it is a drop in centre.

WWYD? Should this be recorded as a 'near miss' type event? Should I take it further, or just be glad my DD is safe? I really can't stop thinking about DD on her own.

EduCated Sat 28-Sep-13 19:29:43

In that case it sounds like there might be other concerns about their adequacy. Definitely follow up. Do you have any other child are alternatives whilst you're on the course?

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 20:28:46

The course is run by Sure Start so I would have to stop attending really. I was very keen on doing this course though, paediatric first aid!

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 22:15:41

Thank you for all the replies, you've really helped me to cope with this through the day. I may get some sleep tonight smile

notanyanymore Sat 28-Sep-13 22:21:40

I think you should complain, right away, in writing. It takes the pressure off 'holding it together' when you try raising it (I'm awful in those kind of situations and somehow always manage to talk myself out of it without them having said a word!) And IMO this scenario is well worth a formal complaint (especially if you need to continue to use the childcare) and in those circa its always best to have everything in writing to maintain an accurate record.

GingerbreadMoomin Sat 28-Sep-13 22:28:23

I'd complain straight away to the manager and to ofsted regardless of wanting to complete the course. I understand that you'll need them to provide childcare for the remainder of the sessions but they should be able to deal with your complaint in a mature way

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 22:39:12

Notanyanymore - exactly, I hate difficult conversations and can imagine by the end of it I would be the one apologising profusely!

notanyanymore Sat 28-Sep-13 22:47:05

Yup that's me too! But honestly within this set of circs you are not wrong to complain! From the sound of it you really need to continue with the childcare and if you complain, well its the only way really to get their attention and ensure they are properly looking after your child. Have you got anyone that could help you with the letter?

notanyanymore Sat 28-Sep-13 22:48:33

Or email, emails even better. Legally it holds the same weight as a written letter and you get a copy of what was written, when it was sent etc.

BrianTheMole Sat 28-Sep-13 22:51:04

Absolutely not good enough. Complain to ofsted.

Wonderstuff Sat 28-Sep-13 22:54:32

Definitely get it in writing and complain, I'd go to OFSTED too, even if you aren't ever going to use them again they need to improve things for the safety of other children. At 1 I'd expect staff have a child in their sights at all times.

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 22:54:53

Unfortunately I have guests all day tomorrow and most of the day on Monday, so will have to draft something Monday evening. Putting some more time between the event and writing the letter may actually help me to be less emotional and more direct with my complaint.

moldingsunbeams Sat 28-Sep-13 23:42:19

A friend of mine was involved in a similar incident, I would put a complaint in writing to both the creche and cc it to ofsted.
In my friends case the creche arranged 1 - 1 for her child for the remainder of the course.

While first aid is very important I am afraid without apology and acknowledgement of what they have done I would not be leaving my child there.

At our sure start centre the access to the outside at the front was very secure so a child wandering into the play area would not be a massive issue and indeed open play and access was encouraged however this is a one year old and a different ball game.

BlackberrySeason Sat 28-Sep-13 23:58:30

What happened was awful. Please do complain.

Thumbwitch Sun 29-Sep-13 04:31:51

I'm sorry that it seems as though you won't be able to complete your course but under the circumstances I wouldn't leave her there again.

Woefully inadequate care, and clearly getting a poor OFSTED report hasn't shaken them up sufficiently to pull their socks up, so it would be a definite No.

Report them to OFSTED, and cc OFSTED in to any communication you have with the manager.

LadyBarlow Sun 29-Sep-13 04:46:35

There should be a children's centre manager who is in charge of everything at the centre. I would write/speak to them but I would also be reporting this to ofsted immediately. This type of neglect would, in my experience, trigger a visit by an ofsted inspector. The setting will be expected to show they have procedures in place for children in their care & ofsted will then want to know why these policies were not adhered to.
Please please do not let this go, please report it.

PookBob Sun 29-Sep-13 20:20:13

Could anyone help? Particularly childcare professionals?

After I left the children's centre on Friday, should the staff have filled in some kind of record of this event? An accident book type entry of a safeguarding issue?

I would like to query wether this happened if it would have been standard procedure. I am concerned that they may not have done to protect themselves from internal or external investigation given their already 'inadequate' OFSTED rating.

Thank you,

hettienne Sun 29-Sep-13 20:28:45

I work in a children's centre and actually don't know what the procedure would be in that situation as we have never lost a child shock

I would want an immediate face to face meeting with the manager now though and would be contacting Ofsted and the LA.

zzzzz Sun 29-Sep-13 20:43:13

You must put in a formal complaint, and you mustn't leave your child with them.

Parent partnership might be able to help if you are feeling wobbly.

PookBob Sun 29-Sep-13 21:21:36

Zzzzzzz - could you tell me what parent partnership is?

zzzzz Sun 29-Sep-13 21:34:41

Have had a closer look and their help is focused on children with sn, which is a pity as they will advocate for you. I think a call to ofsted to talk through your concerns and how to best tackle this will make you feel more confident.

www.ofsted.gov.uk/early-years-and-childcare/for-parents-and-carers/how-complain

I think it's easier to be business like and brave on the phone.

Cindy34 Sun 29-Sep-13 21:49:50

Initially as others have already said, write to or talk to the manager. They may not be aware that the incident happened and they may be able to put in measures, procedures to prevent it happening again.
If the garden/playarea has a gate that is unlocked, then that needs addressing. It needs to be secure when in use by children.

An incident form should ideally have been completed at the time by the member of staff in charge at the time. Such reports are then used by management to identify risks and take action to minimise risks.

If actions taken by the manager are not to your satisfaction you could put a complaint in to the regulator.

PookBob Sun 29-Sep-13 22:56:33

Thank you zzzzzz, I'm going to go into the centre tomorrow morning and speak to the manager. I am going to ask if an incident report has been completed and really just get a feel for how seriously this is being taken. I will then probably contact OFSTED and talk it through with them.

PookBob Sun 29-Sep-13 22:59:54

Also, I am concerned that the other 5 parents on the course will continue to use this crèche facility for the next 4 weeks, and they will probably never know what happened on Friday, it could so easily have been one of their children.

I am absolutely against scaremongering and gossip, but I feel awful that I can't warn them about this.

chelsbells Sun 29-Sep-13 23:08:40

Glad to hear she was found safe and sound!!

I work in a nursery and the protocol for an incident like this would be managers taking witness statements of all staff, who left the outside space in what order, when then counted the children, who had the register, who checked the garden on leaving etc and how and when and what they did when they realized she was missing. This would then be gone through with you and reported to the local safeguarding board and suitable action then taken against the staff!

Ask to see the incident report as you have a right - and please complain to ofsted!! It isn't right that so called childcare can do this to the children!

PookBob Sun 29-Sep-13 23:14:31

Thank you Chelsbells, that's exactly the information I was looking for.

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