Complaints and Feedback Policy

CONTENTS

  •  Policy Statement
  • Strategies for Implementation
  • Communication and Feedback
  • Complaints
  • Legislation and Considerations
  • Sources and Related Policies

1. POLICY STATEMENT

Our centre values the feedback of educators, staff, families and the wider community in helping to create a service that meets the regulation and the needs of enrolled children and their families. We encourage open communication through opportunities to respond and to provide feedback on the program.

A component of this feedback is the ability to put forward a complaint and have this managed appropriately with due consideration for accountability and quality improvement.

We will:

  • Provide opportunities for consultation, evaluation and review of the centre operation and delivery of the education and care program;
  • Develop a process for making and managing complaints;
  • Communicate the option of and process for making a complaint;
  • Handle complaints diligently and confidentially.

2. STRATEGIES FOR IMPLEMENTATION

Communication and Feedback

Communications will aim at all times to be open, honest and confidential.

Our centre will offer a variety of ways to communicate and provide feedback including:

  • Day books
  • Daily Program – will have a section dedicated to comments or feedback on the program and activities
  • Daily communication book (in each room)
  • Informal and spontaneous interactions
  • Formal feedback and comments
  • Surveys
  • Portfolios
  • Developmental Summaries
  • Family meetings
  • Suggestion Box
  • Fortnightly Newsletters
  • Notice Board (in the foyer)

With permission, educators may write comments on behalf of families to help with evaluations of the program and encourage further family input.

Families are provided with the Centre’s email address and phone details at orientation.

Families will be encouraged to converse with educators at pick up and drop off times, and may email or call throughout the day.

Feedback from families is encouraged and educators will take this feedback into account to ensure ongoing planning and quality improvement.

Families will be informed as to how their feedback has contributed to improvements in the centre through information notice board displays, emails, and/or newsletters.

Complaints

The Nominated Supervisor will:

  • Develop a process for managing complaints (Appendix A). This process includes:
    • Receiving complaints;
    • Addressing and investigating complaints;
    • Documenting complaints.
    • Provide families that wish to contact the regulatory authority the name, address and phone number of the regulatory authority.
    • Communicate information on the process and details of the regulatory authority to families at enrolment.
    • Provide contact details for putting forward a complaint.
    • Ensure every complaint is managed and is an opportunity for quality improvement.
    • Discuss the process for managing complaints with the educators and staff team.
    • Survey families regularly to provide them with an opportunity to identify areas of concern, or ways in which the centre could be improved, along with areas of strength.
    • Provide or arrange training on complaints management.

Dealing with Complaints  

  • All complaints or grievances will be dealt with promptly and confidentially in a manner that:
    • Values the opportunity to be heard;
    • Promotes conflict resolution;
    • Encourages the development of harmonious partnerships;
    • Ensures that conflicts and grievances are mediated fairly; and
    • Is transparent and equitable.
  • Where possible complaints will be dealt with on the spot by the child’s educator as this is usually the person with the closest relationship with the family. If the complaint is about an issue that the educator considers to be outside of their control, the educator may direct the family to the nominated supervisor. If the family does not feel they wish to share the complaint with the educator, the family may approach the nominated supervisor directly or alternatively they may approach an Executive Board Member of the Committee of Management.
  • Educators will always thank a family that raises a complaint or issue of concern, and explain why they appreciate the opportunity to improve the centre or rectify a mistake.
  • All confidential conversations/discussions with parents/guardians will take place in a quiet area away from children, other families and educators who are not involved.
  • Where a family wishes their grievance to remain confidential this will be honoured. However families will be advised that issues cannot always be resolved if they choose to remain anonymous.
  • Where an educator believes they will have to share a confidence with another person in order to resolve an issue, or if the nature of a complaint requires that a third party has to be informed in order to meet legislative requirements, they will inform the family of this need prior to any further discussions on the matter.

Steps to managing complaints

  • The complaint will be welcomed and appreciated.
  • The complaint will be documented and a Complaint Form (Appendix B) will be completed. Any legal requirements in relation to the complaint will be considered, such as the need to notify regulatory authorities.
  • The complainant will be asked to provide information regarding how the situation could be rectified to their satisfaction.
  • The person receiving the complaint will clarify issues by actively listening and questioning the complainant to further understand the issues.
  • If possible the problem will be resolved immediately. If this is not possible the complainant will be advised that the issue will be given high priority and dealt with as soon as possible.
  • If the issues are complex the complainant will be asked to put their concerns in writing.
  • Where mediation is required all parties will have the right to agree to the appointment of the mediator.
  • If the problem is about an issue that is outside the control of the centre, the person receiving the complaint will explain this to the complainant and let them know who they should contact if they wish to take the matter further.
  • Any promises made to the complainant in regard to addressing the issue will be followed up and the results given to the complainant as soon as possible.
  • A few days after the incident the centre will contact the complainant to find out if they are happy with the way the problem has been resolved.

3. LEGISLATION AND CONSIDERATIONS

  •  Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010
  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 – 168, 173, 176
  • National Quality Standard for Early Childhood Education and Care 2011 – 7.3

4. SOURCES AND RELATED POLICIES

  • Community Child Care Co-operative Ltd (NSW) – www.ccccnsw.org.au
  • NSW Ombudsman (2004) ‘Effective Complaint Handling’. NSW Ombudsman 2nd Edition 2010
  • NSW Ombudsman (2009) “Complaint Handling Kit’. NSW Ombudsman
  • Privacy and Confidentiality Policy  For review:        May 2017

APPENDIX A

  • Policy adopted: 11 May 2015

Process for Managing Complaints

    1. Families, educators or staff may make a formal complaint about aspects of our service and no person will be disadvantaged in any way as a result of that complaint.
  • Complaints may be written or verbal. Written complaints should be forwarded to:
    Nominated Supervisor or Committee of Management Executive Board

    Styles Street Children’s Community Long Day Care Centre Incorporated
    62-64 Styles Street, Leichhardt, NSW 2040
  1. The complaint will be dealt with in the strictest confidentially. Any educator or staff member involved in handling complaints will ensure that information is restricted only to those who genuinely need to be notified in order to deal with the complaint. If information specific to the complaint needs to be disclosed to others during its resolution, the complainant will be informed.
  2. The complaint will be documented by an educator or staff member, and placed in the complaints file. The complaint will then be forwarded on to the most appropriate person to investigate the complaint. This will include the Nominated Supervisor and/or the Committee of Management.
  3. Actions to address the complaint will be determined. Once the outcomes or resolutions are agreed on, all persons involved in the original complaint will be notified and informed of any actions for improvement that will take place as a result of the complaint.
  4. The Department of Education and Communities will be notified of any complaint made to the centre alleging a breach of regulation within 24 hours of the complaint being made.

APPENDIX B

Complaint Form 

Date:____________________________________________________________________________

Complainant’s name:______________________________________________________________

Address:___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Phone number: Home____________________ Mobile________________________

Description of complaint:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Previous attempts to resolve the complaint:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Plan of action:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Date of satisfactory resolution:

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Complainant’s Signature

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Styles Street staff member’s Name, Position and Signature

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Committee of Management Executive Board Member Name, Position and Signature

(if applicable)

_______________________________________________________________________

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