Balliol Day Nursery: Concerns and Complaints from Parents or Carers

We believe that children and parents/guardians are entitled to expect courtesy and prompt, careful attention to their needs and wishes. We welcome suggestions on how to improve our nursery and will give prompt and serious attention to any concerns about the running of the setting. We anticipate that most concerns will be resolved quickly, by an informal approach to the appropriate member of staff. If this does not achieve the desired result, we have a set of procedures for dealing with concerns. We aim to bring all concerns about the running of our setting to a satisfactory conclusion for all the parties involved.


All settings are required to keep a record of any complaints that reach stage two and above, and their outcome. This is to be made available to parents, as well as to Ofsted inspectors on request. 

Making a complaint

Stage 1

  • Any parent/guardian who has a concern about an aspect of the setting talks over his/her concerns with the manager in the first instance.
  • Most complaints should be resolved amicably and informally at this stage.

Stage 2

  • If this does not have a satisfactory outcome, or the problem recurs, the parent/guardian moves to this stage of the procedure by putting the concerns or complaint in writing to the nursery manager and the nursery committee.
  • The nursery stores written complaints from parents/guardians in the child’s personal file. However if the complaint involves a detailed investigation, the nursery manager may wish to store all information relating to the investigation in a separate file designated for this complaint.
  • When the investigation into the complaint is completed, the nursery manager meets with the parent/guardian to discuss the outcome.
  • Parents/guardians must be informed of the outcome of the investigation with 28 days of making the complaint.
  • When the complaint is resolved at this stage, the summative points are logged in the complaint investigation record.

Stage 3

  • If the parent/guardian is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, he or she requests a meeting with the nursery manager and the chair of the nursery committee. The parents/guardians may have a friend or a partner present if they prefer and the nursery manager should have the support of the management team.
  • An agreed written record of the discussion is made, as well as any decision or action to take as a result. All parties present at the meeting sign the record and receive a copy.
  • This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded. When the complaint is resolved at this stage the summative points are logged in the complaint investigation record.

Stage 4

  • If at the stage three meeting the parents/guardians and the setting cannot reach agreement, an external mediator is invited to help settle the complaint. This person should be acceptable to both parties, listen to both sides and offer advice. A mediator has no legal powers, but can help define the problem, review the action so far and suggest further ways in which it might be resolved.
  • The mediator keeps all discussions confidential. S/he can hold separate meetings with the setting personnel (manager, chair, staff member) and the parent/guardian, if this is decided to be helpful. The mediator keeps an agreed written record of any meetings that are held and of any advice s/he gives.

Stage 5

  • When the mediator has concluded her/his investigations, a final meeting between the parent/guardian, the manager and the chair of the nursery committee is held. The purpose of this meeting is to reach a decision on the action to be taken to deal with the complaint. The mediator’s advice is used to reach this conclusion. The mediator is present at the meeting if all parties think this will help a decision to be reached.
  • A record of this meeting, including the decision on the action taken is made. Everyone present at the meeting signs the record and receives a copy of it. This signed record signifies that the procedure has concluded.

Role of the Office for Standard in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) and the Local Safeguarding Children Board

  • Parents/guardians may approach Ofsted directly at any stage of this complaints procedure. In addition, where there seems to be a possible breach of the settings registration requirements, it is essential to involve Ofsted as the registering and inspection body with a duty to ensure the Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements of The Early Years Foundation Stage are adhered to.
  • The number to call Ofsted with regard to a complaint is: 0300 123 1231. The details are displayed on our Parents/guardians notice board.
  • If a child appears to be at risk, our setting follows the procedures of the Local Safeguarding Children Board.
  • In these cases, both the parent/guardian and the setting are informed and the nursery manager works directly with Ofsted or the Local Safeguarding Children Board to ensure a proper investigation of the complaint, followed by appropriate action.


  • A record of complaints in relation to our nursery, or the children or the adults working in our setting, is kept; including the date, the circumstances of the complaint and how the complaint was managed.
  • The outcome of all complaints is recorded in the Complaint Investigation Record, which is available for parents and Ofsted inspectors on request.

19 October 2020

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