THE OWNER OF an after school club, that has been running for over ten years, has described the criticisms by Ofsted in a report as “Unfounded”.
Ofsted has labelled the Chill Out Kids Club as “Inadequate” and has made a number of very harsh observations.
The club caters for up to 75 children between 3pm and 6pm in the Fawbert and Barnard school premises in Old Harlow.
The club has a page on the Fawbert and Barnard school website. On the site, they state:
“You’ve tried the rest! So try THE BEST. We have, since February 2002 provided Quality care for the local community.. the club has worked extremely hard to gain awards and recogntion for the service we provide to parents and ALL children.
The Ofsted report appears to paint a very different picture:
1. The owner has failed to make sure that there is a suitably qualified and experienced member of staff in the position of manager.
2. In addition, there she has not identified a qualified person to take charge in their absence. This impacts on the quality of provision being provided to children attending.
3. The owner is not able to demonstrate that all staff working with children have been appropriately vetted. This does not protect the safety of those children attending.
4. The owner has failed to ensure that the areas used by children are safe and secure. Staff do not keep a record of all accidents and injuries to children in their care. In addition parents are not consistently informed if their child has had an accident. This does not protect the well-being and safety of children.
5. The owner has not ensured there is a suitably qualified member of staff who can take the lead for child protection. In addition, not all staff are aware of what the groups safeguarding procedure is. This means that children are not fully protected.
6. The organisation of staff is poor. Children are not given enough supervision and support. This creates a chaotic environment with poor behaviour from children.
7. Children are not provided with sufficient toys and resources to play with. This in children becoming bored and does not support their development.
The main body of the report also made the following observations.
1. Staff demonstrate inadequate knowledge and understanding about the children in their care. Staff engagement with parents is weak because there is no key person system in place. This means that children are not helped to become familiar with the setting or develop a settled relationship with a trusted adult.
2. Staff have a poor awareness of what children can and cannot do or their likes and dislikes. They do not engage in any planning to support children’s progress in the prime areas of learning. Most staff lack enthusiasm, resulting in their inadequate engagement with children attending.
As a consequence, they become bored and disruptive as they wander around aimlessly, looking for things to do. The activities do not complement their learning in other setting where they spend more time. Therefore, children, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, do not make adequate progress in their learning.
3. Children’s self-confidence is inadequately fostered, for example, they show interest in a board game dominated by a group of older children. However, the lack of staff support does not enable their participation in this complex game.
4. Children’s well-being and welfare is not adequate supported because there is no key person system in place. As a result, their emotional well-being and security during transition between home, school and the Kids Club are not supported. Partnerships with parents are poor and children with special educational needs and/or disabilities do not have their needs adequately met.
5.The deployment of staff is inadequate, which results in their failure to recognise the needs of children in their care. For example, some staff fail to interact with children as a result, they are not provided with support to access and engage in activities. This leads children to take part in negative behaviour, creating an environment which is chaotic and disorganised.
This puts children at risk of hurting themselves and others. In addition, staff engage in inappropriate behaviour management which does not promote children’s self- esteem and confidence. For example, they raise their voice to be heard and chastise children in front of their peers.
6. Children demonstrate a poor understanding about maintaining healthy lifestyles. For example, staff do not promote healthy options because, they are led by children’s requests for snacks which are high in sugar. In addition, children are not provided with access to fresh drinking water to ensure that they remain hydrated.
YH spoke to the owner, Tracy Watkins. Ms Watkins described the criticisms by Ofsted as “Unfounded”. Ms Watkins told YH that the “Manager was off that day”.
YH will be gauging further reaction from Essex County Council.
Do you have any connections with Chill Out Kids? Do you think it is a fair report. Will you support Tracy after a decade of service to the town? C
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