Feeling bullied by nursery key worker

(19 Posts)
redsky7 Wed 01-Jun-16 22:22:18

I have twin boys aged 11 month at nursery. My boys attend nursery three full days per week and are enjoying their time there. Apart from one new child, they are the youngest children in the whole nursery which looks after age groups 3 months to 5 years.

During the last half-term they moved the babies from their room into the 2 -5 years room after 4.30pm. When I came to pick up my boys around 5.15pm (the usual time for me) the room was chaotic with older children jumping around without any regard for the babies crawling around. One older child attempted to pick up my son, to which I had a go at him and the keyworker (my son was 9 months at the time). I brought this up to the management and present key workers who apologised and told the boy off.
I told management I wasn't happy with my boys going into the older room when it's half-term and I would consider picking them up earlier.

Apparently they do this as they have a skeleton number of key workers on and some leave early. (I assume this is because they are less children as some parents decide not to have their children at nursery when their school-age children are off - fair enough).

Anyway I got a call around 4.30pm today to check what time I was picking them up. I said it would be after 5pm as my train had been delayed so I would pick them up the normal time and yes they should give them their tea (which I provide) as normal. Management were fine with this and said they would let the key worker know.

When I picked my boys up at 5.20pm today as soon as I got through the door, I was pounced by one of their key workers who said 'we have a problem we need to discuss'. Basically she said I had two choices that either I pick up my boys earlier myself before they go over to the older kids' room and give them their tea at home or they have their tea earlier (around 4.00pm) in the baby room as the older room doesn't have a microwave and the skeleton staff want to pack up earlier!
First of all I was pissed that this woman was trying to bully me into changing my children's meal times and inconvenience myself on the pick-up just to suit themselves. I pay to have them at nursery from 8am - 6pm so I feel I should get the service I pay for which is to give them their dinner at 5pm which is what I agreed from the beginning. It has never been a problem before even at the last half term.
i ended up saying that this is a management issue and I will discuss it with them in the morning.
I am upset that this woman spoke to me in such a brash manner muttering under her breath and trying t make me responsible for their lack of staff or work issues. Am I being unreasonable?

DancingDinosaur Wed 01-Jun-16 22:26:50

Whats the staff ratio supposed to be in the other room? And how many pre school children are there?

redsky7 Wed 01-Jun-16 22:32:18

Staff ratio is 1 key worker to every three children. There were three key workers in the room when I got there. When I got there, there was only one other baby and maybe three other older children. I don't remember exact numbers as was accosted straight away.

SenoritaViva Wed 01-Jun-16 22:38:23

No, your children shouldn't have to change their meal time to accommodate the nursery. An hour is a big difference to their routine at that age.

lifesalongsong Wed 01-Jun-16 22:49:05

Do they have other staff in addition to the key workers or do they send them all home? I can't see how that can work, how do they work out a rota on that basis or do the children have a different key worker each week.

It sounds an odd way to staff a nursery but that's their problem, if you've paid for your children to be there until 6 they should at the very least discuss any change in room with you and try and work out a solution for school holiday weeks

DancingDinosaur Wed 01-Jun-16 22:49:45

So with your twins and the baby, as a 1:3, why cant they be in the younger room? And no you shouldn't need to change. They need to sort it out.

insancerre Thu 02-Jun-16 06:17:34

It sounds as they have term time staff who are not in during the holidays
This will affect staffing at the beginning and end of the day
They probably have an early shift and a late shidt and I'm guessing the staff don't work 8-6

They probably need to put all the children in one room as they don't have the staff to have 2 rooms staffed properly. The nursery may have a policy that says at least 2 members of staff have to be in a room, so even though they o my need one for ratio if there are 3 babies, they need an extra person to comply with their policy
If comes down to economics, if the nursery isn't getting the fees as its half term, how can they afford the staffing?

I would suggest emailing the manager so you have a trail
Say you are concerned about the staffing arrangements at the end of the day, that the babies shouldn't be with the older children and ask how they are going to meet the needs of your babies in the future?
Then start looking for another nursery. This one doesn't sound particularly well managed

Specky4eyes Thu 02-Jun-16 06:41:35

The nursery is open till 6pm and does not provide an evening meal! I find that odd in itself. So do the other children have to wait until they leave to get fed?

