to complain about this nursery worker? I honestly can't tell if IABU, please help!

(90 Posts)
Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 06-Feb-13 02:36:06

DD1 is four. Very verbal, very confident, very physically affectionate. Her best friend is likewise, and they tend to play together constantly, lots of role play games.

A is a new carer in the 'kindy room' at nursery (4-5y/olds), and very junior; because of this, A is usually allocated to general supervision of play, whereas the more senior staff are often doing the more structured stuff.

DD1 and her friend seem to have adopted A as their personal adult playmate, and both speak very enthusiastically about A. Which is great, in a lot of ways; it's nice for them that there's an adult there who is willing to join in their interminable pretend games and things. A seems really nice and has lots of energy, plays chase and gets out drums and generally joins in the fun.

But. DD1 has reported that their games involve "being little girls who run away from the monster who catches them and tickles them". Or "pretends to eat them". Or "ties them up". I don't think any actual tying up is going on, but it's all physical hands-on games. And BF's mum has picked her up early before and she's been sitting on A's lap.

And it seems - although obviously four year olds are not always reliable narrators - that A spends a lot of time playing with the two of them, as in, disproportionately to other kids, bearing in mind that there's a 1:10 ratio in that room. I have had chats with A when picking DD1 up - oh, you're with DD1 and her friend again, they both tell me how much they like you playing with them - that seem to support this: as in, A agrees that they've played together lots, had lots of fun. And this might well be initiated by the girls.

All of this might be initiated by the girls; both of them are very physically comfortable around adults, BF sat on my DH's lap the first time she met him (at a class where the adults were sitting cross legged on the floor), it might be that A is young, naive, wanting to please and not wanting to turn the girls down when they ask for adult company, in order to impress the senior staff and show willing.

But is it reasonable of me to have a quiet word with the boss? Just check whether there's a policy around how much hands-on-ness they encourage? Obviously the younger children need more intimate handling anyway, because of nappies and wiping clean after meals so of course part of being a child carer is being hands-on with kids as necessary. And it's a very reputable centre, I have no doubt that A's qualifications and security check (CRB equivalant) are up to scratch, the boss is very good and very involved. So I'm probably just being precious, right? Only, BF's mum brought this up with me yesterday as well, so we've both noticed and wondered.

NumericalMum Wed 06-Feb-13 13:18:05

My DC had a male nursery worker. He was with her throughout. In her nursery there were quite a few actually. At first I will admit to thinking it was a bit odd as I never imagined her workers would be male but I soon gve myself a metaphorical slap as I work in a very male environment so should be a better person. He was great with them to e honest. She adored him and definitely gave him more attention than the female carers as he was a lot more of a player (as opposed to a carer which the females were)

TiggyD Wed 06-Feb-13 13:52:10

The 2% stat was from a report a couple of years ago. 2% wouldn't like a man looking after their child, and 2% of the profession is male. I know the OP is from foreignland but I don't know any figure from thee.

I am a male childcare worker and I'm careful but not paranoid about how I behave around the children as I know I am more closely looked at by people and people can mis-interpret things. I would never suggest a tying up game with a child. No nursery staff should, but men in particular.

I hope everybody on here uses a nursery that welcomes men, and the only way to guarantee it does is to only pick nurseries where they have men working.

Fightlikeagirl Wed 06-Feb-13 14:03:57

I didn't see that report Tiggy. Googled it but nothing came up, will l

Fightlikeagirl Wed 06-Feb-13 14:10:27

Whoops posted too soon...
Will have another look.
Your posts are very good advice from one male early years practitioner to another. But as I (yes shouldn't jump to conclusions!) thought it was a female writing the post, it sounded very prejudice. So I apologise again for taking it the wrong way.
My husband was a nursery nurse and I have worked with quite a few over the years. I think it's quite sad that they have to feel like they are not trusted at times as much as female members of staff but I can see why they would feel that. One male I worked with once never felt comfortable changing girls nappies which I thought was sad. ( But maybe he thought he'd give me that job!!!)
Anyway you sound like you love your job, Tiggy. Good for you smile

Mumsyblouse Wed 06-Feb-13 14:17:44

I think it's true some male carers play different types of games, my school-age children have had several male carers in their after-school club (which seems to get more young guys than for example in their primary school as teachers). In general, they have been more hands on and a bit more physical, and also enjoy jokes and silliness. One in particular was adored by all the children so much, and everyone was really sad when he left.

