Childcare Office

Complaints Policy

Cambridge Universities' Holiday Playscheme (CUHP) is committed to providing a safe, stimulating, consistent and accessible service to children their parents and to our staff. We always aim to provide high quality services for everyone, but accept that sometimes things do not always go to plan. In such circumstances, we want to know of any concerns so that we can put them right and learn from our mistakes.

This policy constitutes the Cambridge Universities' Holiday Playschemes formal Complaints Procedure. Under normal circumstances, the Playscheme Co-ordinator will be responsible for managing complaints and communicating with the Manager of Childcare Services. If a complaint is made against the Playscheme Co-ordinator, the Manager of Childcare Services will conduct the investigation. All complaints made will be recorded in detail and stored.

Stage One

If a child, parent or staff member has a complaint about some aspect of the Cambridge Universities' Holiday Playscheme activity, or about the conduct of an individual member of staff, it will often be possible to resolve the problem by speaking to the Site Co-ordinator and/or to the Playscheme Co-ordinator. As outlined in the Partnership with Parents Policy, CUHP is committed to regular and open dialogue with parents and the Playscheme welcomes all comments on its services, regardless of whether they are positive or negative. CUHP also requests feedback from parents and children via regular evaluations and questionnaires.

In the first instance, children, parents or staff are encouraged to speak directly to the Site Co-ordinator, if deemed appropriate. Alternatively, the Playscheme Co-ordinator should be approached, who will try to resolve the problem. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be found, then Stage Two of the procedure will formally come into operation. All complaints will be logged so that issues can be reviewed as part of CUHP's commitment to maintain best practice.

Stage Two

If informal discussions of a complaint or problem have not produced a satisfactory resolution to the situation, the child, parents or staff should put their complaint in writing to the Playscheme Co-ordinator. Relevant names, dates, evidence and any other important information on the nature of the complaint should be included.

CUHP will acknowledge receipt of the complaint as soon as possible—within three to seven working days. The matter will be fully investigated within 28 working days. If there is any delay, CUHP will advise the child, parents or staff member of this and offer an explanation. The Playscheme Co-ordinator will be responsible for sending a full and formal response to the complaint.

If the complaint has Child Protection implications, CUHP Designated Child Protection Officers will be informed and will ensure that the local Social Care department is contacted, according to the procedure set out in the Safeguarding Policy. If any party involved in the complaint has good reason to believe that a criminal offence has been committed, then the police will be contacted.

The Playscheme Co-ordinator may arrange to meet the child, parent or staff member concerned and any other relevant individuals, such as members of staff, to discuss the complaint and the Cambridge Universities' Holiday Playschemes response to it. The Playscheme Co-ordinator will judge if it is best for all parties to meet together or if individual meetings are more appropriate.

Either party may need to consider consulting an external mediator who is acceptable to both parties and will offer support and advice. Any mediator must ensure discussions are kept confidential.

A formal response to the complaint will be sent to the child, parent or staff member concerned and copied to all relevant members of staff if appropriate. The response will include recommendations for dealing with the complaint and for any amendments to the CUHP's policies or procedures emerging from the investigation.

If at the conclusion of this process the child, parents or staff member remain dissatisfied with the response they have received, the original complaint along with CUHP's response will be passed to the Manager of Childcare Services who will adjudicate the case. A formal record of all meetings will be taken and made available for those concerned should they wish to see them.

The Manager of Childcare Services will communicate a detailed response, including any actions to be taken, to both the Playscheme Co-ordinator and the parents concerned within 15–28 working days.

At any stage if the child, parent or staff member is dissatisfied with the response or concerned about children's welfare they can make a complaint to Ofsted.

Making a Complaint to Ofsted

Any child, parent or staff member can, at any time, submit a complaint to Ofsted about any aspect of registered childcare provision. Ofsted will consider and investigate all complaints received that are in breach of the relevant statutory requirements.

Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD
0300 123 1231

Policy reviewed 6 December 2011.