A CHILD minder has been banned from keeping dogs indefinitely after her pet bit a toddler's forehead.

But Faye Bowker will continue looking after youngsters in her home after she gave the dog away and carried out improvements ordered by Ofsted.

Martin Butterworth, prosecuting, told York magistrates the child needed an operation and may need more medical treatment for the bite inflicted by a five-year-old cocker spaniel on April 6.

For Bowker, Chris McGrogan told the court: "It was an accident. It is one of those things which are extremely unfortunate. It is tragic for all those concerned."

No parent had withdrawn their children from her care following the incident, said the solicitor. The dog had gone to a spaniel rehoming charity.

After she told Ofsted about the injury, its inspectors visited Bowker's home in Lucas Avenue, Clifton.

In their report, they said she had not told parents about what had happened and they ordered her to improve child safety in her kitchen and bathroom among other moves.

"She took appropriate actions to prevent a recurrence of this incident, and she updated parents about what she had done," the report concluded. "The family no longer has a pet dog. We were satisfied with the action taken."

Bowker, 31, pleaded guilty to having an out of control dog. Magistrates fined her £500 with a £50 statutory surcharge and £85 prosecution costs. They also banned her from keeping dogs indefinitely.

The court heard her business insurers are dealing with a compensation claim.

Mr McGrogan said Bowker had brought the dog up since it was a puppy.

After its arrival, she had told all parents wanting to place children with her about its presence in her home.

It had never caused any problems with children before, he said. She didn't want another dog.

"She wants to ensure there is no risk of this ever happening again," he said.

The long term effects for the child and whether she will be permanently scarred are not known.

Jon Stonehouse, corporate director at City of York Council said: "We take incidents such as this very seriously. All childminders must follow an Early Years framework, undertake risk assessments and take all reasonable steps to ensure children in their care and staff are not exposed to risk. We support childminders with training, the childminders’ networks and individual visits.

“Immediately this incident happened, Ms Bowker correctly notified Ofsted, the Health and Safety Executive and the council, and removed the dog immediately from the premises."