A Dundee after-school club where children were previously found “playing” in a bin has been hit with a second scathing inspection report.
The Care Inspectorate found all areas of Happy Hours Out of School Club in Ardler were “weak”, following an unannounced visit in January.
The service, run by parent volunteers, operates from the Ardler Complex and is for children of primary school age.
The breakfast club, which runs from 7.45am until 9am, is based in the nearby St Mary’s Community Church Hall.
In September, the Care Inspectorate published a report that found children were playing in a bin and some had been left without water, as it outlined a series of issues with the service.
List of concerns raised
The latest report, published this month, says four of five requirements set out following September’s visit have not been met – with further issues found.
- Storage of medication.
- The nutritional value of food.
- Access unsupervised public areas.
- Hazards with coats and bags left on the floor.
- Toy and games not being regularly cleaned.
- Accidents and incidents inconsistently recorded.
- Some staff seen to ignore and not respect children.
- Children being left unsupervised on several occasions.
The Care Inspectorate noted one incident where it had not been notified of changes to members of the club’s management committee – which “resulted in potential risk to children as individuals had not been checked to ensure they were suitable to work with children”.
Improvements from previous inspection
The club was told it must ensure children are appropriately hydrated and nourished following September’s visit.
Inspectors found in January that while youngsters had better access to drinking water, this requirement had not been met as the nutritional value of food provided was described as “poor”.
Another requirement from the last inspection requested that staff must improve the security of the premises by October last year, which had also not been met in January despite some changes.
Inspectors said in the report: “Consideration had not been given to the potential for children to leave designated areas of the service, enabling them to access unsupervised public areas within the community complex.”
The report also highlights how bags and coats being left on the floor is a “potential risk for spread of infection and slip, trips or falls”.
There were issues with a “lack of enhanced cleaning”, in particular with high touch points and children’s toys and games, and the recording of incidents “did not follow best practice”.
‘Children left unsupervised on several occasions’
Inspectors also found occasions where “poor communication with the staff team” resulted in “children being left unsupervised on several occasions”.
A requirement to make improvements in this area had also not been met.
And the service failed to meet demands to ensure more positive impacts and outcomes for youngsters.
Staff were seen to ignore children and not respect them
Inspectors wrote: “Some staff were seen to be warm and engaging with children, while other staff were seen to ignore children and not respect them.
“This resulted in children’s interest not being explored and their needs not being met.”
However, a requirement to improve the control of the use of children’s personal data had been met by January’s inspection.
The report also details how two parents at the club told inspectors that their children “loved to attend” and enjoyed a variety of play activities.
Care of youngsters ‘taken extremely seriously’ – club
Six requirements have now been made by the Care Inspectorate for further improvements at the club by March or April this year – two in addition to those not met from the previous visit.
These include the storage of medication, nutrition, safe environments, hygienic environments, quality care and experiences and positive impacts for children.
A spokesperson for the club said: “We are now working to address the points which have been identified and are working to update our improvement plan.
“We would like to reassure families we take the care of the children extremely seriously.
“The committee members would like to reassure parents that no child was at risk as, during the last two years, due to Covid guidance, only register PVG staff were working with children.”