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Playgroup forced to reduce its hours

PUBLISHED: 11:43 06 November 2009 | UPDATED: 08:48 01 August 2010

A PLAYGROUP has been forced to reduce its hours after a complaint was made to Ofsted about staff not having completed the required vetting checks.

Ofsted said it received information that raised concerns about the registration of Ellingham and Kirby Cane Playgroup, last month.

A PLAYGROUP has been forced to reduce its hours after a complaint was made to Ofsted about staff not having completed the required vetting checks.

Ofsted said it received information that raised concerns about the registration of Ellingham and Kirby Cane Playgroup, last month.

Documents reveal that inspectors telephoned the playgroup and it was confirmed that staff and new individuals appointed to the voluntary management committee had not completed the required vetting checks to ensure their suitability.

The document adds: “We asked the provider to operate for less than two hours in any one day because registration is not required where a child does not stay with the provider for more than two hours a day.

“We will monitor the provider to ensure all required vetting checks are successfully completed prior to increasing the opening time. The provider remains registered with Ofsted.”

Shelagh Hutson, cabinet member for children's services at Norfolk County Council, said that although staff at the playgroup had Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks in place these were not enhanced CRB checks.

“We provide support, advice and guidance to early years providers, including playgroups and pre-schools but they are responsible for carrying out their own vetting procedures,” she said.

“Ellingham has recently undergone a change of committee and the appointment of several new staff and therefore had a routine visit from Ofsted, who are the regulatory body responsible for registration and inspection.

“During this visit Ofsted discovered that although staff had CRB checks in place, that these were not enhanced CRBs. These are needed in order for playgroups to be registered, so the group could not continue to operate in its current form.

“Playgroups and nurseries can operate for under two hours a day without needing to be registered. The playgroup has therefore reduced its hours while the correct checks are made.

“The staff members are all adequately qualified, and although recruitment procedures were followed enhanced CRBs were not sought. Enhanced CRBs are a requirement of registration.

“We advise all early years providers to liaise with Ofsted to make sure all of the correct vetting processes are in place, Ofsted will then send them the necessary paperwork.”

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