Two Staple Hill childminders have closed down after receiving the lowest ratings from Ofsted.
Both had previously been ranked as Good by the education watchdog – and both have quit since the latest inspections. Neither are named in the Ofsted reports.
The first childminder had been registered with Ofsted since 2011 and was rated as Good at inspections in 2012, 2015 and 2019. However, Ofsted carried out the most recent visit earlier this year as a result of a risk assessment following information received, and as a result was rated as Inadequate in all categories.
The inspector Lisa Large found that the childminder frequently exceeded the required ratios and was unable to manage children’s behaviour or interact with them appropriately, due to the “loud and chaotic environment”.
Her report said: “Units containing toys fall forward onto children. The childminder’s dog frequently knocks children over. At times, the dog becomes aggressive towards the childminder. She fails to identify this risk or protect children by removing the dog from the area.”
Her report also noted: “The childminder is frequently too busy trying to manage the dog’s behaviour, picking up toys and rocking children in buggies to be able to interact effectively with children. She is often unable to support children when they are upset, which impacts on their emotional well-being. At times, she puts the television on to try to reduce the chaos. However, this adds to the noise levels and disrupts children’s play and rest further. Children are often unable to concentrate, which negatively impacts on their ability to learn. The childminder does not understand how children learn.”
The reports highlighted that dog toys litter the floor, along with children’s toys: “The dog frequently chews children’s toys, which they play with afterwards. Children put dog toys and bones in their mouths, which spread germs and increases their risk of other infections.”
Children were often unable to sleep due to the noise and the space used for childminding did not give children enough room to play and explore freely.
The report also noted that the childminder’s curriculum was weak”.
A separate childminder in Staple Hill who registered with Ofsted since 2016 has also been rated as Inadequate in all categories.
In 2018 the childminder was told that she required improvement but in 2019 she was rated as Good. Again the most recent inspection was carried out as a result of a risk assessment following information that Ofsted received.
The report said: “The childminder fails to understand her responsibility to safeguard children. She fails to supervise children at all times. She leaves her unvetted assistant in sole charge of children.”
The report said that the childminder did not hold a valid paediatric first aid certificate and her risk assessments of the premises and hygiene procedures were not good enough to support children’s health and safety.
“The childminder does not fulfil her responsibility to maintain records and ensure that required information about children is easily accessible. These weaknesses place children’s safety and well-being at significant risk of harm.”
The report added: “The childminder does not implement a curriculum that effectively supports children’s all-round learning and development in readiness for school.”