Childminder Who Lost Child In Park For 30 Minutes Challenges Ofsted Rating

14/08/2014 16:55 | Updated 22 May 2015

Lost child

A childminder is challenging an 'inadequate' rating from Ofsted even though she lost a child in her care for 30 minutes.

The Crawley News reports that Karen Brazier, from Ilford, Essex, lost the child in Tilgate Park while on an outing. He was eventually located by park rangers 30 minutes later.

Ms Brazier reported the incident to Ofsted the following day, and an inspector visited her.

As a result, her previous rating of 'outstanding' was changed to 'inadequate'.

The report, published last Wednesday, said that Ms Brazier was 'not effectively using her knowledge of individual children's characteristics to plan for their safety'.

It continued: "She has not considered the children's age and stage of understanding to identify and manage all hazards on outings. This places children's safety at risk."

Ms Brazier has lodged an appeal, saying she followed procedure after the child wandered off.

"A little boy went walkabout when we were at Tilgate Park. I lodged it with Ofsted; it has all gone through the right channels," she said.

"Then I have a phone call from Ofsted saying they are coming to talk about the concern (they had about the incident) and to do the inspection, because I had not been inspected for so long."

"It was just a little boy who decided that he didn't want to stay with our group and wandered back to the park," she added.

The Ofsted report also found that the childminder had exceeded the number of children she is able to care for, having eight children on her books instead of six.

She disputes this, and says the numbers are within the guidelines.

Ofsted praised Ms Brazier for her approach to planning play, and said the children in her care had a wide variety of activities to take part in. It also commended her on how she encouraged good manners in the children, and documented their development and interaction.

The carer told reporters she was confident her appeal would be successful, and that she wants her old rating to be reinstated.

"The inspector said on the day that I had achieved a 'good' rating. But Ofsted said they couldn't justify giving me a 'good' because of the incident," she said. "I have completed the actions they gave me and I want them to reinspect me because it's my reputation and my business on the line."

It's not known what the child's parents thought about their child going AWOL. Presumably they are supportive of the childminder.


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