Making a complaint to your child's early years (pre-school) service

The County Council does not have authority over early years services (from the private, voluntary and independent sector) in the complaints process

When to complain to the early years service (e.g. nursery, pre-school, childminder)

Contact the early years service if you are concerned about issues such as:

  • your child’s academic progress
  • special educational needs provision provided by the early years service your child’s wellbeing in the early years service
  • bullying
  • something that has happened in the early years service

You should also contact the early years service about wider issues such as:

  • the overall running of the early years service
  • early years service policies (including rules)

If you have concerns that your child or another child is being abused or neglected refer to Report Child Abuse.

How to complain to the early years service

Speak to the relevant member of staff as soon as you have a concern. For an early years service this may be the nursery manger, pre-school supervisor or childminder. This informal approach is nearly always the quickest and most effective way of resolving your concerns.

All early years services will have a complaints process. If you feel that your concern has not been answered, ask the early years service for a copy of its complaints procedure. This will explain what you should do next.

If you need to take your complaint further

If you have exhausted the early years service complaints process, and still think that they have acted unreasonably or not followed the correct procedures in relation to your complaint, you can contact either Ofsted or Services for Young Children, Hampshire County Council.

You can complain to Ofsted if you think an early years service is not being managed properly and needs inspecting. Ofsted does not investigate issues relating to individual children. For example it does not investigate complaints about a child being excluded from the early years service or not being offered a place.

You can only complain to Ofsted if you have already followed the early years service own complaints procedure. You should get a response within 30 working days. It will tell you if Ofsted will investigate or not, and why.

If you require further guidance then contact Services for Young Children.