Complaints Procedure – Woodthorpe Children Centres Policies

Updated 13 Oct 2020

Statement of Intent

We believe 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 out Pre-school and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the Pre-School.  This also includes how we manage our Free Early Learning Provision.

We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly by an informal approach to the appropriate member of staff. If this does not achieve the desired results, we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns.


  • We aim to bring all concerns about the running of our Pre-School to a satisfactory conclusion for all of the parties involved.
  • To achieve this, we operate following complaints procedure.

How to complain

Stage 1

  • Any parent who is uneasy about an aspect of the Pre-School provision should talk over, first of all, his/her worries and anxieties with the Pre-School Manager.

Stage 2

  • If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or if the problem recurs, the parent moves to stage 2 of the procedure by putting the concerns or complaint in writing to the Pre-School Manager and the Chair of the Management Committee.
  • Most complaints should be able to be resolved informally at stage 1 or at stage 2.

Stage 3

  • At the meeting with the Pre-School Manager and the Trust Manager. Both the parent and the Pre-school Manager can have a friend or partner present if required. A written record of the discussion will be made. All of the parties present at the meeting should sign the record and receive copy of the clear action points devised to address the concern or complaint.
  • This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.

Stage 4

  • If at stage 3 meeting the parent and Pre-School Manager cannot reach an agreement; an external mediator is invited to help settle the complaint. The person should be acceptable to both parties, listen to both sides and offer advice. A mediator has no legal powers but can help define the problem, review the action so far and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved this could be a member of the children’s centre advisory board.
  • The mediator keeps all discussion confidential. S/he can hold separate meetings with the parent, Pre-school Manager, Trust Manager or Chair of the Trust. The mediator keeps an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and of any advice he/she gives.

Stage 5

  • When the mediator has concluded her/his investigations, a final meeting between the parent, Pre-School Manager and the Chair of Management 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:

The National Business Unit
The Royal Exchange Buildings
St Ann’s Square
M2 7LA

Tel: 08456 404040

If a child appears to be at risk, our preschool follows the procedures of the Safeguarding Service in our local authority.

In these cases, both the parent and the Pre-School are informed and the Pre-School Manager works with Ofsted or the Safeguarding Service to ensure proper investigation of the complaint followed by appropriate action.


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

Praise or Grumble Leaflets are freely available for parent/carers to record their comments and concerns. They can be placed anonymously in boxes within the group rooms.