My boys went to nursery 7-6.30pm twice a week and everything was provided.

SaltyMyDear Thu 02-Jun-16 06:46:03

I think you are being treated badly. And I think you should bring it up with management.

But I don't think you're being bullied. And I don't thing you should use such an emotive term to describe poor customer service.

redsky7 Thu 02-Jun-16 06:48:50

@insancerre yes I think you are right about the staff issue. I will be discussing it with them this morning. I think it had a lot to do with one of my son's key workers who is often abrupt in her manner and has decided to take the matter into her own hands and she has a personal issues with it. I am yet to hear what the management policy is who didn't give me in an impression that thereally were any issues yesterday.

redsky7 Thu 02-Jun-16 06:59:49

They only provide lunch.but I choose to bring their lunch and dinner myself so I know exactly what they are eating. I have no problem with making it and bringing it myself. A discussion about it is fine and a compromise is possible for the nrxt two days is possible but bing told by someone who I don't believe was her place to speak to me harshly as if it's my fault the nursery has staffing issues is not on.
I also have concerns now about the 6 weeks summer holidays and what issues that will throw up then.

redsky7 Thu 02-Jun-16 07:01:00

Sorry for the typos...

Specky4eyes Thu 02-Jun-16 07:17:11

Ultimately you are paying for a service. If they can not provide that service according to the strict ratio guidelines that are set for childcare by Ofsted, then they need to address this formally.

This could mean that the nursery have to change their opening hours, employ more staff to cover the current hours or change the staff members shift times.

If they want you to change then this should be expressed in writing as it is a change of contract. If they are shortening the children's time there, then you should have a reduction in fees to reflect this.

SenoritaViva Thu 02-Jun-16 07:34:48

I find it odd that they don't have an eating area? I would've thought they could provide dinner for those that are eating and a light snack for those that aren't, all at the same time.

redsky7 Thu 02-Jun-16 10:05:48

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I spoke to management this morning who assured me that there was no problem with my twins having their dinner at 5pm. I have no problem with them eating in the other room with the older children as long as they are supervised correctly according to their age.
They said this was fine and their key workers would be going over with them. They confirmed that they are a staff member down in the baby room because of half-term and that's why the babies go over to the other room at 4.45pm.
They have asked me to address this in writing so that they can have a word with the individual who was out of line for giving me these options in the first place.
I will be keeping an eye on how things go.

lifesalongsong Thu 02-Jun-16 11:46:26

It sounds like they are prepared to take your concerns seriously which is good but I wouldn't be happy about being asked to make a written complaint about someone who is looking after my children, have I understood that correctly?

Are there any other nurseries nearby you could move to?

insancerre Thu 02-Jun-16 13:25:29

Sounds like the are after evidence to use performance management on the member of staff. Maybe they have issues with her?

redsky7 Thu 02-Jun-16 14:15:27

To make a written complaint is to ensure it goes on file and the person in question is approached about it. I prefer to have the paper trail should anything else happen.

It took a bit of stress in getting this nursery place especially as I have twins.
Its not easy to find spaces for two and get a sibling discount. I would've gone down the child minder route originally but that was even harder to find a CM who had space for twins and were qualified to take take 2 children under the age of 1 years.
Although my boys are nearly a year old now I am reluctant to move them. They really enjoy going to this nursery and it is conveniently placed.
I am hoping that this is an isolated incident with this particular staff member and this will be the end of it.

lifesalongsong Thu 02-Jun-16 14:38:09

I understand why the nursery want a complaint in writing but I would not be comfortable having someone looking after my children who knew that I had formally complained about them.

It'would take a very professional person not to have that in the back of their mind when dealing with you and your twins and you already have doubts about her which suggests she isn't as professional as you need her to be.

But it's not me who's in the situation so not relevant to you. Hoepfully it will be the wake up call she needs and you won't have any more problems. It sounds like other than this issue the nursery is perfect for you.

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