A Dundee childminding couple have rejected a damning inspection report accusing that accused them of restraining a youngster.
The Care Inspectorate graded the care and support of the services run by James and Kelly-Ann Marr from their home in the city as “weak”. It attached the same rating to the couple’s quality of management and leadership.
During the unannounced visit, inspectors warned the couple about children’s rights, adding minders should “not use restraint as a means of managing children’s behaviours” unless there is an “imminent threat”.
Mrs Marr said the use of the word ‘restrain’ in the report was unfair.
She said the restraint in question related to an incident where a child wanted to play in another room, but instead Mr Marr held the child on his knee on the sofa to prevent this. Mrs Marr said this lasted 10 seconds and was not physically harmful to the child.
Mr Marr was also told to familiarise himself with best practices when administering medication. He was not able to provide any paperwork to show medication had been given safely.
Inspectors also remarked that Mr Marr did not have a clear understanding of his role in protecting children from abuse.
Mrs Marr said: “We have never restrained a child and have always provided a clean child minding environment.
“If sitting a child on a knee for 10 seconds is restraint then we vehemently deny the use of the word restraint.
“We respect the work the Care Inspectorate do and have a good relationship with parents. We love what we do and are good childminders.”
At the time of the inspection 10 children were present, four of whom were registered with Mr Marr.
The inspectors discussed training with Mr Marr to refine skills and form a clearer understanding of child developments and interactions. He was told to ensure the kitchen is clean where children’s food is prepared.
There were some positives in the report, however. The quality of environment was graded as “adequate” while it was noted that the children seemed relaxed and Mr Marr appeared to know them well. One child was said to have been treated in a way that was “respectful of their views or interests”.
Previous inspections in 2011, 2013 and 2017 were all graded as either “good” or “very good”.
Mrs Marr added: “The kitchen cleanliness issue was just some dishes in a sink of soapy water.
“Regarding the paperwork, it was being reorganised and we had some to show the inspector, but this was not reflected in the report.
“There were some discrepancies between training and what the report said so we are welcoming another visit to clarify that and we’re expecting that in early August.
“We’re looking forward to the clarity another report going online will bring. We’re an open book when it comes to the Care Inspectorate.”
A Care Inspectorate spokesperson refused to confirm whether any further visits would be carried out and said the organisation “would not be drawn on speculation” about its inspection practices.