Not all the guys were great, one or two were a little monosyllabic, and some of the female carers were better than others, the two they have now are very good at keeping everything calm but interesting.

In other words, I don't tend to love male carers just because they are male, some have been excellent/some not so, as with the women, but they do sometimes initiate different types of games and often, with a really talented careworker, the children will flock to that more physical joking young guy who also happens to be really good looking because it's fun to play with him.

TiggyD Wed 06-Feb-13 14:23:08

Try this page for it flight. here

nannyof3 Wed 06-Feb-13 14:28:43

Shes doing her job!!!

Some children dont like adult involvement, so she prob sends more of her time with the ones who are interested in her!!!!

Get a grip woman!!

Fightlikeagirl Wed 06-Feb-13 14:37:12

Thank you Tiggy. smile

A male? Dd had a male preschool teacher when she was 4, she adored him and he was fantastic. He was young and newly qualified and did a brilliant job.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 07-Feb-13 00:34:34

Tiggy, I'm actually surprised (and heartened) that it's only 2% - I feel sure I've read something much, more higher than that previously. But I'm sure you're right. Or Australians are much less enlightened. One or the other.

A friend of mine worked in early childcare as a university student, a very small place where there was the boss, and then her and a male co-worker. She was promoted over the co-worker, despite him being more senior and more qualified, because the promotion involved opening the place up and thus being the only carer there at the beginning of the day, and her boss told them that she'd lose parents if she put a bloke in sole charge of the children without supervision. That was 15 years ago, but still. Poor blokes!

Nannyof3, I have a) mentioned that A is male, and b) prostrated myself with remorse. Do keep up with the thread, please.

TiggyD Thu 07-Feb-13 00:41:40

I didn't think Australians used childcare. I though they kept them in a pouch and hopped round with them.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 07-Feb-13 00:43:46

I have often said that marsupials know where it's at. Birth 'em small and keep 'em on the outside, that's a BRILLIANT plan.

piprabbit Thu 07-Feb-13 00:58:24

You might like to point out to your DMum that an awful lot of abuse happens within families. Rather than telling children that some types of men (men inside the family) are safe and other types of men are dangerous, it is better to talk to children about types of behaviour (secrets, touching etc.) being inappropriate and how they should deal with that - regardless of who is doing the inappropriate behaviour.

This lets children trust the people who care for them, but understand they need to talk to you if someone does something that makes them uncomfortable.

Writehand Thu 07-Feb-13 00:58:42

Two blokes brought my DS home after he'd been knocked off his bike by the park. He was only about 10. They'd picked him up, grazed & sobbing, and his bent bike, and then, when I opened the door, the poor guys apologised to me in case I minding men taking care of my child. One of them was a dad from our primary school.

I was so grieved that they should feel that way. They told me one of them was a qualified First Aider and did I want him to look at my DS? Yes, thanks a million, I said. They were so worried I'd think they were paedophiles, and I felt so unhappy about how society is today.

I'm very much with Seeker here, who posted: Please don't talk about this to anyone. Not even to your mum, or the other mother- it only takes a hint of a whisper, and you don't know who might overhear you. Indeed. You could ruin this man's career, even his life.

YABU. Thank your lucky stars you've got such a lovely carer. Most men are lovely.

Morloth Thu 07-Feb-13 00:59:57

There has been a bit of a push lately to recruit male child care staff/teachers.

DS1 is delirious with joy that he got one of the few male teachers at his school.

I agree they are mobbed. Which is sad really, what a shame that they are so rare.

DS2's daycare doesn't have any male staff unfortunately, I wish it did.

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