A row has broken out between Ofsted and a Huddersfield playgroup which has been running for decades.
Kirkheaton Playgroup, based in the village community centre, has been judged to be Inadequate by Ofsted inspector Nicola Dickinson.
She criticised the playgroup for failing to keep correct records, which led to her verdict that the owners had not met their legal requirements for the Childcare Register.
Although the visit was on June 19, the report has only just been published.
Owners Emma Greaves and Jenny Donaghy, who took over three years ago, lodged an official complaint to Ofsted the following day, June 20. They are expecting a decision before September 18.
Inspector Dickinson’s critical report stated: “The provider does not record sufficient information about staff qualifications, identity checks and vetting procedures. As a result, the provider cannot demonstrate that staff are suitable to work with children and therefore keep them safe.
“The provider does not ensure records kept are easily accessible and available, which is a legal requirement of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
“The provider does not ensure all staff can identify possible signs of abuse and neglect through training and guidance. As a result, children’s safety and well-being are not guaranteed.
“The provider has not obtained written parental consent for all children to take part in outings. As a result, she is not meeting the legal requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage.”
The owners are at a loss to understand why their records do not meet Ofsted requirements. They claim that full records and safety checks are kept and qualification certificates displayed on the wall.
According to Emma Greaves, another inspector and the playgroup’s Early Years advisor cannot find anything wrong with the record keeping.
She said: “We are at a loss to understand what is wrong, and we believe we have been unfairly treated.
“We have had a reply to our complaint, there is no individual name, phone number or address on the letter. When you try to follow up, you have more chance of getting through to the FBI than Ofsted.
“When you ring up, you speak to a call centre. They tell you to put it in writing and when you do, nobody gets back.
“It is very frustrating, the complaints procedure is very long winded and drawn out.”
Mrs Greaves also said that every child present when the inspector visited had written permission from their parents to take part in outings.
She added: “We just want somebody from Ofsted to come out here and, if there is something missing or incorrect, to tell us what it is. We just don’t know.”
Several parents objected to the attitude of the inspector on the day and have asked for Ofsted’s details to lodge their own complaints.
Owner Jenny Donaghy attended the playgroup as a child some 40 years ago. Today it has 26 children on its roll.