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Childminder’s dog bites child

A nine-year-old boy, allegedly bitten by his childminder's Weimaraner, has sparked a call for registered minders to be banned from keeping dogs as pets.

Maretta Jackson and her son, Thomas Pritchard, were visiting Deborah Stephens in Brighton when Thomas reportedly went into a closed room where the Weimaraner was being kept during the visit. He was bitten on his face, which needed stitches, and had two days in hospital.

Mrs Stephens said she was "desperately sorry" but Miss Jackson and Thomas were at fault, because the dog was shut in.

The childminder, from Stanmer Villas, said the dog had grown up around children amicably.
There are currently no regulations restricting childminders from owning dogs. "I am very, very angry, said Ms Jackson. I took my son to a registered childminder and now he is scarred for life. I just want a proper investigation by Ofsted and the local authority to see what is going on here."

An Ofsted spokeswoman said childminders should ensure any animals are safe to be in the proximity of children and do not pose a health risk.