Crèche staff lost my DD!

(54 Posts)
PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 09:11:35

My DS3 and DD1 attended a crèche run by our local children's centre yesterday, while I was on a course.

At the end of the course I went into the crèche room to pick them up. DS was sat playing but I couldn't see DD anywhere. One of the ladies noticed me looking round and asked another member of staff where my DD was. She replied that DD was with third member of staff. I said she wasn't as I had just seen the third member of staff washing pots in the kitchen.

So the first two staff and I started looking for DD, she was found outside, on her own on the wooden play equipment. No one had known where she was, or had even noticed her absence. The three members of staff had only been caring for 7 children.

My DD was fine, I picked her up and gave her a cuddle, got my DS and went home.

But now it's all I can think about. I don't know how long she was outside on her own, definitely 5 mins minimum. A lot could have happened in 5 mins, it didn't though I know.

The play area she was found in is right next to the road. Whilst the centre is gated, the gates are not locked as it is a drop in centre.

WWYD? Should this be recorded as a 'near miss' type event? Should I take it further, or just be glad my DD is safe? I really can't stop thinking about DD on her own.

ILoveMakeUp Sat 28-Sep-13 09:16:54

Oh my goodness. I would absolutely definitely take this further.

SirChenjin Sat 28-Sep-13 09:19:40

I didn't want to see this drop off the board. That sounds awful shock. I've no experience of using creches as the DCs went to nursery while I was at work, but I'm presuming they are (or should be) run along similar lines with professional staff and procedures in place to stop this sort of thing happening?

If so, yes, I would absolutely take this further. Formal letter of complaint to the manager? Is there a complaints procedure in place?

sewingandcakes Sat 28-Sep-13 09:22:28

I would take it further: while it's lucky that your dd was fine, the staff need to improve their training and procedures to prevent anything serious happening.

NoComet Sat 28-Sep-13 09:26:45

Depends on age of the other DCs you might not follow a four yearold about like you would a two year old.

If it was DD1, I'd have looked outside first, giving adults the slip if there was anything climbable was 100% predictable. Short of keeping her on reins, there was nothing anyone could do be 100% certain she wouldn't be up to mischief.

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 09:29:21

Sorry, just to clarify, my DD is only 1yr old

DizzyPurple Sat 28-Sep-13 09:31:11

Sounds like inadequate supervision to me. She could have hurt herself easily and they wouldn't have noticed immediately. If they have an outdoor bit, someone should be allocated to watch that area or the door should be shut to keep the kids in. 7 kids to 3 carers? No excuses.
I would definitely speak to the manager. Your dd was fine, the next one might not be.

ReallyTired Sat 28-Sep-13 09:32:03

I think a formal complaint is inorder. The first step is to write to the manager of the children's centre and if you get no joy then make a formal complaint to OFSTED.

"Depends on age of the other DCs you might not follow a four yearold about like you would a two year old."

A four year old needs supervision as much as a two year old. Admitally you are allowed lower ratios for four year olds as they are generally potty trained, but the capacity of a four year old to get into danger is still pretty high.

Someone should have been watching your dd.

Tee2072 Sat 28-Sep-13 09:32:58

Take it further! Contact the manager and insist on knowing what they are doing to make sure that never happens again.

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 09:53:15

Thank you all.

I need to use this crèche for a further four sessions, so I want to deal with this situation maturely. I am normally that person who just bursts into tears and can't get their words out.

At the start of the course the course leader was explaining how all the staff were safeguarding trained, and that our children would be in the best hands. I feel really let down by them as they didn't even apologise as I left.

NoComet Sat 28-Sep-13 10:32:49

If she's that small, the supervision is totally unsatisfactory.

DD could get on our dinning table before she could walk, or have any idea crawling off the edge was a bad idea.

No way should a child that sizes be outside in their own!

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 11:24:53

Whilst making a complaint to the management, would you continue to use the crèche facility?

tribpot Sat 28-Sep-13 11:32:13

I don't think I could, OP. How was it possible for her to get outside without anyone noticing?

The fact the staff didn't seem to realise the enormity of their mistake is also worrying. I don't like the sound of this place at all.

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 11:46:06

All the children were playing outside, but they brought them all back inside at the same time to prepare for the end of the session, it seems that they didn't count them back in and 'forgot' my dd sad

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 18:17:15

Any other opinions on this?

twittergirl Sat 28-Sep-13 18:22:40

Wow! I am really shocked by this. Both my kids went to nursery from 9 months and I've never experienced anything like this. Especially with such a low adult to child ratio.

If you have no option to continue to use them while you finish your course I would just have a quiet and civilised word with the manager for now but follow up with a formal written compliant when you don't need to use them anymore. They need to understand this is not acceptable.

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 18:32:04

That sounds like a good, reasonable plan, thank you. I feel a bit calmer about it this evening, will just need to hold it together when I speak to the manager, stress just makes me burst into tears!

EduCated Sat 28-Sep-13 18:32:38

Are they subject to OFSTED? Not all crèches are, but there will be others far, far more knowledgable than me about that.

But definitely complain. Loudly. Is it council run?

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 18:33:58

It's the local Sure Start centre.

Viviennemary Sat 28-Sep-13 18:37:43

I think you should report this. The staff need a wake up call. I agree that no way should a child of one be outside on her own. It's shocking. I would speak to your tutor and say how unhappy you were at the inadequate supervision. This looks like a far more serious situation just waiting to happen.

VivaLeThrustBadger Sat 28-Sep-13 18:41:19

Report it/complain.

Wasn't there an incident a while ago where a child died on outdoor play equipment in a nursery and it was some time before they realised she hadn't come inside with the other kids?

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 18:52:49

Oh God I remember that, it was featured in a documentary about private nurseries about a year ago. The poor girl had stood on a ride on and then put her head through the playhouse window and got stuck. I remember the interview with her parents which was heartbreaking.

Yes, I see they need to do something about this for future safeguarding.

NomDeClavier Sat 28-Sep-13 18:59:49

The crèche may not be OFSTED registered if parents are on sure but it's worth looking on the site to see whether it's listed, and if if is then you should report.

A strongly worded letter to the manager, CCing the local authority, would be my reaction.

gallicgirl Sat 28-Sep-13 19:03:38

Something similar happened to my niece and my sister complained to ofsted who investigated. Her children continued to attend and she maintained good relationships with staff. I think there was an issue with poor leadership and the manager left shortly afterwards.

You must complain so they can check safeguarding procedures are robust.

PookBob Sat 28-Sep-13 19:10:54

I've just checked and they had an OFSTED inspection this year that marked them as 'inadequate'.

I wish I had checked this before I left my children there, I had no idea, it's obviously not something they advertise.

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