A north-east child minder has been slammed by care chiefs for refusing to stop smoking around the children she cares for.
Hazel Park was told to quit lighting up indoors last year after inspectors raised “serious” concerns about the effect her habit was having on the health of the youngsters.
But during a recent investigation, the Care Inspectorate discovered cigarettes, an ashtray and a lighter lying out on her kitchen table where the children eat.
Some youngsters were even going home smelling of tobacco.
Mrs Park, from Aberdeen, told inspectors that she had every intention of continuing to smoke indoors – and had blamed the north-east’s weather for it being too wet to stand outside.
Last night, the Care Inspectorate said Mrs Park had failed in her duty to protect the children from the “harmful” effects of tobacco – and that they had no option but to take “enforcement” action.
“Our first priority is always the safety and well-being of children,” a spokesman for the Care Inspectorate said.
“We will be monitoring this service closely and if we do not see evidence of significant improvement we will not hesitate to take further action.
“Every child in Scotland has the right to safe, compassionate care which meets their needs and respects their rights.”
An investigation was launched at Mrs Park’s Kincorth home earlier this year.
The results of the high intensity inspections – which exposed a catalogue of failings – have just been made public.
During the inspectors’ second visit, Mrs Park agreed that she would start smoking outside.
But one parent revealed that their child’s schoolbag still smelled of smoke when they got home.
The inspectors also discovered that Mrs Park was not properly trained in First Aid and that she did not think it was necessary to go on a child protection course.
They discovered weed killer and animal food lying out, a cord hanging down from a washing line outside and said the toys in the garden were putting children at risk of infection.
Inspectors said the child minder had failed to provide a “safe, hygienic, smoke-free, clean and tidy” environment for the children and awarded her the lowest possible grades – 1’s and 2’s – for her level of care.
Mrs Park was served with four improvement notices, and was ordered her to take action immediately.
Mrs Park declined to comment on the report – but said she had been inspected again and was waiting for the results.